Similar to Arlington Park, the neighborhood known as Polo Club has a history involving horses! In 1909 the Denver Country Club formed a polo team called the “Freebooters” and began playing on the grounds of the Denver County Club. Understandably, the club golfers had a bit of a problem with this use and in 1920 Ira and Albert Humphreys, Lafayette Hughes, and Laurence Phipps incorporated the Polo Club and purchased 160 acres of property for $62,000.
The stables for the Polo Club were built near the polo field at the southwest corner of Alameda and Steele. Fisher and Fisher built the clubhouse at 5 Polo Club Road in 1926. Throughout the 1920’s and 1930’s, polo was played here three times per week. Houses began to spring up-the first being Lafayette Hughes’ home at 2755 Exposition. Gradually interest in polo declined and after 1936 its play was discontinued. By December of 1941 the Polo Club closed and much of the property was sold.
Lafayette Hughes created a Polo Club Home Owner’s Association in 1946 in order to protect the remaining residents and to promote their continued privacy and seclusion. Following his death in 1958, 34 acres were sold to create the Polo Club Place Subdivision. By 1977 the former site of the polo club stables were being developed as condominiums and custom built homes.
The most colorful piece of history of Polo Club came between the mid 1950’s and the late 1960’s. Calvary Temple, led by Charles Eldon Blair, was a major force in the development of southern Cherry Creek. He bought 46 acres of land in the Old Polo Grounds in 1964 and planned a huge expansion of his temple. This expansion was to include a 1,700 space parking lot, four 10-story apartment buildings, a school, and a 4,000-5,000 seat sanctuary. Not surprisingly, the Polo Club residents were not happy with development plans of this scale. They prevented the Temple from progressing with these plans by successfully opposing the rezoning after a much protracted struggle. Later, Blair was convicted of defrauding his investors and congregation of upwards of $14 million and forced to sell the property.
Building sites within Polo Club continued to be available through the 1990’s. Today it remains one of the most exclusive and secluded neighborhoods in the city in spite of its proximity to Cherry Creek and Downtown. Interesting that an unassuming, plain brown wooden fence along University Boulevard is now what helps Polo Club maintain its long-standing goal of privacy!
The Information shown above is provided by permission from Sonja Leonard Leonard.
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