Denver, CO

Board endorses Mount Evans name change, but moniker survives in Denver

David Heitz

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By David Heitz / NewsBreak Denver

(Denver, Colo.) While some work to strip the Evans name off a mountain, others plan to slap it on new buildings.

The mountain is named after Johnathan Evans, the second territorial governor of Colorado. He was forced to resign in disgrace after ordering the murder of Native Americans in 1864.

The Clear Creek County Commission voted Tuesday to recommend changing the name of Mount Evans to Mount Blue Sky.

Both Gov. Jared Polis and the Colorado Geographic Naming Advisory Board must approve the change before the U.S. Board on Geographic Names makes the final decision.

But while that's happening, apartment developments planned for Capitol Hill are scheduled to bear the Evans name. Construction on the planned Evans East and Evans West buildings at 1120 Acoma St. will begin soon, according to council member Chris Hinds.

Lennar Development, who is building the project, did not return an email seeking to clarify whether the name refers to the former governor or his daughter, Anne Evans, who championed Indigenous rights.

There is already an East Evans Apartments complex at 2375-2385 Evans Ave., the Denver road that bears the former governor's name. So far, nobody has suggested renaming that thoroughfare.

Finally, Denver's historic Evans School has been renovated and will come back to life as a mixed-use office/retail space and entertainment venue. The city approved plans for the building at 1150 Acoma last June. A website shows the space is leasing under the Evans School name.

Built in 1904 and named for the former governor, the school boasts the Classic Revival architectural style. It neighbors the site for the new Evans apartment buildings.

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I've been in the news business 35 years, spending much of my career in editing roles at local newspapers in Los Angeles, Detroit, and the Quad-Cities of Illinois and Iowa. Upon moving to Denver in 2018, I began experiencing severe mental illness due to several traumatic experiences. I became homeless on the street for about a year before spending time in the state mental hospital. I am living proof that people can rebound from mental illness with proper treatment, even after experiencing homelessness. I consider myself a lucky guy to live in a great place like Denver. I hope my writing reflects the passion I have for living here.

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