From the beginning, this land was envisioned as a community of homes and a place where people thrive.
Henry T. Mayham purchased 640 acres of land on Crown Point and convinced the Denver Presbytery that the Westminster University should be built on this land.
The University platted the first 4,992 lots.
1882 - 1907
College under construction and Westminster University opens in 1907.
The new University President focused on raising money for the college through real estate development by offering free tuition with the purchase of a plot of land. They sold up to 60 lots a week which pulled the college from the brink of financial ruin.
Originally known as Harris, the city changed its name to Westminster in honor of the university. The University received approval for a second plat filing for an additional 768 lots in Adams County.
Less than 10 years after it opens, Westminster University closes its doors due to the demands of WWI. Once closed, the vacant building and surrounding acres were then leased to a farmer.
The original owners, the Presbyterian Synod, happily sold the property, the college building, a power plant, a student dormitory and the president’s house to the Pillar of Fire in 1920. Pillar of Fire reopened Westminster University that same year.
By 1926, the school was accredited as Belleview Schools. Belleview Christian Schools still reside on the Westminster University campus.
1950s - 1970s
A twenty-year housing boom led to development of a majority of the land surrounding the Pillar of Fire property. This included Shaw Heights, which was originally the Lucky Day Ranch and eventually grew to 1,200 homes.
2007 - 2008
A previous land developer participated in the City of Westminster’s growth management request for proposal and received service commitments for the project, equivalent to 2,406 residential units. The development of the land did not move forward.
2010 - PRESENT
Both renters and owners lost purchasing power in Westminster – sales prices and rental costs increased faster than owner and renter incomes.
The Comprehensive Plan came into place and changed the land use of the largest parcel to Traditional Mixed-Use Neighborhood Development.
During the 1990s, Westminster experienced strong in-migration of Baby Boomers, driving the single-family home, luxury market. These residents are now or soon-to-be seniors. In the near future, the relatively high proportion of seniors in Westminster will increase demand for home health care services, accessibility modifications and public transportation. Since 2010, the influx of Millennials has driven the regional rental market. Future housing demand in Westminster will be heavily influenced by the housing choices of Millennials and job growth. Accommodating a variety of housing choices and price points—and replicating the walkable, amenity-rich environments that are desired by Millennials—will be important for Westminster’s success in attracting new residents, workers and employers.
The City of Westminster recognized its growing housing crisis and sponsored a Housing Needs Assessment study. The study concluded that the City of Westminster should increase diversity of housing for purchase and rental. From this the Westminster Forward Comprehensive Plan was created.
2019 - 2021
The Uplands vision as a sustainable mixed-use community continues to take shape with input from our neighbors. Pending a successful entitlement process that includes ongoing community outreach and approvals from the City, infrastructure for phase one is scheduled to begin in 2020. As new parks and a variety of inspired new attainable mid-sized homes come online in 2021 an exciting new chapter will begin, fulfilling the original landholder’s intension. With an evolved model that meets the needs of Westminster while also reducing environmental impact.
Visit the Westminster Historical Society and the City of Westminster to learn more about the history of Westminster and this property.


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