Sloan's Lake is located on the western edge of Denver's city limits, adjacent to the suburbs of Lakewood, Edgewater and Wheat Ridge. The approximate boundaries are Sheridan Boulevard to the west, 17th Avenue to the south, Raleigh St. to the east, and 26th Avenue to the north. There are no tributary rivers to the lake. St. Anthony Central Hospital used to be southeast of this area, between 17th Avenue and Colfax Avenue in a neighborhood known as West Colfax, before it was moved farther west to Lakewood. Currently, the building is being torn down.
Colfax Avenue would become the major east-west thoroughfare in this part of the city. However, according to gold rush era stagecoach driver Bill Turner, the lake appeared sometime between when he left for Kansas in June 1861 and when he returned in early 1863. It is possible that Sloan occupied the land prior to patenting it. The lake once exceeded 200 acres (0.81 km2) and extended north and west beyond its current size, but portions were filled north of 25th Avenue and west of Sheridan Boulevard. The area surrounding the lake was once home to an amusement park and swimming facility known as Manhattan Beach. Opened to the public 27 June 1881, it was the first amusement park to be built west of the Mississippi River (it burnt down in 1908 and was rebuilt as Luna Park later that year); mishaps and competition from other such attractions in the vicinity (Elitch Gardens and Lakeside Amusement Park) led to its closure in 1914. Cooper Lake, a separate body of water just southeast of Sloan's Lake, fell under the jurisdiction of the federal Works Projects Administration in the 1930s, and a plan was developed which involved building channels beneath the surface of the water on both lakes. This essentially created one body of water that has commonly become known as Sloan's Lake. The size of the present-day combined Sloan's Lake and Cooper Lake is 177 acres (0.72 km2).
At 177 acres (0.72 km2), Sloan's Lake Park is the second largest park in Denver (after City Park). Typical activities at Sloan's Lake include hiking, jogging and bicycling on the trails and sidewalks that surround the lake, and fishing and boating on the lake itself. There are basketball and tennis courts located in the park. An annual event known as the Dragon Boat Festival attracts thousands of visitors each summer, celebrating Asian American culture and civilization.
The population of the neighborhood is approximately 8,500 residents. According to the 2000 census, the average household income is $48,300, somewhat less than the Denver city average. The neighborhood has a wide range of incomes, with about twelve percent of the population under the poverty line and 16.5 percent of the population making more than 200 percent above the Denver average. The housing stock in Sloan's Lake is likewise diverse with a wide range of housing and styles including 1920s bungalows to new, post-modern architecture. More than 55 percent of Sloan's Lake residents own their home, an above average figure for Denver. The average home sale price in Sloan's Lake is $259,000, nearly $20,000 less than Denver's average.
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