Denver Justice Center naming contest slams shut Dec. 10

While the “Bastille on Elati Street” may not have the right je nais se quoi, the city is seeking citizen recommendations to name the new $378 million Denver Justice Center slated to be completed this time next year.

Denver District 10 Councilwoman Jeanne Robb reminded would-be detention center and courthouse complex dedicators that time is a-wasting in her December newsletter to constituents:

The City’s Office of Human Rights and Community Relations will collect proposals through Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2008, and submit them to the Justice Center Citizen Naming Task Force assembled by the Mayor’s Office and of which I am a member. The Task Force will hold its first meeting the first week of December to review the project and select a chairperson. The Mayor will then meet with the task force the week of Dec. 15 to finalize nominees, which will be presented to City Council the last week of December.

Per City ordinance, public buildings can be named only for “outstanding persons who have been influential in the cultural, political, economical or social life of the community or in recognition of an individual or corporation which has contributed substantial funding for the construction of the public buildings or major component of public buildings.” Anyone can submit a naming suggestion if they provide at least 100 signatures supporting the suggestion and a reason why the building should be named after the suggested individual.

For the creatively challenged, the city hosts a Web site on local history, including 16 of Denver’s most famous characters, for added inspiration.

Naming petition forms and instructions can be obtained from Anthony Aragon at the Agency for Human Rights and Community Relations, 201 W. Colfax Ave., Department 1102, Denver, CO 80202 or phone 720-913-8462.