June 1 Soiree To Mark 50 Years For GPHC, Inc.
By Colette Carey
GPHC, Inc. Board Member
A half-century ago, what ultimately became the Greater Park Hill Community, Inc. neighborhood organization formed to advocate for neighbors, promote diversity and inclusivity and be a general force for good.
On Saturday, June 1, GPHC, Inc. is throwing an enormous block party, to celebrate the milestone. Neighbors from across Park Hill and beyond are invited to the free celebration, for food, drinks, history, and fun. The party will run from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Technically, GPHC, Inc. began its existence as the Park Hill Action Committee in 1956. In that era, Park Hill was the first neighborhood in Denver — and was a model for the nation — to resist the blockbusting that occurred when black families started moving into neighborhoods that had been previously been inhabited mostly by white families. Rather than go along with what is also called “white flight,” many Park Hill residents joined together to integrate the neighborhood.
On Sept. 29, 1969, PHAC merged with the Northeast Park Hill Civic Association, which had been working on behalf of residents located north of what is now Martin Luther King, Jr., Boulevard. Former Park Hill resident and Colorado Gov. Roy Romer suggested the name Greater Park Hill Community, Inc. It stuck.
Over the course of the last 50 years, GPHC, Inc. has influenced the course of major Denver milestones, including closing the former Stapleton Airport and removing it from the city’s urban core, and the desegregation of Denver Public Schools. The Registered Neighborhood Organization provides advocacy, works to preserve the quality of life in Park Hill, and provides assistance to thousands of families, particularly through its Emergency Food Pantry.
“This block party will be a fun way for us to share our longevity and vitality with our neighbors,” said GPHC Board Chair Tracey MacDermott. “We hope everyone comes out to enjoy some fun and to learn more about our organization, catch up with old friends, and meet new neighbors.”
The June 1 event will include food trucks, drinks, activities for kids, a silent auction, and a special historical showcase including a video celebrating some of Park Hill’s longtime residents.
Everyone is welcome.
GPHN Editor Cara DeGette contributed to this report. For more on Park Hill’s history, check out greaterparkhill.org/about-us/history/