How Does This Legacy Live On in St*pleton?
  • Neighborhood is exclusive to higher income levels
  • Racially homogeneous/white
  • What was supposed to be a community with seamless boundaries feels like a gated community (full of parks, good schools, amenities)
  • Lack of affordable housing and prices out moderate incomes
  • Stapleton name is legacy of KKK in Denver
  • Failure of the Stapleton development to live up to it’s goals to reflect the racial and other diversity of the surrounding communities and to provide affordable and rental housing 10% and 30% of total housing stock, respectively.

See Forest City Stapleton 2015 Marketing Plan, where they list their weaknesses.


[ Share Your Story ]

Michelle James

My grandfather was a barber and had his own shop in Canon City in the early 1920s. He was told by the KKK not to cut Catholics hair. He told them he didn’t ask a man his religion before he cut their hair. Consequently, the klan burned a cross in his front yard.

Rosalyn Y. Wheeler-Bell

It is with continued distress that the name of Stapleton is still being used to describe the vital community in Northeast Denver that sits on the site of the former International Airport.

I feel like the members of the community, specifically the Park Hill Community, were duped into believing that the name would be changed. In a March 2001 article written by Karen Saliman (then a member of the Stapleton Redevelopment Corporation Board of Directors) for the Greater Park Hill News, states, “Because Stapleton was an International Airport and a destination to many over the past 70 years, people may continue to refer to the property simply as a means of identifying its geographic location in the Denver metropolitan area, but Stapleton will no longer be the official name of the property.”

Having been a member of the Executive Committee of Greater Park Hill Community (GPHC) for over 10 years and Chair of the Board for two years, during the time that the plans were being presented to the surrounding communities, I sat through many board meetings where Stapleton and Forest City officials, most specifically Tom Gleason, promised that the name would not be retained.

I hope this letter serves as some historical backdrop to your quest to get the community’s name changed.

As reported in the September 2001 Greater Park Hill News, then Editor, Arthur Rosenblum quoted Ju Ju Nkrumah, a former protestor, as saying the continued use of the name is like “having the KKK flag waved in our face.”


Rosalyn Y. Wheeler-Bell
October 27, 2017

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