Reader: We still care about the Gates Rubber site
"Trouble in the Rubble," Alan Prendergast, August 16
I was born and raised in Denver and have just entered my sixties so, yes, I remember the Gates abortion from the '50s, the '60s, the '70s, the '80s — well, you get the point. In the '50s, this structure was a piece of shit and should have been torn down. Nothing has happened there that has made anything about that site better; it has gotten worse and worse as the decades have rolled by. My own personal opinion is that the various city councils through the years that are ultimately responsible for having approved the building of that piece-of-shit building should be hanged from their short hairs. So this is what makes me cheer Eugene Elliot! Go get 'em, Eugene! Our city councils decided for years that just because some scumbag had lots of clout (read money) in their inner circle that it could build as it damn well pleased; it could pollute the groundwater for miles around its stinking plant; it could poison hundreds if not thousands of employees with impunity. It seems to me, then, to be a kind of perfect justice to tie this place up in legal tangles forever. Maybe Eugene should seek historical designation at the national level.
The "historical significance" of Gates is the environmental carelessness and ignorance that defined mid-century industry, and generations of Denver residents will breathe it, drink it, grow in it, and absorb it without the help of the factory shell forever blocking out the sun on South Broadway. As a third-generation Denver native who appreciates how much of her city is truly worthy of preservation, I hope this misguided cry of "historical significance" doesn't add red tape for people who want to make designations for reasons other than a casual interest in urban hiking. This kid's weekend hobby of trespass is someone else's neighborhood. The fact that the powers-that-be are already discussing revisions to the too-facile process shows that Elliott is not just a hapless young idealist whose efforts will be without consequences.
My grandfather worked at Gates for over thirty years. I have lived in Colorado all my life, and I have always loved the old Gates buildings. I am 29-years-old now, but as a child I attended Gates family picnics, and waited for my grandmother in their medical facility on Broadway that has already been torn down. I agree with Eugene Elliott that the Gates buildings are historic and should be preserved. I do not think the city really wants to preserve its history; it just wants to build new buildings to make money.
I hate those apartments they put up where they tore down parts of Gates. They are hideously ugly. They do not look like anything in the area. They are far more of an eyesore to me than the historic Gates building.
There are people who were born in Denver who live in the community that care about Gates! It is time these big developers heard our voice.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Westword's biggest stories.