A Makeover for Five Points

  • Tuesday, February 22, 2011
  • 11:45 AM - 1:30 PM
  • Brown Palace Hotel 321 17th St - Log in for member pricing

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Wil Alston, Executive Director, Five Points Business District

In mid 2010, Governor Ritter signed an Executive Order naming Five Points as one of four pilot communities of a newly created Sustainable Main Streets Initiative. That rollout is well underway.

A recent Denver Post article points out that the history of Five Points is long and storied. In the 1870s, Five Points was one of Denver’s most fashionable neighborhoods. But as the elite moved to Capitol Hill, Eastern European immigrants, African Americans and Latinos moved to Five Points in great number. The community and its businesses thrived. In fact, in the 1920s and 1930s, Five Points became known as the “Harlem of the West.” Jazz greats such as Duke Ellington and Billie Holliday performed in its many bars and restaurants.

Beginning in the 1960s, Five Points suffered the same demise as many American cities as many moved to the suburbs. Although Five Points experienced a 49% population growth in the period 2000-2006, business has languished.

Against some initially substantial opposition from residents and business owners, the Five Points Welton Street Marketplace Revitalization is well underway. The Plan attempts to remain true to the neighborhood’s African American and jazz culture and heritage. Wil Alston is the point person for this effort. Join us to hear details of the plan and progress to date.

About Wil Alston

Wil is currently the executive director of the Five Points Business District, an economic and cultural development organization dedicated to revitalizing Denver’s historic Welton Street Corridor in Five Points. In that position, Wil is responsible for the overall development and implementation of the strategies to revitalize Colorado’s only African American and jazz “village square.”

Prior to taking on his current role in November 2009, Wil served as a key member of Gov. Bill Ritter’s administration as his deputy communications director. In that role, he was responsible for helping to craft and deliver the administration’s many messages and was responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Press Office.

Wil has more than 25 years of work experience in state and federal government, higher education, the non-profit sector, and as an entrepreneur. Wil is a resident of Park Hill in Denver where he resides with his wife, Roz.


Fresh Vegetable Presentation
with Ranch Dressing
Herb Crusted Chicken
Caramelized Shallot & Marsala Sauce
Roasted Potatoes

Penne Pasta with Roasted Vegetables and Sauce

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