And the next time we see a discussion about La Alma Lincoln Park, it will be on August 2 before the Denver City Council. If this is not a slam dunk, I just cannot imagine it will not move forward.
Last Wednesday, the Denver Planning Board members had some questions, with the quorum of five, and conducting a public hearing, and voting. It sailed through, though there were questions as expected. And yesterday, on Tuesday, the Land Use and Transportation Infrastructure committee – i.e., LUTI – there also were some questions, but the committee members voted on it to move it to the Denver City Council.
The questions in either setting were not unusual about guidelines and flexibility and boundaries and alterations and engagement regarding La Alma Lincoln Park. And those who signed the designation application and others in the neighborhood who sent flyers around, though some people didn’t get them for some reason.
But now, it’s time to really think about La Alma Lincoln Park. First, La Alma in Spanish is The Soul, as some members had mentioned in various meetings. Oh, Denver, just think about this, since many of our neighbors have been pushed out because of money and the homes that are gone. Creating a cultural district offers flexibility and tax credits to help owners keep these homes in good shape. This cultural district spans the years from 1873 to 1980, which is amazing.
Yes, there have been changes in La Alma Lincoln Park, and some homes have been lost, but what seems even more important is the history that was made in the 1870s through the 1960s and the 1970s. Hard-working people living in La Alma Lincoln Park sparked the Chicano movement, which made true history in Denver (and beyond). Since so much of Denver’s history has gone “poof,” it’s time to make sure we have some history.
And as before, I will bring out the paragraph in the application that sums it up for me:
“Starting in the late 1870s through the 1920s, the neighborhood’s residents, many who were immigrants, were employed by the nearby industries, such as the railroads (Denver & Rio Grande/Burnham Yards) and flour mills (Mullen and Davis Four Mill), which were within walking distance. Employed by these local industries, German, Irish, Italian, Jewish, and Mexican residents settled in the neighborhood. A tightknit community developed, along with a strong sense of belonging to the Westside among those who lived or grew up in the area. By the mid-twentieth century, due to new waves of in-migration, La Alma Lincoln Park had a large population of Latinos, Hispanos, and Mexican American residents and homeowners, including many who became influential Chicano Movement leaders.”
Below are links from Denverite, BusinessDen, and Colorado Politics; also, there are links to the application designation, and videos from the Planning Board and from the LUTI committee.