It’s always been “Five Points” to residents and locals, but only in the last month did it officially become Five Points Historic Cultural District.
Five Point’s former legal name was Welton Street Commercial Corridor Cultural District, a name with a rough flow and even less cultural significance.
The last three years have been a battle for community members and activists lobbying for the name change, fearing the cultural significance and historical heritage of Five Points would be lost with such an ill-fitting name.
“It’s a change that symbolizes a lot to the people of this community,” said executive director of the Denver Community Planning and Development Department, Brad Buchanan. “A historic cultural district helps to tell the story of our city’s development, so it’s important that its name reflects the district’s true identity.”
New signs in Five Points reflect the name change, and the city intends to follow with the restoration and revitalization of numerous historic buildings, including the Rossonian Hotel, which once housed a jazz club that hosted Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, and Dinah Washington.
“Residents in my community have long awaited this name change,” Albus Brooks, city councilman for District 9, said. “Five Points is an iconic historic area that will now forever be preserved in the city of Denver.”
These changes are intended to expand on the historical significance of Five Points, which served as a converging point for Denver’s African American culture and businesses during segregation-era in the 1920s through 1960s.
“They all converged in the Five Points area because that was the only place that they could be, because of discrimination,” said Tracy Winchester, who leads the Five Points Business District. “It’s important that we preserve the culture of the area.”