Detroit’s Chene Park on the Detroit River is no more.
Detroit’s City Council unanimously approved a resolution on Tuesday that will rename Chene Park in honor of the late Aretha Franklin. Chene Park will now become Aretha Louise Franklin Amphitheater. What an amazing tribute.
Detroit mayor Mike Duggan announced his intention to make the change at Aretha’s funeral last Friday.
Chene was originally named for a French slave owner Charles Chene, who lived from 1732-1805. He was the original owner of the land. The change is long overdue, and incredible honor.
Chene Park started out as a small stage where people sat on blankets along the river. Now it’s a thriving entertainment center with a beautiful setting. It’s also not far from the luxury apartment complex where Aretha died on August 16th.
“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.”
The park was the site of a monumental free concert last Thursday night in memory of Aretha that featured Jean Carne, Sarah Dash, a brilliant dance number from Aretha’s famed choreographer friend George Faison, Regina Belle, the Four Tops and others.