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Can a single student with $250 change the fate of the Gates Rubber factory?

See also: Slide show: Inside the Gates Rubber Factory

Eugene Elliott caught his first glimpse of the ravaged Gates Rubber Company complex three years ago. He was driving in Denver one day, and here was this huge, hulking factory, a sprawling labyrinth of brick and concrete stretching across blocks of South Broadway. The empty plant was imposing yet desolate and silent, seemingly from another time and place.

"I don't think I'd ever seen a building so big," he says. "Or so dilapidated, for that matter. It made me curious about what it used to be and why it's still there."

See also: Slide show: Inside the Gates Rubber Factory

Elliott had recently moved to Boulder from Iowa to study at the University of Colorado. He didn't know much about Denver history, and even less about the Gates company and its lasting impact on the city. But his curiosity became the starting point of a singular education about the Gates plant and its troubled afterlife.

The place had certainly seen better days. When Elliott came across it, what remained of the plant was a warren of broken windows, graffiti, stripped and shuttered machinery and dank pits containing traces of toxic chemicals; many of the smaller structures were already gutted or gone. But in its heyday, more than half a century ago, Gates Rubber was the largest employer in the city, a manufacturing dynamo that occupied 25 square blocks, from the east side of Broadway over to Santa Fe Drive, and produced thousands of products, from tires and fan belts to gaskets and batteries. In the 1980s, the company shifted the bulk of its manufacturing jobs to plants in other states and countries. In 1996, the Gates family sold its interest in the company to a British conglomerate, Tomkins PLC, which moved its administrative headquarters downtown and closed the plant on Broadway for good.

Since that time, redevelopment plans for the site have crept forward in fits and starts. One parcel east of Broadway has been transformed into offices and a parking garage, and construction is now under way on a four-story apartment house. Another parcel south of Mississippi Avenue has also been turned into apartments. But the economic downturn of the past few years has left in limbo efforts to redevelop the main factory and surrounding buildings. Cherokee Denver, which had purchased the property from the Gates Corporation in 2001 with the aim of erecting a "world-class urban village," boasting 3,000 residential units and 1.75 million square feet of office and retail space, ran into financial difficulties five years ago, just as it was about to break ground on the first phase of the project.

Gates took back the forty-acre site from Cherokee and its lenders. Hoping to woo other developers, the company has continued with the environmental cleanup that Cherokee began of the extensive industrial contamination around the factory. It's also beefed up security around the abandoned buildings, which have become a magnet for vandals, copper thieves and urban explorers, despite a series of injuries and the death of one 23-year-old adventurer ("Gone," December 20, 2007). But company officials say they can only do so much to clean up the site as long as the main buildings remain standing.

"The only economically viable way of redeveloping the property and completing the environmental remediation," says Gates executive vice president Tom Reeve, "is to move forward with taking the buildings down."

In late June, Elliott, now a 21-year-old senior at CU, learned that Gates was planning to raze the remaining buildings, including the manufacturing plant itself. A friend e-mailed a picture of a notice posted on the fence along the property stating that the owner was seeking a demolition permit. The notice also said that the property had potential for landmark designation, and that anyone seeking such designation needed to file an application with the city within 21 days.

With the clock ticking, Elliott spent hours at the Denver Public Library and city offices researching the history of Gates, tracking down old blueprints and fire-marshal maps. He spoke to people at Historic Denver, who seemed nonplussed by his interest, and actively solicited donations online to cover the $250 fee for a landmark-designation application. At one point he even stood outside the property with a sign, trying to bum contributions from Broadway motorists.

"That didn't work out very well," he says. "I don't know how the homeless do it. The donations were infrequent and very small. In two or three hours, I made maybe ten bucks."

At the eleventh hour, he presented the Denver Landmark Preservation Commission with the fee and a detailed plea to grant historic protection to the three oldest remaining structures: the manufacturing plant, known as Unit 10, and the power plant and warehouse to the north of it. "The former Gates Rubber Company is a huge piece of Colorado and more relevantly Denver history," Elliott wrote. "By not accepting the landmark-designation application, the owner will proceed to demolish the last remaining physical reminder of what Gates Rubber Company did and was for this city and its citizens."

Elliott didn't consult with Gates management before filing his application; he says he made attempts but couldn't reach anyone in authority. He didn't contact any members of the five neighborhood associations that have worked for years on cleanup and redevelopment plans for the site. His request caught city officials by surprise, too. City councilman Chris Nevitt, who'd spent countless hours in discussions with Gates and Cherokee, community groups and health officials about the property, was particularly outraged about the application — enough to call Elliott and try to persuade him to withdraw it.

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62 comments
Zavras
Zavras

We don't need more lofts, more failed attempts at swaths of development. They already demolished the south half of the factory and built a small community there, which still remains largely vacant. Why does anybody think that building a "billion dollar village", essentially just a larger version of the floundering southern development, will bring any different outcome? Just because we have the ability to develop anything and everything doesn't mean that we should.

 

Also, I've lived within sight of the Gates factory my whole life, so it's not like I'm out of touch with the neighborhood. 

Urbangrl
Urbangrl

It is unfortunate that the focus here has become bashing the CU student rather than the real issue which is the building.  It would seem far more productive to put our heads together in a collaborative effort to come up with viable alternatives for the fate of the Gates facility.  It appears that all interested parties are in agreement that the building cannot remain in the current state it has been allowed to over the past years it has remained empty. 

 

All Elliott has done is simply bring the issue to the forefront, so the community as a whole can step up and take responsibility for the future vision of the building.  And, perhaps provide a voice for those that look upon the Gates Tire Company as a cornerstone to Denver's historical and economic development.  

 

It is obvious this issue is not the slam dunk city councilman Chris Nevitt was counting on.

Based on the opposing viewpoints represented here I'd say the fate of the building just may be worth re-examining.   

camdigidy
camdigidy

This Elliott guy is an idiot.   Completely misplaced efforts.  The guy doesn't even live in Denver County.   He didn't bother contacting anyone from any neighborhood group, etc, and try to figure out what their plans were.     It says something about how ridiculous the process is for landmark designation.    The application should have been rejected because of falsehoods submitted in it.    from Elliott's petition, "By not accepting the landmark-designation application, the owner will proceed to demolish the last remaining physical reminder of what Gates Rubber Company did and was for this city and its citizens." is a false claim.      In fact, some of the original structure was intended to be preserved.    For instance, the Cherokee group intended to keep the water tower intact as a memorial to the Gates Factory, and homage to it's history.   This guy needs to find a worthy cause, like preserving trails, etc.   Preserving this factory in it's entirety is a terrible idea.

 

The building has environmental waste problems, is dangerous because thrill seekers keep getting hurt in the place, and is overall creating a negative economic impact to the neighborhood as well as the city.   

82_28
82_28

Absolutely keep it and reapportion it's use.  I can see it being a funky market not unlike Seattle's Pike Place Market.  I have many a memory of driving by the old factory in my youth.  It seems like it's been unused since I was born.  I'm 37.  Anybody remember the old castle that used to be on that impossibly green lawn right in in front of it?  I'll have to ask my mom or dad, but I think it was called the Bread and Butter castle -- I can't even google it.  It was torn down some 15-20 years ago.  As a kid, I always found this stretch of Broadway the most fascinating driving to the, in those days, hinterlands of Highlands Ranch. 

 

They should have never torn down the old Montgomery Ward's building either, just to the north so it could become the "Denver Design Center".  Anybody remember the old rummage sale area on the top level?  Anybody remember having "breakfast with Santa" in its diner right in the middle of the main floor?  Jesus, Denver, don't tear this down -- put it to use and keep your/our history.  This old factory is part of how we got here and deserves to be saved.  There's so much about South Broadway that has been lost in my lifetime.  I am of the opinion that we at least keep this as an artifact of the history of South Broadway and I applaud the efforts to save it.

 

Then again, I think old Mile High, McNichols and Cinderella City should have been saved too.

ryanjohnsmith1013
ryanjohnsmith1013

They should tear down everything that could be dangerous but leave the main structure and build a park around it / in it. It would look really cool.

greg141
greg141

for the love of God, tear this place down already...

IckyPants
IckyPants

I grew up in Littleton, and drove by  the Gates buildings with my father on a weekly basis to take guitar lessons on Broadway.  Those buildings have always been dilapidated pieces of shit with absolutely no redeeming value.  Oh, your parents/grandparents worked there?  That's just fantastic.  It's also fantastic that Gates eventually outsources all the jobs from that plant to other states or other countries.  What a wonderful reminder of jobs being shipped away from Denver to save a few bucks.  Lets preserve the memory of that, along with the crumbling filth that are the buildings today.

 

 I can't tell you how awesome all the broken windows look from Broadway and Santa Fe.  Maybe we should also designate the waste outflow pipes that drained toxic sludge into the Platte as historic monuments as well!  That would most certainly be "neat".  And maybe all the lovely garbage piles that sit on the lot, and have been sitting there for decades.

 

Some historic buildings need to be saved, sure.  Molly Brown's house is worthy.  The Gates buildings are not.  This kid didn't grow up in Colorado, and now he is impeding progress by delaying the destruction of these buildings.  I've watched Denver become a really nice place to dwell in the last couple decades, with formerly terrible areas becoming awesome living spaces (The Highlands, anyone?  Anyone?).  I would love to see the Gates area redeveloped and re imagined as a nice neighborhood.  As Denver grows and grows it certainly makes sense to develop there- nice and close to downtown, with easy access to highways.

 

This kid needs to find something else to crusade for.  I know Boulder kind of gives you that "I can change the world!" hippie idealism at times, but usually it is misplaced, and doesn't get anything worthwhile accomplished (e.g. "Free Tibet!" bumper stickers aren't doing shit, people).  Denver needs to tear down the Gates factories as soon as possible, and everyone who lives near there or drives by it will be grateful for one less eyesore in the otherwise beautiful city. 

kristinerfman
kristinerfman

Whatever comes of this issue, there should be some type of preservation for Gates Rubber Co. My Great Grandfather retired from Gates, my Grandfather worked there for 38 years before retiring. My Father and 2 of my uncles worked for Gates as well. Gates Rubber Co. is a legacy in my family!

whitlock_17
whitlock_17

It's hard to trust that they have really exhausted all efforts to preserve at least parts of this factory. Most likely it just isn't cost efficient enough for who ever wants to build there to do so.  I would love to see the factory remain even if it is just parts of it.  Both of my Grandma's sisters had worked in the factory and I absolutely love the symbolism of it on that side of Denver.  If it is at all possible for the site to be removed of it's pollutants and have even just parts of the structure remain, it would be cherished long after our lifetimes and well worth doing.

So happy Elliot is bringing this to light, making sure it's not just demolished because someone wants to make as much of a profit as they can off the area.  If it's truly impossible salvage than that should be proven with no doubt.  

keeg
keeg

Well, I feel the Council brought this on themselves and the neighborhood by not fixing a problem they knew existed. It's been a couple years now since Charlie Brown pointed out the abuse of the landmark application process when a man wanting to demolish a house in the Belcaro area had the process held up by someone. Charlie Brown and the rest of his cohorts on the Council never acted to fix the landmark application issue, just like they've never fixed any problem--structural budget deficit, police abuse, etc. So, now it's coming back to bite them again. I hope Nevitt enjoys being in the hot seat over this from the Wash Parkers who put him onto the Council. Chris Nevitt got on the Council because of the new zoning ordinance, which Wash Parkers wanted to stop construction of large homes in their area. So, what goes around comes around.

 

I couldn't believe someone offered him his 250 back if he'd withdraw his application. That's somewhat bribery and wondering if it's legal. There have been news stories where the city refused to refund fines, so, not sure why in this case it would be ok. As far as the history in the piece, not enough is given about the company and the Gates family. Missed opportunity to expand on that. I highly doubt this young man knows very much of it. I didn't see him spouting it off in the article. Some better quotes on his depth of knowledge would be good.

kathismom
kathismom

That thing is an eyesore. Rip it down. 

MeowMix
MeowMix

Denver's landmark process has been a source of EASY abuse for a very long time. I get the idea behind it but it ends up costing people tens of thousands of dollars to fight off bogus applications. People LIE on the applications, btw. A real shocker. I know, my family was put through and extremely hostile designation process. Funny how Nevitt is now irritated with this KID. Nevitt did NOTHING to help my family when he took over. He refused to listen to us.

 

Non residents/non property owners within Denver should never be able to pull this sort of trick. This whole getting 3 residents thing is lame as well. We had multiple neighbors who REFUSED to talk to us about what was really going on with my grandmother's property and wrote some story instead. They never, ever spoke to my family, the OWNERS. It was a group of bullies who decided they didn't want something and so they lied. Period. It's unfortunate because what ended up happening on that site was the DIRECT RESULT of their actions. Had they even tried to communicate or respond when we tried to communicate, the place could've been really great. Alas... no. They literally got what they deserved and are now saddled with some random non-contiguous historical district that leaves everyone scratching their heads. Need I mention that they don't submit plans to the landmark committee when they do something to their houses? Yeah, they hold the historical thing so dearly, they themselves ignore it.

 

Don't be fooled with those lame "credits" people talk about for improving either. It takes a ton of money invested to even see those supposed credits and it never balances out.

 

This KID has no place doing this and no concept of what he's done. None. I don't care about what he's "read" and I don't care about all the people whose families worked in the factory for years. YAY. Good for you.

 

It's a toxic site that can actually be cleaned up and used for the GREATER GOOD instead of your distant memories. You'll die off and there will still be a toxic site for you to drive by making you feel all warm and fuzzy.

 

We sha'nt deny people of their warm and fuzzies!

plaidp
plaidp

Funny how the people who wanted to knock it down couldn't be bothered to notice the sign and come up with a solution to the potential issue of somebody raising an objection. 

The issue of contamination can be brought up at the review.  I'm tired of the build it/knock it down strip mall mentality.  We need to build buildings for  the long term.

LetsRemoveThatEyesor
LetsRemoveThatEyesor

Hmmm.. I haven't seen anyone post the obvious solution to this. Elliott just needs to purchase the property, along with the hazardous waste cleanup costs that come with it. Once it is his, he can do whatever he wants with it.

CrazyVfromthebigD
CrazyVfromthebigD

What has that old factory has meant to a Denver native, born here, and currently living well within the boarders of the same city?

Some of my earliest memories include riding past the Gates Rubber factory. As a child, I would dream of the industrial revolution, and the people working hard inside of that factory. I imagined a previous generation of Denverites supporting the war efforts. I used to tell my family that I wanted to work at a place just like that!

Alas, productivity at that location was long gone by the time I was of working age. I had to go to Golden for my factory fix.

I can remember buying Gates belts for my first car.

Anytime I left state and came home again, I always knew I was home when I saw the Gates water tower, or drove through the Gates tunnel, and peered up at the tiny clouded windows that once help shape the city we are today.

I am against knocking it down to "make way for progress". I am pro-salvage to some of the structures, and interested in sound redevelopment plans. Our city could use a rec-center to rival the suburban ones?

 

Why can'[t we invest in this property as a city, and quit waiting for developers from California or China to take an interest? Why complain if someone from Boulder wants to keep it? You'd rather someone, from anywhere else, do something else? And if you don't like it, too bad, too late.

 

One step at a time, sure, some of that land is polluted. Cover it with solar cells, and let it be the power source for the property.

 

Some of my proudest moments as a Denver native have come when visitors marvel at our mix of old and new. Cowboy buildings thrive, alongside towering glass monuments to our modern American lifestyles. Some of the best areas of town, to me, were once boarded up warehouses. People considered them to be blight in the 80s. LOOK AT THEM NOW! Lodo itself, The clock tower on the mall, multiple churches, AURARIA!, The Paramount, Sooo many sites, once forgotten,  that are now a high point in our identity as a unique city. Why not  incorporate our past into our future again, and make people aware of our willingness to forgo the Wally World plaza metality, or the high-tech prefab architecture, in favor of a site that makes our city noteworthy.

 

Come on peoples! How many of the same old boring thing do really need in one city????

maxplanck0
maxplanck0

Elliott's "Man of La Mancha" quest is ill-suited and mis-directed. There are literally thousands of abandoned manufacturing/industrial sites in the "Rust Belt" regions of the eastern U.S. which, like the Gates facility, have reached the each of their useful economic lives. 

jwbaird1020
jwbaird1020

My entire family has worked for the Gates Rubber Co since the early 70's with my grandparents, I still have an aunt who works downtown, still employed with them in the international area.My father gave us what we have today from what they once had here.I can still remember going with the security guard as A kid to check on Charlie Gates home and traveling throughout the plant with the smell of raw rubber.I am rather upset over the take over/sell out of the company to Tompkins,my father was in customer service and with them for 20 years taking very good care of customers like Freightliner,John Deer and thermo-king and was very good @ what he did.Through all of his hard work and dedication to the company received 5 weeks vacation and good medical coverage.They came out with some BS that got him fired for only wanting to take extra care of A customer, it was nothing more than get someone else in there to work for less with no benefits and no experience.I have become resentful over this to the point of saying tear it down if not for all the hazardous still in the building to include things that are buried that would get the EPA all over them and maybe why it sits idol to include lead presses that will eventually leak in to the Platte.

patricia.calhoun
patricia.calhoun moderator topcommentereditor

I'd love to publish some of these comments in our print edition, ideally with the author's full name/town. If that's okay with you, e-mail me at patricia.calhoun@westword.com

peegee303
peegee303

A visionary developer might tear the building down, perform the required cleanup, and rebuild a replica "shell" of Bldg 10, or build whatever development they decide on in that style.  The building holds some sentimental value to me, having had family members who worked there, but I think it's obvious that the place can't be used for anything other than a crematorium.  That sentimentality is based on recalling a memory, so a new building that simply reminds us of what once was should be sufficient in the eyes of everybody involved.

ColoradoHistorian
ColoradoHistorian

As an advocate and writer of Colorado history, and knowing others like me, Mr. Elliot - if you want a group, you have a group.  I've looked at that building many times over the years as its stood empty, and thought about all the uses it could be put to while retaining structural intergrity.  Of course, that will be effected by how well the hazardous materials remaining can be cleaned up. The building deserves to be saved if possible. As for "all the money" the councilman has seen put into this- whaa.  I'm sorry, I'm tired of the ugly condos you guys seem to think will raise the property value - using that factory as lofts, store and activity space would not only save money, but would reduce the amount of waste while STILL creating the jobs to renovate the space. And still raise property values. We do it all over Denver with buildings in worse shape, we can do it with this one.To miss wreckingbelle- so he's an arrogant little shithead from Boulder- who now has the support of an arrogant old bitch from the mountains.  Nope, I don't live in Denver either, but I have in the past, probably longer than you've been alive. And I work in Denver.  I support this effort even if you don't. Save your eyerolling for your FB friends.

thewreckingbelle
thewreckingbelle

If article awesomeness is measured in how different my opinion was coming out of it than going in, this one is aces. I started out thinking was a David-and-Goliath tale of pluck and gumption; and finished with an exasperated roll of my eyes at an arrogant little shit head who not only isn't from Colorado but doesn't even LIVE in Denver. It must be an unimaginable gut punch to the people of the Baker and surrounding neighborhoods to have years of consideration clucked at by some kid who spent a few hours in the library. The historical significance of environmentally careless mid-century industry will be felt for generations: In our air, water, and soil. Denver doesn't need the busted building to go along with it. I just hope his cry of "historical significance" doesn't cheapen the process and make it harder in the future for people with legit delegations to fight off developers. 

27Veronika
27Veronika

There is saving history and then there is living in a building contaminated with so many toxins it boggles the mind. Why do you think this process has taken so long. This isn't an ordinary parcel of land- it is like an old nuclear plant. Unless it is remediated correctly- it will be toxic to whoever lives or works there. I dont' think Eugene gets this....

vcrewchief
vcrewchief

I'm a resident of West Wash Park/SoBo, and to tell you the truth, I want to do what is going to raise the property value of the Gates factory, which will in turn raise the value of my house--and as soon as possible, for that matter. As much as I would love to see that cool building turned into LoDo-style lofts/offices/bars, I think that a new development might be the smart decision. It would be extremely expensive to re-purpose the factory, which is a good thing if you ask me--the more expensive the cost to build, the more they're going to charge for rent/sales, assuming that a developer is willing to spend the dough. What if Elliot wins, and nobody can afford/wants to mess with the new property? I lose. If it gets built, are people going to be willing to pay premium prices for something that was hopefully abated correctly, but probably won't be because it's so expensive? I don't want to wait anymore--I'm a young kid like Elliot, and I took a big risk buying my house that is becoming increasingly harder to afford. Knock it down. 

Sierra
Sierra

 I'm one of the few people that agree that old, industrial buildings are cool.  Gates Rubber has certain bones about it, like a building that stands for so long it start to come alive.  It reminds me a little of Danvers State Mental Hospital, which was also destroyed for the sake of development. 

 

I've really got to feel for this kid.  He's in a typical David and Goliath scenario.  He had the audacity to challenge big money, and they have flat-out said that they are going to beat him like a red-headed step child.   No matter what, it's good to let big business know that the little guy can mess with you every once in a while.  Good on ya, kid.

ginaann
ginaann

I love this guy. Growing up in Denver, I have always loved the Gates Rubber Co. It has always felt like a special landmark, which I have felt sad to lose. I wish it could be saved.   

mantis47354
mantis47354

Don't any of you take into consideration that this guy who came from another state took such an interest in something that didn't even pertain to him? Evidently he cares about Denver's history. At least give him credit for that and for trying. 

CoryL
CoryL

Maybe this kid should focus his energy on the drought in Iowa . . .

Zavras
Zavras

I, like Elliott, am not saying that the buildings should be left up completely vacant and untouched for vagrants and bums to take residence in. I recognize that it needs to go through some transformation, I just don't think that this idealized vision of a billion dollar super-community it going to work. We're just going to end up with more vacant buildings. 

MeowMix
MeowMix

 @Urbangrl You don't think it's been discussed for decades already? Did you read the article?

denverdan
denverdan

 @camdigidyThis Elliott guy is most certainly no idiot! And the notion that the Gates Rubber Company factory is not worthy of Landmark status is one that Denver should take very seriously. If the demolition is to go on as planned, then the likely consequences will be some lofts, or a strip-mall, maybe a bank ... who knows? For me the complex is iconic of its era and gives the city historical character. if it could be  re-purposed as a public space or arts complex then Denver could potentially reap huge benefits culturally, aesthetically and even economically. Other attempts to do this to similar spaces in other cities have gone down has huge successes. There's no reason the same couldn't happen here. Why does ALL of Denver need to fall victim to thoughtless generic sprawl? Good luck to you Elliott and long live the Gates factory. May it's next incarnation be something worthy of the Gates family tradition.

MeowMix
MeowMix

 @plaidp This has nothing to do with a "build it/knock it down strip mall mentality". The place is toxic. Do YOU want to live in that building and potentially get cancer? Likely, no.

27Veronika
27Veronika

 @ColoradoHistorian Would you live in that building? Really, do you want cancer from your environment? That the type of pollution and chemicals in that building that really- there is no way to ever rid the building of. Why do you think the building is still standing at this point? If it was an easy tear down it would have happened years ago. FInd me the people willing to live/work in that building- then maybe you have a case.  

Cecil
Cecil

 @ColoradoHistorian "I've looked at that building many times over the years as its stood empty, and thought about all the uses it could be put to while retaining structural intergrity.  Of course, that will be effected by how well the hazardous materials remaining can be cleaned up."

 

So, basically, you have no plan beyond "those seem neat"? Excellent. Do it all over Denver with buildings in worse shape, eh? Sure, tons of old Denver buildings are toxin-laden ex-manufacturing plants that require mediation on a massive scale. I bet your group of amateur historians will be able to raise a few hundred million--and don't delude yourself that it would cost less than that--toot suite, on your own, with no help from a city government already deeply in the red.

 

Whatever your feelings on the aesthetic appeal of condos, the fact is that you, just like this kid in the story, are a non-stakeholder in this issue with no vision of what's *truly* possible beyond some fuzzy, sepia-toned mental image of old Denver.

 

 

whitlock_17
whitlock_17

 @thewreckingbelle Just because it's not history you are interested in makes it no less history for the city of Denver.  

thewreckingbelle
thewreckingbelle

 @Sierra Did you even read the article? He's not merely challenging "big money" and development, he's challenging all sides including people who live in the neighborhood and people on the historical committee. Even those who have no financial interest in development don't want it around because the chemical and environmental hazards that are flesh on the bones you think is so cool. It's ridiculous to think city blocks of empty, hazardous buildings should remain empty eyesores for the sake of a few outliers' casual appreciation for "old buildings."

CoryL
CoryL

You two should go urban exploring together.  Find some copper, whoo-hoo!

27Veronika
27Veronika

 @ginaann Would you live in that building? It would be like building a house on Rocky Flats or living next to a fracking well.

thewreckingbelle
thewreckingbelle

 @mantis47354 Took it into consideration: Thought it was condescending. Apparently so did the "insulted" others in the article who've spent their entire lives -- that's YEARS -- looking at, contending with the environmental implications, and ultimately grappling with the fate of Gates. 

Sierra
Sierra

 @CoryL And do what, exactly.  Make it rain?

82_28
82_28

 @denverdan Look at this once "eyesore" in Seattle.  (I grew up in Denver, but live in Seattle now).  I also run a historical appreciation gig too.  Denver and Seattle are very so connected, btw.  Anyways, look at it:

 

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/3b/Aerial_Gas_Works_Park_September_2011.jpg

 

It's Gas Works Park and it is beloved.  It's been EPA cleaned and all that.  It took forever, but there is no reason this can't happen in D-town.  You really all owe it to your kids to keep it. 

plaidp
plaidp

 @MeowMix In general buildings are not toxic.  What is usually toxic is the soil around the building.  That would have to be removed anyway to somebody else's back yard.  Minimizing the waste would be good.

Sierra
Sierra

Since I never said that was of interest to me, I'm not sure why you would make that comment. 

grahamsz
grahamsz

I have plenty sympathy for the people who were living there when Gates opened up next door, but everyone there right now bought/rented their homes with the knowledge that a rundown industrial site was next door. 

 

While, in its present state, the site is certainly "ugly". I don't think that'd have to be true if it were restored. I don't think the REI building on the Platte counts as ugly any more, it's a beautiful example of reusing an iconic industrial space.

MeowMix
MeowMix

 @thewreckingbelle Also, how about the people who actually LIVE in the area? The neighborhood orgs? He didn't even talk to any of these people. Kid has no clue. None.

CoryL
CoryL

 Copper prices are high!

 
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