Disappearing Legacy

Downtown architectural accomplishments are threatened by 'renovation'.

Formalism thus indicates a break with the functional tenets of the international style and the Miesian style, and in this way anticipates the anti-functionalism of the later postmodern style.

Western Federal would turn out to be Ervin's last major building. He died in 1969 after a lengthy illness. His firm was succeeded by Piel, Slater, Small and Spenst, a partnership formed by four architects who had worked in his office.

It's unclear whether Western Federal Savings will survive its conversion to the Legacy Tower under the knife wielded by Oz Architecture. If not, be prepared for another Denver monument to be thoughtlessly remodeled into a monstrosity with plenty of fashionable gimmicks used to destroy the building's authentic historic integrity and original character.

The Western Federal Savings Tower before some of its original features were removed.
The Western Federal Savings Tower before some of its original features were removed.
Shangri-La, a classic example of moderne-style architecture, was designed by Raymond Harry Ervin.
Shangri-La, a classic example of moderne-style architecture, was designed by Raymond Harry Ervin.

Details

Previous Westword articles

"Unconventional,"
October 28, 1999
The expansion of the Colorado Convention Center promises to do more harm than good.

"Signed, Sealed, Delivered,"
November 12, 1998
Denver Pavilions perfects the art of the deal using public money.

"Middle-Age Modern,"
July 30, 1998
Denver's 1950s architectural legacy stands on shaky ground.

"Post Mortem,"
March 5, 1998
The old Denver Post building is history.

"Leave a Message at the Bleep,"
October 30, 1997
A frazzled homeowner shoots off his mouth to city officials--and gets charged with harassment.

"Roots,"
November 28, 1996
Can two Denver architectural jewels survive Cherry Creek's development frenzy?

"Death of a Salesroom,"
August 8, 1996
Examining Denver's history of construction destruction.


What a shame. Ervin's Western Federal Savings is just too good for that.

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