Meet the Birdwhistle Team


Collins. Serving as the headwaiter at the historic Northern Hotel and in various janitorial positions, Birdwhistle and his wife, Mamie, defied these limitations, owning a home on Oak Street in downtown Fort Collins, where they stood as the sole Black residents on the block.

The Birdwhistle residence became a haven for many Black gospel groups, jazz orchestras, and scholars, serving as an informal hotel. In a time when Black travelers in Northern Colorado had limited options for overnight accommodations, they relied on the hospitality of individuals like the Birdwhistles. Beyond their role as hosts, Charles Birdwhistle also assumed the position of head pastor for a Colorado church, necessitating travel across the state to visit the communities he served. Despite tempting opportunities elsewhere, he declined permanent positions as a pastor in other cities, firmly committed to serving Fort Collins.

It is with great enthusiasm that we honor Charles and Mamie Birdwhistle as the namesake for our development on Kechter. In alignment with the mission of the ECLT, we are dedicated to preserving accessible, inclusive communities for generations to come.

The Birdwhistles

In the 20th century, a significant migration of Black families to the American West unfolded, fueled by the pursuit of self-determination beyond the confines of the Jim Crow South. While states like Colorado held promise for opportunities, the persisting specter of racism remained an enduring obstacle.
Charles Birdwhistle, a product of a well-established Black community in Topeka, Kansas, migrated to Colorado during the Great Migration after World War I. Despite being an educated veteran of the Spanish-American War and a gifted orator, vaudeville performer, preacher, and community leader, Birdwhistle found himself restricted to service roles in Fort 

Bikeable to Front Range Village shopping center and Twin Silo Park 

 Tucked away but easy access to I-25

Restaurants in proximity:
Cafe Athens
Honolulu Poke Bar
Nori Maki Bar
Himalayan Bistro
Bann Thai
Kujira Ramen
Austin’s American Grill
Otto Pint

Coffee Shops:
Harbinger Coffee
Dazbog Coffee

Southeast fort collins