Monday, March 30, 2015

The Man Behind Washington Park’s Eugene Field House Library

By In Community Happenings

If you’re familiar with the Washington Park neighborhood, chances are you know about or have been to the Eugene Field Branch of the Denver Public Library. But what you may not know is who Eugene Field was and why the branch was named for him.

Eugene Field was a reporter for the Denver Tribune in the late 1800’s and became famous for his collection of children’s poems you may have read as a child, or have read to your own children. Field became a bit of a local legend thanks to his poetry and resided in a small cottage on West Colfax from 1881-1883.

Long after Field left the Denver area, Molly Brown bought his condemned house and donated it to city as a historic landmark. The house was then moved off Colfax Avenue and brought to the east side of Washington Park where it was restored and designated as the Eugene Field Branch of the Denver Public Library.
In front of the house, Mabel Landrum Torrey created a statue memorializing his most famous poem, Wynken, Blynken, and Nod – a childhood favorite of ours!

The original Field house is now home to the Park People after the library was relocated to a newer building at University Blvd. and Exposition St. in 1970. The name, however, remains the same and the residents of Washington Park still benefit from having a branch of the public library right in their own backyards.

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