City seeks input to honor first black mayor, Leon Young

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - The Colorado Springs Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Department is looking for input from the community to help honor the city’s first black mayor, Leon Young.

The city is working on plans to revitalize a pavilion named after Young in the Hillside neighborhood. The Leon Young Pavilion sits on the corner of Fountain Boulevard and Corona Street. It’s decades old and has fallen into disrepair.

“I think the biggest push for it would be either rebuild or just kind of fix it back up because it’s a lovely space,” Faith Stone previously told 11 News. “It’s, like, beautiful, and I think just for it to be taken care of more.”

After numerous meetings between the community and the city, city analysts came up with an action plan the Hillside neighborhood felt comfortable moving forward with.

“There’s going to be removal of some of the degraded timbers around the site. We’re going to try to keep elements of it intact,” said Tilah Lawson, a city analyst leading the project. “We’re going to make it ADA accessible with new pathways, improve lighting to the space, and improve vegetation around the area; just opening it up so it is a welcoming space for the community overall.”

Lawson said the city listened to all of the community’s input, and a prominent idea they heard was to include a memorial for Young in the space.

“There should be a plaque memorializing one of our past mayors,” Laura Moy previously told 11 News.

Lawson said the community has also told the city they would like to see a piece of artwork memorialize Young.

In order to take all ideas into consideration and come up with a memorial the whole community can enjoy, the city is holding a meeting Tuesday to hear input. The meeting will be held at 5:30 p.m. at the Hillside Community Center, 925 South Institute.

“We really want broad feedback from the community to think about what Leon Young represented for our city and really have that represented in this space,” Lawson said.

Construction on the pavilion is scheduled to start this summer and should be finished before winter. The city received a Community Development Block Grant and a grant from The Colorado Trust totaling $187,500 to pay for the repairs.