Yesterday I left you bewildered between Wyandot and Zuni on 29th Avenue, pondering the pineapple decorations at Joie de Vivre in Denver’s Lower Highlands neighborhood. Let’s continue on.

I cut around the corner at Zuni and realized the area looked familiar. Two years ago I participated in a walking tour of the Highlands neighborhood with Phil Goodstein, a local historian and author. On my left between 29th Avenue and Dunkeld stood Emerson Street School, which I assumed was an elementary school. On my right, Ashland Recreation Center. Remember that crazy intersection I talked about yesterday, where 15th meets 29th and there may or may not be a vortex? Well, it’s just 4 or 5 blocks from a rec center.

According to the Denver Recreation Center Task Force report of April 2009, Ashland is designated as a neighborhood center and also as a local center (1 step up) because of its indoor pool. In the winter it offers swimming classes, basketball, volleyball, football, and oil painting, among other things.

Ashland is not open on Sundays (I wonder if that’s a budget-cutting measure?), so I was left to photograph the entrance, which impressed me. Here is the right-hand building of the rec center complex.

Obviously, swimming is important to the people who designed this entrance. I moved the camera to my left to get the main entranceand kept going to find the male swimmer backlit against the afternoon sky.And now I’ve come full circle, back to her.I crossed West Dunkeld Place to inspect this mural painted on the fence that bordered the elementary school. I saturated the colors a bit, but what you see is pretty true to the section closest to Zuni.

Here’s another section of the mural. I’m doing a liquid diet today, so Loncheria La Mexicana (in the center-bottom) sounds pretty good.

I walked around to 29th Avenue and discovered the school is called José Valdez Elementary School. As of this year, it’s an early childhood education (ECE) 7 school, teaching children from preschoolers (Montessori, ages 3 to 5) to seventh graders. According to the Principal’s Message on the website, however, in 2010-2011, Jose Valdez will become an ECE5 school until it figures out how to better serve middle school students. Its main goal is to graduate students who are fluent in English and Spanish and comfortable in a multicultural setting. Here’s a final section of the mural.

Emerson Street School nearby is very small, with about 40 students and 10 teachers; it educates students who have been expelled or are on parole.

North High School is located northwest of José Valdez. Does it strike anyone else as funny that North High School (located at 29th and Speer) is west of West High School (located on Speer between 9th and 11th)?

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  1. […] spending so much time yesterday on the educational complex along 29th, I’m still not done. I returned to Zuni and walked past the Residence Inn Marriott to Speer. […]