Letters to the Editor

From the week of 4/5/07

Contrary to Mr. Paglia's claim, what he calls "the DeBoer property" (I assume he means the property currently owned by S.R. DeBoer's descendants) has only one structure deemed "historic" -- what Mr. Paglia calls "DeBoer's office, a rambling 1930s brick cottage with its signature bell tower...." Fact: It's not a cottage. It may or may not be "rambling," whatever that means. And the tower never had a bell in it.

He claims that "the landmark commission agreed that (the DeBoer property was good enough for landmark oversight)...." No, the Landmark Preservation Commission recommended that City Council approve historic designation for only the brick office building and a small area of land around it. No other structures on the DeBoer property were recommended. Nor was the former John Thompson studio or the former S.R. DeBoer residence (both owned by others).

He says that "the DeBoer heirs opposed preservation...." Wrong. We never opposed preservation of the brick office. We have opposed the back-door attempt to steal control of our property.
David Potts

Michael Paglia's "Swift Gloating" is brilliant and to the point regarding the problems that historic preservation is facing in the Denver area. The "talking points" are indeed at the crux of the issue, as ill-informed journalists and pompous elected officials continue to clothe their culturally naked bodies in a veil of property rights.

The quality of life in our neighborhoods is being raped and pillaged by developers who choose to exploit the ambience around their properties by destroying what makes them desirable in the first place. Such manifestations of blatant greed -- coupled with disrespect for the built environment -- are not urban progress. The unique is only homogenized, and these actions endanger proven high property values of designated or proposed historic districts listed on the National Register of Historic Places or the state register, or locally landmarked. That cuts into all of our pockets, including municipalities' property-tax bases. This saga is currently being played out in Englewood's Arapahoe Acres, where an owner proposes to expand and pop-top an 850-square-foot house in the middle of a row of similar houses in the historic district into an over-2,000-square-foot "McMod-mansion!"

Thank you, Westword and Michael Paglia, for telling it like it is. You have provided a timely and well-documented insight into one of the machinations of greed and those who support it without any view of the future.
Rodd L. Wheaton

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