Effort underway to preserve Five Points house once home to Denver’s first black female doctor

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DENVER — An effort is underway to help repair and restore Dr. Justina Ford’s House — which is now the Black American West Museum — in Denver’s Five Points neighborhood.

Ford was born in Knoxville, Illinois and attended Herrington Medical College in Chicago in 1899.

She went on to become the first licensed female African-American doctor in Denver.

The museum is located at 31st and California streets. It was founded in 1971, but the home was built in the 1890s.

Inside, visitors can learn about Buffalo Soldiers, cowboys, pioneers and the Tuskegee airmen from World War II.

“We like to highlight the stories of African-Americans in the West. So we have taken advantage of the opportunity of knowing some of these folks and putting their stories in the museum,” said Terri Gentry, a museum volunteer.

The home is in need of some repairs.

“The historic windows need some repair as well as the masonry,” said Alison Salutz, Historic Denver’s director of community programs.

Historic Denver submitted the museum to the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s annual competition, “Vote Your Main Street.”

The winner will receive a share of $2 million in preservation funding, according to the competition’s website.

Anyone can vote for the project of their choice, including the Black American West Museum.

“Vote early vote often. The more you vote, the more votes the museum gets to secure that funding,” said Salutz.

Click here to submit your vote online. Website visitors can vote once daily through Oct. 29.

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