The Sun Valley Neighborhood Memory Project is an ongoing community-based public memory project where long-time resident families and friends of Denver's Sun Valley Neighborhood connect to share stories about the neighborhood, collect and preserve their stories and share these through a community event or art. This project is a collaboration between the History Colorado Center, Sun Valley Kitchen & Community Center, and community members from Sun Valley, supported by funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
Marichi Performance at Fairview Elementary. Courtesy of
The neighborhood today known as Sun Valley is located west of downtown Denver, bordered by 6th Avenue on the south, 20th Ave. on the north, I-25 on the east, Federal Blvd. on the west. Over the years, this predominantly public housing neighborhood has been home to families of different cultures and backgrounds: Jewish immigrants from Russia and Eastern Europe in the 1880s; Mexican-American, Chicano, and Latino families in the middle of the 20th century; Vietnamese immigrants and refugees in the late 70s, and most recently immigrants and refugees from various African countries and the Middle East. In 2016, the Denver Housing Authority, began a redevelopment process that would bring economic and demographic changes in the neighborhood.
Since January of 2023, History Colorado and residents, families, and friends of the Sun Valley neighborhood have been collaborating to tell the community’s rich history from the perspective of those who have lived it. We have gathered to share memories and photos that are important to the community. Together we have learned about the South Platte River flood of 1965, the community gathering to paint the “Urban Dope, Rural Hope” mural in the 1970s, growing food and connecting at the community garden, the food and smells of the neighborhood, the community celebrations at Fairview elementary, the welcoming and close-knit community living at the housing complexes of Las Casitas (Denver’s oldest housing project, 1940s-1980s) and the Sun Valley Homes (1950s-2022) and much more!
The images and the stories we collect through this project will be preserved in History Colorado's online collection.