So long Stapleton, hello Central Park: Denver City Council cements neighborhood name change

The Denver City Council finally cast Stapleton into the dustbin of history on Monday, rebranding the northeast neighborhood area as Central Park as a means of distancing it from a former mayor who was a Ku Klux Klan member.

In August, neighborhood residents voted in favor of the name change, settling on Central Park amid a summer of protests over police brutality and racial inequality in Denver and across the U.S. Many city officials and community members began using the new name immediately and much of the city’s website already reflects the change, but the council’s unanimous vote will mean updating other city documents and long-term plans with the neighborhood’s new moniker.

It’s a victory for people who for years tried unsuccessfully to change the neighborhood’s name, which had recognized former Denver mayor Benjamin Stapleton, a klansman who held office more than 100 years ago during the height of the KKK’s power and influence.

Neighborhood residents settled on Central Park — an homage to the green spaces running through town — after multiple rounds of voting last summer. It beat out “Skyview,” with 63% of the more than 5,800 votes cast.

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