Detroit will rename Chene Park as Aretha Franklin Park

by

comment
Chene Park lit up in honor of Aretha Franklin during a Thursday tribute concert for the late songstress. - VIOLET IKONOMOVA
  • Violet Ikonomova
  • Chene Park lit up in honor of Aretha Franklin during a Thursday tribute concert for the late songstress.


Detroit will rename outdoor riverfront amphitheater Chene Park as Aretha Franklin Park, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan announced at Franklin's funeral Friday.



The renaming, to be passed by a Detroit City Council resolution on Tuesday, will wed Franklin's legacy with what Duggan called "one of her favorite places in the world."

“For generations to come, when performers from around the world come here they’ll be reminded that they are performing at the home of the Queen of Soul,” Duggan said.



Franklin last performed at Chene Park in August of 2015, in what was a rollicking show that marked the park's 30th anniversary. Last night, dozens of artists performed at the venue situated on the Detroit River east of downtown, for a free concert in Franklin's memory.

Duggan said the idea to name the park for the legendary songstress emerged in talks with her family.

"One of the themes that kept coming up was that Ms. Franklin loved the Detroit River, that she lived her last months at the riverfront ... and she seemed to draw ... power from the river itself," he said.

The council resolution will eventually be solidified by a city ordinance, City Council President Brenda Jones said at the funeral.

Built in 1985, Chene Park was the brainchild of former Detroit Mayor Coleman A. Young, who wanted a place where Detroiters could attend outdoor concerts. At the time, the primary alternative was Pine Knob — a long drive up I-75 in Oakland County.

Duggan says since then, Chene Park has stayed true to its original mission.

"Even with all those world class performers — half of our concerts are either free or low-cost tickets, so it's a place that belongs to all Detroiters."

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 letters@metrotimes.com.

Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.