Detroit's Chene Park is now Aretha Louise Franklin Amphitheater


Dozens of acts performed as part of a free tribute concert to Aretha Franklin at Detroit's Chene Park, which has now been renamed in honor of the singer. - VIOLET IKONOMOVA
  • Violet Ikonomova
  • Dozens of acts performed as part of a free tribute concert to Aretha Franklin at Detroit's Chene Park, which has now been renamed in honor of the singer.

Detroit's City Council unanimously approved a resolution on Tuesday that will rename Chene Park in honor of the late Aretha Franklin.

According to the resolution, which was first announced by Mayor Mike Duggan last week and approved Tuesday morning 8-0, the venue will be renamed Aretha Louise Franklin Amphitheater. Council President Brenda Jones will now submit a formal ordinance to make it law.

"Aretha Louise Franklin was a life-long Detroiter, internationally beloved and acclaimed musician, and inspiration to multiple generations of music-lovers," the resolution reads. "Her well-known support and activism towards advancing civil rights and women's rights is a legacy that mirrors the ideals of the City of Detroit and its residents."

As Michigan Chronicle points out, Chene Park was named after Charles Chene, a French immigrant who owned land along the Detroit River. He was also a slaveowner. In keeping with a larger national trend of renaming slave-era monuments, it is only fitting that Detroit will rename Chene Park after a woman who became a civil rights icon. (Now, if only someone could do something about Cobo Center...)

It's the second landmark in Detroit to be renamed after the "Queen of Soul." In 2017, Franklin gave her final Detroit performance as part of Detroit Music Weekend, where a stretch of Madison Avenue outside of Detroit's Music Hall was renamed "Aretha Franklin Way."

Franklin last performed at Chene Park in August 2015 for the park's 30th anniversary. Last week, the venue was host of a free full-house tribute concert for the singer.

We interviewed Chene Park head honcho Shahida Mausi this year. You can read more about Mausi's family affair here.

Stay on top of Detroit news and views. Sign up for our weekly issue newsletter delivered each Wednesday.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.