Best reuse of a sewage plant (2000)

Northside Park, Globeville

The most captivating thing about this new park along the South Platte River is that it doesn't disguise what it used to be: a sewage-treatment plant. Instead of tearing down all the ponds and sluices that had been used to treat Denver's waste, the park's designers opted to save some money by simply filling them in, leaving an intriguing patchwork of concrete walls and steps that blend right in. What was once the edge of a sewage tank is now a place to sit and have a picnic, and rows of trees fill up former filtration ponds. Immediately to the west of the park is the Heron Pond Natural Area, a wetland teeming with wildlife that somehow managed to survive in the midst of a heavily industrialized district. This park has given the long-neglected Globeville neighborhood a new jewel and turned an eyesore into a green space that still honors the industrial legacy of the site.

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