Brow Beat

Chene Park Will Be Renamed for Aretha Franklin, Detroit Mayor Announces at Funeral

Mike Duggan stands on a pulpit with the words "One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism" on it.
Mayor Mike Duggan speaks at the funeral for Aretha Franklin. Scott Olson/Getty Images

At Aretha Franklin’s funeral on Friday, Detroit mayor Mike Duggan announced that he will submit a motion next week to rename Chene Park after the singer. Duggan said his proposal already has the support of the city council and that the spot, which faces the Detroit River, will be “our beautiful waterfront jewel will be Aretha Franklin Park.”

Just the night before, thousands attended a tribute concert at the the Chene Park amphitheater dedicated to Franklin that included a performance by the Four Tops. Duggan outlined some of the history of the location during his speech, recounting how Coleman Young, who was the mayor of Detroit for 20 years, converted an abandoned barge dock into the outdoor concert space in 1985. Franklin performed at Chene Park for its 30th anniversary.

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A drum set on an empty stage. In the background, an image of boats on a river, streaked with purple string, and the word Aretha in red script.
The stage at the Aretha Franklin tribute concert at Chene Park. Aaron J. Thornton/Getty Images

“When performers from generations to come from around the world come here,” Duggan concluded, “they will be reminded that they are performing at the home of the Queen of Soul.”

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