Originally a company town for Central City Steel, the settlement was referred to as Steelburg, a community plotted in a crescent around Woodland Park, a communal open-space. The original town was built to a rigid plan, the dream of Dale Fisk, Central City Steel’s idealist founder. Unfortunately, people don’t live according to plans or the ideals of others, and Steelburg couldn’t live up to its potential. When Central City Steel no longer wished to finance the upkeep of Steelburg, the land was sold to Central City, paving the way for annexation.
History ofWoodland Park
Central City Steel was founded on the southern edge of Midtown, and CC Steel developed Steelburg as a company town. Settlers developed the area south of Steelburg and built businesses catering to the families living in the company town.1852-1894: Competing Forms of Civilization—Government/Business/Industry
Like St. Patrick’s and Commerce City, Woodland Park fell on hard times during the second half of the twentieth century. Although the neighborhood north of Arapahoe remained a nice, well-groomed, middle-class area, the southern half of Woodland Park more closely resembled a working-class neighborhood that provided housing and distraction for day laborers.1950-1980: Counterculture
Woodland Park consisted of a pond and a field planted with trees and a walking path. The pavilion was built as a community house, and Herman the German, a statue in the northwest corner of the park, was commissioned by the growing German community, a particularly organized ethnic faction, as a celebration of their heritage, history, and ethnicity. During the World Wars, the pro-German identity of Herman became muted, and many forgot who Herman was.