Living in Belcaro: Things to Do and See in Belcaro, Colorado

With its Countryside Tranquility, Belcaro is a Rare Gem of Quiet Sophistication in the Heart of Booming Denver

article slidearticle slidearticle slidearticle slide

Belcaro, Italian for “beautiful beloved,” is named for the 70-room Georgian mansion built by Lawrence C. Phipps, treasurer of Carnegie Steel and a senator of Colorado from 1919-1931. Upon his retirement, he chose this area to build his estate, completed in 1933, with the intent to provide much-needed jobs during the Great Depression. He went on to develop the surrounding neighborhood, also called Belcaro. The mansion was donated by Phipps, a fervent philanthropist, to Denver University. Belcaro has since been sold to a tech entrepreneur with proceeds benefiting a scholarship fund endowed by Phipps, a former trustee of the school.

Living in Belcaro, Colorado

The half-acre lots are unusually large for city dwellers, the streets are tree-lined and meander graciously through the neighborhood (a welcome respite from the typical urban grid.) The homes are mostly historic brick ranches and Tudors, and more recently, custom builds in a variety of architectural styles. Many of the homes are behind privacy walls. Belcaro doesn’t have a school district, just a top-rated early learning center, so older children attend the Cherry Creek schools, also acclaimed.

The Polo Club is a gated enclave located at the northern end of the community. It actually was a polo club in the 1920s and 1930s. Ten years earlier, the Denver Country Club formed a polo team, but golfers griped about horses exercising on the fairways. So four multi-millionaire equestrian enthusiasts, including Phipps, bought 160 acres and financed the venture that stabled the ponies and hosted polo matches as well as lavish galas at its club house. Twenty years later, local interest in the sport waned and the land was eventually converted to residential use. Lots here can be as large as two acres and a clubhouse offers indoor swimming and outdoor tennis. There are also ultra-luxurious townhouse and condominium living options.

Things to Do in Belcaro, Colorado

The Polo Club is a gated enclave located at the northern end of the community. It actually was a polo club in the 1920s and 1930s. Ten years earlier, the Denver Country Club formed a polo team, but golfers griped about horses exercising on the fairways. So four multi-millionaire equestrian enthusiasts, including Phipps, bought 160 acres and financed the venture that stabled the ponies and hosted polo matches as well as lavish galas at its club house. Twenty years later, local interest in the sport waned and the land was eventually converted to residential use. Lots here can be as large as two acres and a clubhouse offers indoor swimming and outdoor tennis. There are also ultra-luxurious townhouse and condominium living options.

Weekend Trips from Belcaro, Colorado

World-renowned Colorado resorts—Aspen, Snowmass, or Telluride—are year-round destinations for all manner of outdoor activities, not to mention five-star dining and shopping. Glenwood Springs is notable for its natural spas and Carbondale its extreme sports, both with growing reputations for bustling art scenes and innovative farm-to-table dining. Historic Santa Fe, New Mexico, is an easy one hour hop by plane or five-hour cruise by car.

History of Belcaro, Colorado

The story of Belcaro begins with neighboring Bonnie Brae, a section of which still technically lies within the boundaries of Belcaro. In the early 1920s, land that once belonged to Kansas Pacific Railroad was being snapped up by George W. Olinger, who wanted to develop a community on the outskirts of Denver resembling a bucolic Scottish village. Instead of a grid system pattern of streets, in Bonnie Brae, Gaelic for “pleasant hill,” the streets are winding and whimsical, following the natural topography of the land. The first homes were erected in 1923 but by 1928 construction had slowed and Olinger’s development company declared bankruptcy.

During this lull, Phipps left the U.S. Senate and purchased a large tract of land to build the estate where he would retire—Belcaro. When Phipps then developed the land around his mansion, he mimicked Olinger’s winding streets shaded by ancient spruce and elm trees.

How Many People Live in Belcaro, Colorado?

Population: 5,829

Explore our luxury properties for sale in Belcaro, Denver, Colorado

Belcaro: Homes on the Market

Google Map Loading......