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City of Boulder to Propose Renaming Municipal Building After Penfield Tate II

Photo of Penfield Tate II

Following a City Council recommendation, the City of Boulder has started the proposal process to rename the Municipal Building, located at 1777 Broadway, in honor of Penfield Tate II, Boulder’s first and only African American mayor, to celebrate his contributions to the Boulder community. 

In 1971, Tate became the first African American elected to Boulder City Council. Tate served on council from 1972 to 1976, and in 1974, council members elected him Boulder’s mayor. Tate is celebrated as a strong and involved leader who stood up for the rights and protections of minority groups, including the LGBTQ+ community, at a time when few people would.

“I’m excited for the potential to rename our Municipal Building in honor of Penfield Tate II, our Boulder mayor whose influence continues to have impact on our city and whose ideas are still salient almost 50 years later,” said Boulder City Council Member Mary Young.

City staff have discussed the renaming project with Tate’s living relatives in the area who have responded in support of the effort. His son, Penfield Tate III, lives in Denver and has participated in Boulder housing events discussing the role of racism in the city’s housing challenges. Tate’s two daughters, Paula Tate and Gail Tate, live in Boulder.

Pursuant to the city’s Policy on Commemorative Naming of City Facilities , the renaming process will involve the following steps:

  1. completion and submission of an application describing the proposed change, a history of Penfield Tate II, and stakeholder feedback on the proposed renaming of the municipal building;
  2. review of the application by the city’s naming committee and development of a recommendation;
  3. a preliminary decision by the city manager; and
  4. an opportunity for the City Council to affirm or revisit the city manager’s decision.

Community members are invited to share their thoughts on the proposal by completing a short questionnaire available online at Be Heard Boulder . The questionnaire will be open through Thursday, Sept. 24.

Additionally, responding to City Council’s recent resolution on racial equity, the city’s Office of Arts + Culture worked with artist Detour on an homage to Penfield Tate II. This mural is on the Boulder Public Library North Building, visible from the intersection of 9th Street and Canyon Blvd.

Media Contact: 
Sarah Huntley, Media Relations, 720-908-5722

Published: Sept. 11, 2020