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Identifier: WH1016

Scope and Contents

The Capitol Hill United Hill Neighborhood papers span the years 1966 to 2016. The collection consists of its operational files, board and committee meeting materials, zoning and licensing information, fundraising records, photographs, and memorabilia. Operations files provide insight into the proceedings of the Board of Directors and the Board of Delegates meetings. The Executive Director's and the President's documents include correspondence and appointment books. The daily operating procedures, financial structure, membership and personnel, outreach, committee meetings, events and community involvement are recorded in the collection. The collection remains open for additional material.

The extent of CHUN's commitment to the community and neighborhood issues is well documented in its records. CHUN created eight committees to focus on specific areas of concern to its members. These committees include: Crime and Safety, Education, Historic Preservation, Housing, Parks, Trees, Transportation and Environment, and Zoning and Land Use. Members of these committees also participate in outside organizations' programs and working groups. The committee meeting materials provide detailed information on the organization and the community efforts to maintain and preserve neighborhoods. Of special concern is the safety of citizens.

To provide funding for its operations CHUN held numerous fundraising events throughout the years including: The Holiday Hoopla Auction, Victorian Holiday House Tour, Christmas on Colfax and The People's Fair. The People's Fair grew over the years and is now considered one of the major festivals in Denver. The records generated by the operations of The People's Fair begin from two years after its inception in 1974 to the present. Primarily its files consist of documents related to the planning and operation of the fair. Records on the People's Fair include grant applications, newspaper clippings, flyers, photographs, committee and volunteer records and memorabilia.

The CHUN records provide detailed information on the organization's history, development and impact on the community it serves. As of 2003, CHUN continues to operate in Denver, Colorado. The collection remains open for additional material.

SERIES 1 OPERATIONS 1966-2002 BOX 1-17

The operations series begins with the administration records of the president, executive director, board of directors and board of delegates. These files consist of the organization's bylaws and articles of incorporation, correspondence, reports, financial statements and meeting minutes and agendas. The remaining sub-series fall under operations in the following categories: financial, fundraising, improvement fund, meetings, membership, personnel, publications, resources and general.

The financial records include statements, budgets, summaries of income and expenses, invoices, receipts and charts of accounts. Additional information on the fiscal operations of the organization is available in the fundraising and improvement fund files. CHUN hosted several annual events to raise money. Fundraising events include holiday themed functions such as the Valentine Party, Holiday Hoopla Auction, Holiday Fair, Haunted House, Winter Fest and the Victorian Holiday House Tour. Promotional fiscal, organizational and committee records from these events form this sub-series. A major event that CHUN took over, The People's Fair, is organized into a separate series due to the volume of material. The financial support for the improvement fund came from the holiday events. CHUN dispersed the funds into its operations and several neighborhood projects and initiatives such as the Mayor's Youth Initiative and the Neighborhood Improvement Fund.

The meeting files comprise mostly of staff and annual meeting records, but also include special forums such as: Meet the Mayor, Town Meetings, Mayor's Forum, and Candidate Forum. The sub-series on membership consists primarily of applications and the membership committee meeting minutes and adopted policies and procedures. For its primary tool of communication, CHUN published two newsletters Urban Dweller and Life on Capitol Hill to keep neighborhood residents informed.

The remaining records in the series consist of personnel files, resources, awards and general operations. These files document policies, procedures, events, programs and staffing for CHUN. It also includes reports and programs from other organizations and agencies.


A significant number of neighborhood organizations partnered with CHUN to provide its members with a strong unity of representation for concerns and proposals to bring to City Government and representatives. Community organizations partnering with CHUN include The Center for the People of Capitol Hill, Uptown Urban Design Forum, Civic Center Association, City Park Community Advisory Board, Friends of Cheesman Park, Uptown on the Hill, Downtown Denver Partnership, Colfax on the Hill and Congress Park Neighbors, Inc.

These organizations sponsored events to assist special programs and the residents in their respective communities. Programs funded and/or supported by CHUN and its partners includes: the Weed and Seed Program, Volunteer Mentoring Program, Project Drug Use and the Denver Victims Service Center. Records from these organizations and programs document the meetings, communications and financial history of these inter-related groups.

SERIES 3 COMMITTEES 1973-1999 BOX 20-36

The series contains documents associated with the committees CHUN established to address areas of concern or interest to the neighborhood residents. The committees include: Crime and Safety, Education, Historic Preservation, Housing, Parks, Trees, Transportation and Environment, and Zoning and Land Use. In the 1990s, the Transportation and Environment and Zoning and Land Use committees were combined and Liquor Licensing was added to the responsibilities of this committee. The bulk of this series consists of materials from the Zoning and Land Use Committee. The records for the Education, Parks, Trees and Transportation committees are limited in volume but contain documents on issues such as the desegregation of schools, safety and maintenance of Cheesman and City Park, tree planting program, mass transit, pollution and recycling.

The Historic Preservation committee records include the following projects: Mayan Theater, Temple Emmanuel, Sherman-Grant Historic District, Ogden Theater, and historic homes. The Housing Committee focuses on concerns such as homelessness, evictions, low-income housing and discrimination with the Colorado Housing Authority. The Metro Denver Housing Initiative formed to address these issues.

The Crime and Safety Committee addresses issues that concern the residents by forming and/or joining programs or projects to investigate and resolve the problems. This committee attends to issues such as graffiti, crime prevention, drugs and youth crime prevention. Crime and Safety Forum, Safe City Initiative, National Night Out, Capitol Hill Youth Services and Block Watch represent the types of programs supported by CHUN.

The Zoning and Land Use Committee covered the broadest area of concerns and issues for the neighborhoods. Due to the volume of zoning and rezoning appeals, the bulk of the committee records document these hearings. Other areas of involvement include liquor licenses, litter and urban blight, and hot spots that are either due to drugs, gangs, prostitution or violence.

SERIES 4 PEOPLE'S FAIR 1974-2000 BOX 36-44

The People's Fair began in 1971 as a small event located on the grounds of Morey Junior High School. CHUN took over the fair in 1974. The fair subsequently moved to East High School then Civic Center Park. Records encompass vendor and entertainment applications, planning and logistical information, People's Fair guides, publicity and newspaper clippings, city permits, and correspondence. The People's Fair grant files are comprised primarily of application materials received, applicant evaluation forms, recipient notifications and agreements, and publicity information.


People's Fair t-shirts, buttons, visors, and running shorts form the bulk of this series. Plaques and awards are also included.

SERIES 6 OVERSIZE 1986-1987, n.d. OVFF2

Four posters for the People's Fair comprise the series. Due to the limited amount of posters, please refer to Series 3, People's Fair, for numerous flyers and handouts documenting the event.


Three cassette tapes of radio advertisements for the People's Fair comprise the series.


Photographs of the People's Fair, sites nominated for Eyesore/Beauty Spot awards, and other CHUN activities comprise this series.


Unprocessed material in the collection dates from 1970 to 2016 and includes meeting minutes, agendas, newspaper clippings, publications, photographs, brochures, reports and digital media such as flash drives and CDs.


  • 1966-2016

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Literary rights and copyrights have been assigned to the Denver Public Library.


All requests for permission to publish, reproduce, or quote from material in the collection should be discussed with the appropriate librarian or archivist. Permission for publication may be given on behalf of the Denver Public Library as the owner of the physical item. It is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which also must be obtained by the customer. The Library does not assume any responsibility for infringement of copyright or publication rights of the manuscript held by the writer, heirs, donors, or executors. Reproduction restrictions are decided on a case-by-case basis.

Biographical / Historical

Capitol Hill United Neighborhoods, Inc (CHUN) is a non-profit organization that has represented Capitol Hill since the early 1970s. The mission of CHUN is to bring people together to share in: Preserving the Past, Improving the Present, and Planning for the Future. The boundaries of CHUN are 1st to 22nd Avenues and from Broadway to Colorado Boulevard. CHUN serves as a neighborhood advocate representing the community interests before the Denver City Council, State Legislature and administrative agencies. CHUN offers residents a forum for discussing neighborhood issues including licensing, historic preservation, crime prevention, neighborhood beautification, street maintenance, education and traffic control.

Capitol Hill United Neighborhoods grew from a desire to improve the Capitol Hill community. In 1969, Reverend Bob Musil of Warren United Methodist Church organized a group of concerned neighbors to fight the proposed conversion of East 11th and 12th Avenues into one-way streets. Encouraged by this success, the Capitol Hill Congress was formed, which later became Capitol Hill United Neighborhoods. From this first victory, the organization began to address issues of land use, zoning, housing and transportation. A more formal organizational structure was created and the geographical boundaries were expanded to their present limits.

In 1974, CHUN agreed to assume responsibility for the operation of the Capitol Hill People's Fair, which had been coordinated by the Police Storefront and Community Services Committee. Under the direction of CHUN, the People's Fair has become a citywide event. The Fair became the mainstay of CHUN's financial existence, enabling a paid staff. In addition, 25% of the Fair profits are funneled back into the neighborhood through grants to community organizations. In recent years, CHUN has sponsored the Haunted House Tour, Victorian House Tour and other fundraising events to increase CHUN's financial base and support neighborhood causes.

In the late 1970s, CHUN continued to address issues of neighborhood concern, and grew in support and organization. In 1978, a part-time office staff person and part-time People's Fair coordinator were hired. The original office was located in the Capitol Hill Community Center. In 1980, the first professional staff coordinator was hired. As of 2002, CHUN employs four full-time staff: an executive director, an associate director and two office administrators.

Capitol Hill United Neighborhoods Improvement Fund (CHUN-IF) was established in 1987. Working with CHUN and other community organizations, CHUN-IF was intended to recognize and respond to unmet needs and problems in the neighborhood.

Throughout the years, CHUN has been working for the betterment of the Capitol Hill neighborhood. Zoning, liquor licensing, housing, crime prevention, historic preservation and tree planting comprise the bulk of CHUN's current concerns. CHUN has gained and maintained recognition as a powerful organization supportive of neighborhood interests.

Information for the Historical Note was obtained from CHUN New Board Member Orientation materials.


52 Boxes

6 oversize folders

1 AVEnvelope

2 AVBoxes

1 Oversize box

1 photo box

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift, Ronald Hillstrom, 1988. Gift, Chris Citron, 1989. Gift, The Capitol Hill United Neighborhoods organization, 1992, 2009. Gift, Nancy Hughes, 2009. Gift, Travis Leiker, 2021, 2022.


The Western History/Genealogy Department has the following material on the Capitol Hill United Neighborhood, Inc.:

The Urban Dweller

C917.8883 U722x3 The Urban Dweller Monthly

C917.8883 U722x2 Life on Capitol Hill



June 2003


Mary Foley

Patrice Plambeck

Thia Rand

Merrie Jo Schroeder


Merrie Jo Schroeder, July 2004

Roger L. Dudley, November 2009

Tiff Vu and Katie Rudolph, August 2022

November 2009
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Denver Public Library, Western History and Genealogy Repository

10 W. 14th Ave. Pkwy
Denver CO 80204 United States