Driving through the Arapahoe Acres neighborhood in south Denver (actually, north Englewood) is like hopping into Back to the Future‘s Delorean time machine and visiting 1952. The Frank Lloyd Wright-influenced homes have persisted, so much so that 5280 tabbed part of the neighborhood as one of Denver’s best blocks in last year’s real estate guide. Arapahoe Acres’ modernist southern-California-meets-Art-Deco approach, with its flat butterfly roofs, low-rise construction, and sleek window treatments (as pictured) is a treasure from a simpler and, arguably, more stylish time.

So it’s a little discouraging to read that certain residents of Arapahoe Acres don’t seem to have much regard for maintaining one of the city’s most unique neighborhoods, as evidenced by a few of the recent redesigns and updates a handful of the homes have undergone.

One benefit of owning a home, of course, is that you’re allowed to do almost anything to your property that you like, as long as it doesn’t infringe upon your neighbors. Still, much like public art, keeping historic neighborhoods true to their original vision is what gives a city its soul. Here’s hoping that Arapahoe Acres can keep serving the modern needs of its residents without sacrificing its rightful place in the pantheon of Western historic architecture.

To see which neighborhoods Denverites should be excited about this year, watch for our May real estate issue, on newsstands and online at 5280.com in late April.