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One of Denver’s oldest residential neighborhoods and the site of extensive Chicano history, the La Alma Lincoln Park neighborhood, might become historically designated.

Last month, residents in partnership with Historic Denver submitted an application to Community Planning and Development, requesting that La Alma Lincoln Park be designated as the city’s 57th historic cultural district.

If designated, significant buildings and sites within La Alma Lincoln Park would be protected from development and destruction to preserve the neighborhood's cultural history.

"It will not only be the first to honor Denver's Chicano Movement, but also the first historic cultural district to preserve the buildings and the cultural heritage under the ordinance’s new cultural significance criteria," said Shannon Stage with Historic Denver.

In 2019, Denver updated its landmark preservation ordinance to allow landmark designations based on cultural significance. This qualifies La Alma Lincoln Park as it was home to many important events and leaders connected to the Chicano Movement.

La Alma Lincoln Park was established as a working-class immigrant community in the 1870s and 1880s, near the railroad and Burnham Yards. The current neighborhood architecture reflects the early development of the area.

From the 1960s to the 1980s, the neighborhood housed much of Denver’s Chicano community and was the meeting place for community gatherings and equal rights advocacy.

"My roots are here, and I feel a strong connection to this place,” said Cathy Prieto, a La Alma Lincoln Park resident, Chicano activist and one of the historic district applicants.

“These homes help root my culture and my people to this place and losing them is so sad. Designating this neighborhood as a historic cultural district will help save these homes and our heritage from being wiped away.”

The city will host two virtual community meetings for residents to learn about the proposed historic designation of La Alma Lincoln Park and what it means to be a historic district. 

The meetings will be held via Zoom on April 28 at 6 p.m. and May 15 at 11 a.m. Residents can find instructions on how to join the meetings at denvergov.org. The meetings will include Spanish interpretation and a Q-and-A session.

More information about La Alma Lincoln Park and the designation process is available at denvergov.org.

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