Prior to 1950, the present day neighborhood of Harvey Park South remained a primarily undeveloped portion of Arapahoe County. Only the presence of Loretto Heights College hinted at the development soon to take place. Between 1950 and 1960, all but a small section in the southeast corner of the neighborhood was annexed to Denver. Subsequent annexations between 1965 and 1973 completed the neighborhood land area. Loretto Heights Academy, which gained its name from the Order of Catholic Sisters that founded the institution, opened in 1891, six miles south of the city on a 40-acre site. Until 1940, the academy served as a Catholic school for girls, offering courses through high school. In 1940, Loretto Heights became the only four-year women’s college in the region, and the site expanded to include 160 acres. In 1968, the college became a private, non-denominational, liberal arts institution.
Residential development in Harvey Park South began in the early 1950s, immediately north of the college. This area, platted as Sharon Park, developed with low-density, single-family homes of primarily frame construction. The low-density character of the neighborhood continued in the mid-50s, and Harvey Park was subdivided to the west of the college. This new section of Harvey Park bore little resemblance to Sharon Park: curved streets replaced the traditional grid pattern; homes built were generally larger and made of brick; lots were larger; and a community shopping center was provided at the neighborhood edge.
By 1960 the neighborhood seemed mostly built-out, yet numerous parcels, both large and small, remained vacant. Today, high-density apartments have been built on some of those parcels. Others, totaling about 100 acres, remain undeveloped.