More on District 8 History
The most well-known part of District 8 is Park Hill, one of Denver’s oldest neighborhoods. It all started back in the late 1800s when a Prussian by the name of Baron Allois Gullaume Engine von Winckler bought more than 30 acres of land in northeast Denver and claimed it as the Park Hill community. As time passed, the community grew into a neighborhood with people from many nations. As Park Hill grew more and more, it became more diverse in the following decades, and in the mid-1900s, it became even more diverse as postwar families demanded housing. This made a lot more housing for more residents to live in, mainly African Americans, which made the neighborhood as diverse as it is today. As District 8 itself got bigger, so did Park Hill, and now in the present day, it is taking up about half of District 8. There has been a bit of a decline recently in the African American community, but the neighborhood itself is still alive and kicking.
The neighborhood right next to Park Hill which is also in District 8 an is formally known as Stapleton. It was originally supposed to be an airport site named after one of Denver’s former mayors, Benjamin Franklin Stapleton. Recently however, it was recognized that in the late 1900s Mayor Stapleton was a high ranking Klu Klux Klan member, so today the city decided to re-designate the site and change the name. After many years of being under the shameful name, voting is happening right now for the name change.
Both neighborhoods and more in District 8 have their own unique landmarks with their own history behind them. One of these landmarks is Central Park, since after Stapleton airport was moved, the space turned into a public park area, and the only thing remaining of the airport is the airport tower, which has now been turned into a community space. Another fascinating landmark is the Pauline Robinson Denver Public Library Branch named after the first African- American librarian in Denver. It is located near the City of Axum Park, a park in honor of an ancient city thousands of years old which even has a miniature replica of one of the many towers of Axum.
By Xander S., Thomas Jefferson High School, Age 16, District 8