DETROIT – Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan proposed a plan to rename Chene Park after Aretha Franklin while speaking at her funeral Friday at Greater Grace Temple.
"I met with (Detroit City Council) President Brenda Jones, and talked to my partners on Detroit City Council, and today it is with their strong and enthusiastic report that I can tell you that on Tuesday I will be sending City Council a proposal to rename Chene Park," Duggan said. "Our beautiful waterfront jewel will be Aretha Franklin Park."
Duggan said when performers for generations perform at the park, they will be reminded of Franklin's legacy.
"They'll be reminded that they are performing at the home of the Queen of Soul," Duggan said.
He said Franklin's death has brought an overwhelming response to the city.
"For the last two weeks, Detroit has been the center of an overwhelming emotional outpouring with the loss of our cherished daughter, Aretha Franklin," Duggan said. "For longtime Detroiters, that emotional connection goes back, even before Aretha."
Duggan said the Rev. C.L. Franklin was one of the nation's great civil rights leaders, and that he led 100,000 Detroiters with Dr. Martin Luther King during the Detroit Walk To Freedom on June 23, 1963.
"As I watched this week, as tens of thousands of people lined up outside the Charles Wright Museum, blocks-long lines waiting to pay their final respects to Aretha Franklin, I thought back to those long lines on Woodward behind Rev. C.L. Franklin, 55 years ago, and thought, 'The Franklin family has had a huge impact on the city of Detroit for more than half a century,'" Duggan said.
Duggan said Franklin loved the Detroit Riverfront and spent her final years there.
You can watch Duggan's full remarks in the video posted above.