CHERRY HILLS VILLAGE, Colo. — A neighborhood in the Denver suburb of Cherry Hills Village will no longer be called Swastika Acres. The Cherry Hills Village City Council voted Tuesday to approve a name change, hoping to prevent future controversy. That vote was unanimous.
The subdivision was named Swastika Acres decades before the symbol was adopted by the Nazis.
The subdivision’s name can’t be found on roadway welcome signs, but it can be seen on real estate closing documents.
“Some buyers are savvy enough to read the documents and really dig in and understand what their legal description of their property is,” said Cherry Hills Village councilman Dan Sheldon. “That’s the only way you’d know.”
Sheldon spearheaded the effort to change the name. He said the name comes from the old Denver Land Swastika Company. That was the company that divided the land into plots near the turn of the 20th Century.
“There was nothing wrong with [the name] at that time,” Sheldon explained.
Over the years, there’s been a desire to change the name of Swastika Acres, but the legal process to do so wasn’t easy — requiring 100 percent of property owners to be on board, according to city officials. Cherry Hills Village adopted a new ordinance requiring just 51 percent owner approval.
Not everyone supported the name change. One woman voiced her opposition to the city.
“She thought it was important to preserve that historical value of that symbol, the swastika, even though she herself lost family members in the Holocaust,” Sheldon said.
But with a majority of residents wanting change — 74 years after World War II — Swastika Acres in Cherry Hills Village is no more.
The new name of the subdivision is Old Cherry Hills.