Detroit City Council approves plan to rename Chene Park in honor of Aretha Franklin

Posted at 11:20 AM, Sep 04, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-04 17:21:19-04

The Detroit City Council has unanimously approved a plan that will rename Chene Park in honor of Aretha Franklin.

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan announced the plan during Franklin's funeral on Friday afternoon.

"Our beautiful waterfront jewel will be Aretha Franklin Park," Duggan said during Aretha Franklin's funeral. He also called it "a place that belongs to all Detroiters."

The plan was approved by an 8-0 vote at the Detroit City Council meeting on Tuesday morning.

Chene Park hosted thousands of people on Thursday for a tribute concert to Franklin with performers including The Four Tops.

The Aretha Franklin Amphitheater will be a place where the Queen of Soul will love forever.

“You all know what Chene Park means to this city, historically, and to rename for the Queen of Soul is the right thing to do,” Duggan said.

The singer’s niece, Cristal Franklin, was on hand for the unanimous city council vote to change the name of Chene Park to the Aretha Franklin Amphitheater.

“Oh my God, it’s amazing,” she said.

She added that it was Mayor Duggan’s idea to rename the park.

“Amphitheater is only fitting of my aunt, she was all of that. She was music, she was theater, she was television,” Cristal said.

The name change is expected to officially take place next season. Chene Park was the spot of last Thursday’s tribute concert.

Earline Franklin produced the show and said the Queen of Soul loved Chene Park. 

“She liked the uniqueness of it. She liked the fact that it was on the river,” she said.

Aretha Franklin performed at Chene Park in 1992 for her niece’s high school graduation. Cristal says her aunt would be surprised by the honor.

“She probably would be like ‘Oh, guys, you don’t have to do that.’ She was so humble. She would never have expected this,” she added.

The tickets for the new season will go on sale Black Friday.

We’re told that will be one of the first times you will see the official name change.