Lakewood City Council unanimously approved resolution 2021-52, authorizing the purchase of property 731 Tabor Street during its Dec. 13 meeting.
The property will be purchased from the Daniel Wilson Porter Living Trust, and will be known as Porter Park.
Kit Newland, Director of Community Resources, City of Lakewood, gave a presentation about the property before the vote took place. She said City staff had been working with the Porter family for pretty much the entirety of 2021 to make the acquisition happen.
The property was purchased by Daniel and Phyllis Porter in 1951 when their oldest daughter, Jo Anne Kiser, was just 5-years-old.
Kiser said Lakewood had raised her with its schools and parks, its libraries and landscape.
“I used to play for hours in the irrigation waters that ran into our field. There was the song of meadowlark and an abundance of butterflies to chase with my homemade net,” she said. “To the north and west, an Irish dairy farm (owned by) the Brown’s. And to the east, a Mennonite chicken farm — (owned by) the Deiners. Later, that (chicken farm) would become to my great delight, a horse stable run by an amazing family of Kentucky horse traders.”
Kiser said it warmed her heart that Lakewood was interested in preserving that history. She said her parents really believed in contributing and playing an active part in their community.
Two of Daniel and Phyllis Porter’s other daughters spoke during the meeting as well.
Amy Plummer, the Porters’ youngest daughter, said finding and moving to 731 Tabor allowed her parents to fulfill their American dream of raising fruits and vegetables, horses and of course, children.
“May you all come to love this land as we have,” she said. “And may you meet the challenge of designing a park that honors this special site including connecting to the many trails that lead to this property.”
Marian Samuelson, the Porters’ middle daughter, who attended the meeting via ZOOM said many years ago she’d read Jack Kerouac’s book, “On the Road, and that a particular passage reading “At night all the lights of Denver lay like a giant wheel on the plain below, for the house was in that part of the west where the mountains roll down the foothill into the plain.” stirred childhood memories of being able to look to the west and see Lookout Mountain, north and south Table Mountain and north along the front range to the Flatirons.
“We would often climb the hills where Simms Steakhouse is now, to pick wildflowers for the dinner table,” she said. “Looking to the east, downtown Denver was way off in the distance. It reminded me of Oz on the horizon.”
According to data in the resolution, the purchase price for the property is not expected to exceed $2,020,000 and the purchase of the water rights are not expected to exceed $15,000.
Money for the purchase will come from unallocated TABOR (Taxpayer Bill of Rights) Funds for parkland and open space acquisition.
Porter Park will be Lakewood’s 112th city park.