Sullivan Gateway

Year Listed: 2012
County: Denver County
Construction Date: 1917
Threat When Listed: Deterioration, Vandalism

Located on the north side of Colfax Avenue near East High School, the Sullivan Gateway is an impressive and grand entry to the City Park Esplanade. Built in 1917, Sullivan Gateway was originally conceived by George Kessler in his 1906 plan for Denver city Parks. Strongly influenced by the City Beautiful Movement, Kessler was one the leading national figures in City Beautiful park design. Edward Bennett, a protégé of Daniel Burnham was the architect for the City Park Esplanade structures and his design is true to the classical themes and elements of the era.  The Gateway includes two 300 sweeping terra cotta walls punctuated by two, 40 foot tall freestanding sculptures atop Doric columns that represent early Colorado agricultural and mining endeavors. The sculptures were completed by noted New York artist, Leo Lintelli. A large central fountain is located in a semi-circular plaza and is accompanied by two smaller lion head fountains that are installed into each curved wall of the gateway. Sullivan Gateway was erected with funds donated by John Clarke Mitchell in honor of his friend and colleague Dennis Sullivan.

While grand in style, Sullivan Gateway is in seriously deteriorated condition. The terra cotta walls are broken (including the top cap) in multiple locations and will continue to deteriorate at an increasing rate due to the freeze thaw cycle. Plants are growing out the walls and vandalism, including graffiti, is rampant. Advocates for the site are concerned that the holes in the wall are being used as hiding spaces for illicit drug activity. Denver Parks has begun to secure funding to phase the restoration of the site.  The first phase of work started in 2016 and focused on repairing the terra cotta walls of the outer gates and lion-head fountains, which will soon operate for the first time in over 50 years.

Additional Links:

None at this time

Donate to CPI

We hope you will extend your appreciation for Colorado's past into an investment in its future by making a tax-deductible gift today.

Featured Project

4 Bar 4 Ranch

Homesteaded in 1895 by Dick McQueary to provide a stop for the Georgetown Stage Line, the 320-acre 4 Bar 4 Ranch has strong ties to Grand County and Colorado's heritage. The Georgetown Stage Line traveled on the road through the 4 Bar 4 Ranch from Idaho Springs to Hot Sulphur Springs over Berthoud Pass. In 1895 a roadhouse and stage stop were constructed on the ranch. The hotel and barn were constructed using trees from the Ranch property, and the hotel remained open for travelers coming over Berthoud Pass by horseback and wagon until 1913. With the coming of the automobile, the roadway over Berthoud Pass and through the 4 Bar 4 Ranch was considered an integral part of the Trans-Continental “Midland Trail” highway. Following the closing of the stage line, the ranch continued to host travelers until 1912 or 1913 when it was purchased and converted into a Ford Motor Company . Ford vehicles were sold here until 1917, when Harry Larkin purchased the ranch site. Today emergency efforts are underway to ensure it survives through the winter. Donations are in need. To learn more, contact Jennifer Orrigo Charles at

Join our Email List