Perry House, 4199 West 76th Avenue, (Click for Map)
The Perry House was built in 1928 and represents a bungalow form found in Westminster in the 1920s. Willard and Atta Perry built the Perry House in 1927-28. They and their son George and his wife occupied it until 1959. This house is an example of the small-farm development pattern established in 1890 by C. J. Harris. This development pattern influenced the future growth and development of Westminster.
This property was part of the land which was purchased by real estate developer C. J. Harris and his wife, Florence Harris. The town was called Harris from about 1890 to 1911 because of his involvement and the 1890 town plat was titled, “Harris Park.” (The town’s name was later changed in 1911 to Westminster after the university to the north.) The Harris Park plat extended from Wyoming Street on the south (today West 72nd Avenue) to Cornell (West 80th Avenue) on the north, and from College Avenue (Lowell Boulevard) on the east to Chestnut (Raleigh Street) on the west.
The original plat of Harris Park shows the intent of C. J. Harris to sell lots as small farms. Instead of typical 25-foot, 50-foot, or 60-foot-wide lots, most blocks were divided into four large lots suitable for small farms. The large lots in Harris Park allowed their owners to plant a garden, have a milk cow, and raise chickens.
His plat for Harris Park, however, helped shape the type of growth in Westminster for several decades. The platting of the town, featuring large lots geared towards small farming operations,
encouraged development to spread across the city between the village “downtown” and Westminster University to the northeast. Thus, there are a relatively small number of pre-World
War II homes in Westminster. The majority are simple residential buildings, which were
perfectly suited for small farming operations. These residences are scattered across a several block area between 72nd Avenue and the former Westminster University campus at 84th Avenue, instead of being centrally located around a town center, as one might typically expect in a small rural community.
New residential subdivisions were added at a rapid rate during the 1950s and 1960s, and the existing neighborhoods of Harris Park and around the former University were filled in with new construction in the postwar period. Former lots of five acres were subdivided with the lots sold off for new construction. Thus these neighborhoods, unlike most of the remainder of Westminster, exhibit a variety of housing styles and construction dates that reflect slow growth and infill over nearly a century of development.
Learn more about the Harris Park Subdivision and the original development of historic Westminster.