|While the name "Five
Points" is often applied to the greater neighborhood to the northeast of Downtown,
Five Points is also widely known as the busy retail, restaurant and services corridor on
Welton Street. Since Five Points' founding in the 1860s as one of Denver's first
residential suburbs, this area around Welton Street has evolved into a vibrant mixed-use
district that today offers a direct link to Downtown Denver via RTD's light rail line.
The Five Points area got its name early this
century from the city's tramway company, who used the nickname because their street car
signs were not big enough to list all of the street names at this end-of-the-line stop.
RTD's light rail line connects Five Points with Downtown via Welton Street, which bustles
with 75 businesses, including restaurants, cafes, boutique shops, barber shops, salons and
other retailers. A bank, radio station and bottled water distributor also have Welton
Street addresses. Welton Street is the only predominantly African-American owned
commercial strip in the country.
This commercial district was a requisite
stop for the world's premier African-American jazz musicians--including Charlie Parker,
Duke Ellington and Lionel Hampton, and countless others--who stopped in Denver on their
way between midwest and west coast tours to play in Five Points clubs and performance
halls. Many of them stayed at the historic Rossonian Hotel, which still stands today.
Five Points features many cultural
amenities, including the Black American West Museum, the brand new Blair-Caldwell
African American Research Library, Brother Jeffs Cultural Center & Café,
Roundtree Art Center and the nationally-recognized Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble
studios. Five Points' Juneteenth celebration--an annual parade and festival commemorating
the day in 1865 when African-Americans in Texas first heard word of the Emancipation
Proclamation--is one of the biggest such festivals in America, attracting upwards of
120,000 people over four days each year.
New housing developments are popping up
in Five Points, including Downing Street Station at 29th & Downing and The Point at
26th & Washington. Both have great connections to Downtown Denver via light
General Boundaries: Park
Avenue, Downing Street, Stout Street, Tremont Place. Note: The boundaries between the
Curtis Park, Five Points and Ballpark neighborhoods overlap. Census tract authorities
apply the name "Five Points" to all three areas, while other authorities call
the entire area "Curtis Park."
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