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La Alma Lincoln Park becomes Denver’s 57th historic district

Denver City Council voted Monday to approve this landmark designation for the neighborhood.

DENVER — Denver City Council voted Monday night to approve the landmark designation of the La Alma Lincoln Park neighborhood as a historic cultural district.

Community members and residents, in partnership with Historic Denver and the city’s Community Planning and Development Landmark Preservation staff, worked together and made La Alma Lincoln Park Historic Cultural District the 57th historic district in Denver and the second historic cultural district.

City council voted in a public hearing at 5:30 p.m. on Monday.

One of Denver's oldest residential neighborhoods, the La Alma Lincoln Park neighborhood was at the heart of Denver's Chicano Movement in the 1960s and 1970s, according to Historic Denver.

Established near the railroad and Burnham Yards as a working-class immigrant community in the 1870s and 1880s, the architecture of the neighborhood reflects the early development of the area and illustrates the changes over time, said Denver's Community Planning and Development (CPD) department.

The move to give La Alma Lincoln Park the historical designation has been led by community members and residents, in partnership with Historic Denver and the city’s Community Planning and Development Landmark Preservation staff.

RELATED: Denver projects aim to protect city's Latino, Chicano history and culture

“Our family’s house was built in 1885 and my grandparents Helen and John Prieto purchased it in 1969,” said Desiree Maestas, who grew up in the neighborhood and whose mother is among the district applicants. “The district effort is so important to my family because we believe in our Chicano heritage and culture, and our Westside values – the cherished relationships and memories.”

“When my husband and I first moved to La Alma Lincoln Park, a friendly neighbor reminded us to always include 'La Alma' – which means 'the soul' – in the neighborhood’s name,” said Felix Herzog, a La Alma Lincoln Park resident who is one of the applicants for the historic district. “This is what we sought to protect – the soul of the community – by designating a few streets of small homes that embody a working class life, the cradle of Denver’s Chicano civil rights movement, and the generations who brought life into these homes.”

Denver's first historic cultural district was the Five Points Historic Cultural District which was established in 2002 as the Welton Street Corridor and renamed in 2015 to recognize the importance of Five Points within the Black community.

Learn more about the proposed La Alma Lincoln Park designation online.

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