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Denver's Stedman Elementary School makes '50 Actions for 50 Places' list

Stedman Elementary School.jpg
Posted at 10:50 AM, Aug 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-10 12:50:31-04

DENVER – As students head back to the classroom, one Denver Public School is receiving help to preserve its historic building.

Stedman Elementary School recently made Historic Denver’s 50 Actions for 50 Places list. The list highlights places, spaces, and people that are significant to Denver’s history.

“We wanted to invite the community to tell us what spaces and places in the city were important to them and that they couldn’t imagine Denver without,” said Annie Levinsky, Executive Director of Historic Denver, Inc.

Stedman Elementary is one of the only schools on Historic Denver’s list.

Stedman was built in the 1920s and by the time the school turned 50 years old, it was a focus of the Civil Rights Movement and the push to integrate schools.

“It became part of a really important effort around school integration along with several other elementary schools in Northeast Denver, where a lot of parents, and especially parents of color were concerned about defacto segregation happening in our school system,” Levinsky said.

Levinsky said at one point a bomb was even thrown at the school to protest integration.

“Stedman was a really big part of that story and has really been a landmark in this part of Northeast Park Hill for many years with a strong diverse student population ever since,” Levinsky said.

Now, current students and teachers want to preserve their school's history.

“One thing you might not know is we are a small community school and we are responsible for maintaining this historic building,” Michael Atkins, Stedman Elementary School Principal said in a video addressed to Historic Denver in which he asks for the organization's help.

Atkins and the parent of a Stedman Elementary School student told Historic Denver the school needs its exterior walls cleaned, 1920s windows replaced with energy efficient windows, a new boiler system, and a new air conditioning unit.

Next, Historic Denver will sit down with Stedman Elementary School leaders and other leaders of places that made the list to create a strategic plan on how to save and maintain these places that mean so much to the city.