Denver, CO

Denver adds ‘Junior’ to ‘Martin Luther King’

David Heitz
Martin Luther King Jr. Park in Denver.Photo byDavid Heitz

By David Heitz / NewsBreak Denver

(Denver, Colo.) “Junior” has been added to Martin Luther King Boulevard in Denver.

The City Council gave final approval to the change Monday. The “Junior” had been inadvertantly left off the roadway’s name several years ago, according to city officials. Although the “Junior” had been marked on the sign, it was omitted from official records.

From North Downing Street to Syracuse Street, Martin Luther King Boulevard has been renamed East Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

The city also inadvertently left the “Junior” off the Martin Luther King Park sign. “The new sign was ordered, and we expect the fabrication and installation to be completed in 3-4 weeks,” Parks Department Spokesperson Yolanda Quesada said Monday in an email to NewsBreak.

How the error was made

The Denver City Council in 1980 changed 32nd Avenue between Downing Street and Syracuse Street to Martin Luther King Boulevard. Somehow, the tribute omitted the Jr.

According to Denverite, the bill had three sponsors. “Elvin Caldwell was the first African American to be elected to a City Council west of the Mississippi River, in 1955,” the website reported. “He served for 28 years, and in his seven terms, he was president of Council through five of them, including during the name change. William Roberts, whom the Denver Post described as the ‘father of the Denver International Airport,’ backed the new name. And so did Cathy Donohue, who was the second woman to be elected to Council.”

Martin Luther King Jr. Park boasts a walking path, ball fields, playground, recreation center and more. A NewsBreak reporter wrote about the park last year.

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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.

Denver, CO

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