DENVER (KDVR) —  Five Points is one of the oldest and most diverse neighborhoods in the city of Denver, often referred to as the “Harlem of the West” because of its rich jazz music and historic African American culture.

The neighborhood dates back to the 1800s and is not what it once was. Setting foot there in 2023, it’s a fascinating fusion of old and new. While some see it as an opportunity, others see it as exploitation.

The Five Points neighborhood gets its name from the five-point intersection at Welton, Washington, 26th and 27th streets. Within the bustling streets is history, history and more history, which is something Terri Gentry knows a thing or two about.

“I love my community and I love celebrating everyone here,” Gentry cried.

Her emotion comes from passion. She’s a board member of Denver’s Black American West Museum and conducts walking tours of the historic neighborhood, which is something she’s been doing for the past 15 years.

Along the tour, Gentry showed FOX31 where her great grandfather had a dental practice, a plaque of former Mayor Wellington Webb (Denver’s first Black mayor), Dr. Clarence Holmes who helped pave the way for African American activists in Denver, and photos of Emmanuel Moseley who was the first Black football player at Colorado State University.

The walking tours are Gentry’s effort to restore and maintain the neighborhood’s rich culture that she feels is slipping away.

“The hardest part is seeing a lot of loss of these small businesses and buildings that we had down here,” said Gentry. “The neighborhood’s been gentrified.”

To Gentry, Five Points has gone from vibrant jazz, Black businesses, Black churches, Black residents, and Black history makers to a more integrated demographic.

Denver has been working to redevelop Five Points. So now you’ll see high-rise buildings popping up, breweries, new restaurants and infrastructure.

Some residents are optimistic about the new vision of Five Points and see it as an opportunity to thrive and bring in new attractions and businesses, but others don’t.

“I think more minorities have been pushed out in a way and Caucasians are moving in,” said Franklin Stiger.

Stiger is the owner of Franklin Stiger’s Afro Styling Barbershop in Five Points, which has been a successful staple for the past 50 years.

Walking the streets in the neighborhood now, you’ll still see hidden gems of the past like Denver’s first all-Black fire station, Black residents cooking and connecting, and vibrant murals ensuring Five Points is not forgotten.

“It’s such a blessing,” Gentry cried.

There is a board that was created to find a balance. The Five Points Business Improvement District was created to strengthen small and new businesses while maintaining the integrity and preservation of its rich history.