It’s always enjoyable to stroll leisurely along Berkeley’s pedestrian-friendly Tennyson Street from 38th Avenue to 44th Avenue. It’s a quirky and often lively street lined with a mix of historic houses and brand new residences and businesses. Tennyson Street is constantly changing, but the charm of this iconic street remains.
Longtime Denverites will remember with fondness the old Elitch Amusement Park, once located at 38th and Tennyson. Founded in 1890 by Mary Elitch and her family, and originally known as Elitch Zoological Gardens, it was the first zoo west of Chicago, as well as an amusement park. Elitch Theatre was also built then and was quite beloved for over a century. Denverites enjoyed plays featuring Sarah Bernhardt, Douglas Fairbanks, Sr. and Grace Kelly among many notable performers. If you find yourself at the intersection of 38th and Tennyson, be sure to see both the beautiful Carousel Building Pavilion and the theatre building. The Pavilion once housed Elitch’s all-wooden, hand-carved carousel. It now features a labyrinth on the floor, the only one of its kind in the world, apparently.
Tennyson Street now boasts a number of new restaurants, bars, breweries, and coffee shops. Nearly all of the restaurants open out onto the street, mingling diners with those that are just passing by, creating a festive, dynamic environment. There are also a number of small, independent shops and boutiques selling unique jewelry and clothes. Among my favorites are the bookstores, including BookBar, with very inviting reading rooms, and Second Star to the Right, a fabulous children’s bookstore.
Adding to the pleasure of a walk along Tennyson Street is the unexpected surprise when discovering one of the many murals painted on the sides of buildings. It’s kind of like an outdoor art museum, only with better food and great coffee along the way!