New Branch Library in West Denver to be Named After Rodolfo “Corky” Gonzales
On Thursday, June 20, the Denver Public Library Commission approved a motion to name the new branch library in West Denver after Rodolfo “Corky” Gonzales.
Library Commission President Kevin O’Connor stated that Gonzales is deserving of having this honor because of his literary contributions with his epic poem "I am Joaquin." We only have one other branch library named after a Denver author — the Eugene Field Branch. Libraries provide opportunities for people to engage in reading, and reading changes lives. To this day, Gonzales’ poem still changes lives."
Rodolfo “Corky” Gonzales was a Denver-native and nationally-recognized leader in the civil rights movement who advocated for the education, economic and political equality of the Latino Community in Denver. He is best known for his epic poem, “I am Joaquin” and for establishing the urban civil rights and cultural movement called The Crusade for Justice in 1966. He also helped organize the first three Chicano Youth Liberation Conferences in Denver in 1969 – 1971, and founded the Escuela Tlatelolco, a school which provides an alternative education for young Latinos focused on academic proficiency and instilling cultural pride and developing leadership among Latino youth.
Champion of civil rights and education, Gonzales’ personal papers, photographs and tapes of his speeches are currently archived at the Denver Public Library. Rodolfo “Corky” Gonzales passed away in April 2005.
More information on the naming of the Rodolfo “Corky” Gonzales Branch Library.
The new Branch Library in West Denver project has encountered some foundation-related issues that may impact the building’s foundation design. Options are currently being explored, and may require some level of re-design to address the conditions. The current assessment is that the projected library opening will be fall 2014. It is important to ensure that this new City facility, which will be an anchor and marquee project for West Colfax, is properly designed for the site conditions and for the long-term benefit of the City and Library customers. We will update this page as the project progresses.
Groundbreaking Ceremony August 24
The ceremonial groundbreaking for the new Branch Library in West Denver took place on Friday, August 24, 2012 at 9:30 a.m. with Mayor Michael B. Hancock, Councilwoman Susan Shepard, and Councilman Paul Lopez. The event was held at the Library's future location on the southeast corner of West Colfax and Irving Street.
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Community Meeting Summaries
Site Selection Process Meeting
Find out about the site selection process for the new Library. A community meeting was held on June 10, 2010 to update the community on potential sites for the new West Denver Branch Library location. The presentation materials are available in PDF format.
Community Meeting 1
On Wednesday, March 23, 2011, the Denver Public Library sought community input as we prepare for the future opening of the new branch library in West Denver. Participants were there to help us shape the new building. We listened to their thoughts and gathered information critical to the design of the building. We wanted to know how the facility can celebrate the community, what types of activities/programs you want the building to support and what your hopes are for the new branch library.
Participants were introduced to current library trends, the goals for the project, and an overview of the site, the project, and development team.
This was the first in a series of meetings about the new branch library to be held over the next three to four months, with each meeting focusing on a different aspect of the visioning and design process. The new West Denver Branch Library, to be built at the southeast corner of West Colfax and Irving Street, is being funded through the voter-approved Better Denver Bond Program.
Community Meeting 2
Held on Tuesday, May 17, 2011.
Community Meeting 3
Held on Tuesday, July 19, 2011.
Better Denver Bond Program
Find out more about the Better Denver bond project improvements at the Library.
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