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The Historical Significance to NOT Change North Avenue’s Name

The History Behind Grand Junction's North Avenue
Bob Grant

To me, the Grand Junction City Council’s decision to change North Avenue’s name to University Boulevard seems like the rejection of an important part of Grand Junction’s history.

North Avenue is part of the original plat of the Town of Grand Junction dating back to the 1800s.

The History Behind Grand Junction's North Avenue
Museum of Western Colorado

The name is significant as George Crawford, the man primarily credited with creating Grand Junction called it North because the street marked the northernmost boundary of the original town — as you can see on the original plat map.

Nothing against Colorado Mesa University which was founded in 1925 as Grand Junction State Junior College. The campus wasn’t on North Avenue but in the Lowell School building at 5th and Rood. For the record, I’m a proud graduate of the college, so there’s no ill-will towards CMU.

The History Behind Grand Junction's North Avenue
Bob Grant

With that said, back to my question. Why is it so important for the City Council to rename a historic street for the sake of an institution that, even if it completes its long-range master plan, will have approximately 4 to 5 blocks of miles-long Grand Junction thoroughfare?

I wasn’t born in Grand Junction, but my family moved here before I was old enough to attend school. Our first home? In a trailer park on North Avenue.

As a kid growing up in Grand Junction there were two primary places my parents took us to shop, eat, get gas, etc. One was Main Street, the other, North Avenue.

My family moved from North Avenue to a home near the far east end of North Avenue, so not only was it was as described above, it was also the street we used to go to town even after moving to the ‘burbs.

As kids, my sister and I rode our bikes along North Avenue to go to Lincoln Park for swimming in the summer or as a way to get to other fun places.

When we were old enough to drive, North Avenue – or as we called it, ‘North’ – was the street to cruise, gather at Teller Arms Shopping Center, go to drive-in movies, and grab a burger or other fast food.

What are your favorite memories of North Avenue?

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