Longform

Dahlia Square could become a garden spot -- but right now, plans are sowing dissension in the neighborhood

Decades ago, Dahlia Square was celebrated as the nation's largest African-American-owned shopping center, a vibrant hub in northeast Park Hill, the poorer -- and definitely blacker -- counterpart to integrated, upscale Park Hill. But starting in the '70s, businesses kept closing their doors, quitting for good or moving to other communities. Plans to renew the site never got off the ground -- but now, after a $35 million assist from the city to clean up the property, there are new plans for Dahlia Square. The Mental Health Center of Denver wants to plant a new project there, one that will include substance-abuse services, counseling and classes, even a farm. But that plan is raising objections from longtime residents. Read all about Dahlia Square's growing pains in Kyle Harris's cover story, now posted on the Show and Tell blog.
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Kyle Harris has been Westword’s Culture Editor since 2016, writing about the arts, music and film.
Contact: Kyle Harris