Art Attack

Short of Colfax and the Broncos, there’s nothing in this town that people are as passionate about as the Civic Center. And their hackles are up right now as they wait for Daniel Libeskind to reveal his preliminary designs for the hundred-year-old park, which the Civic Center Conservancy paid him $80,000 to dream up. Libeskind was originally going to unveil his concepts on June 15, but he experienced complications from dental surgery and was unable to travel. Since then, critics have had plenty of time to wonder whether his rumored 300-foot tower and giant pond would materialize. They’ll find out tonight between 5:30 and 7:30 p.m., when he takes the stage in room 201/203 of the Colorado Convention Center, 700 14th Street, for the Civic Center Town Hall Meeting.

Libeskind has generally enjoyed goodwill here since he started designing the Denver Art Museum’s almost-completed Frederic C. Hamilton Building in 2000, but the Civic Center is more like the World Trade Center site: Both commissions are absolute quagmires of people and politics. Because while the conservancy funded the concept paper, the private citizens’ group is essentially just a fundraiser and idea generator. The city has final approval over any changes that take place at the Civic Center, and any modifications must synch with the Civic Center Park Master Plan, which was completed in October 2005 and does call for things like coffee kiosks at the northeast and southeast corners. (See the June 15 article “Civic Duty” at www.westword.com for more details on the plan and the park’s history.) But whatever Libeskind proposes, there will be art attacks galore.

Be sure to stop by for the spectacle.
Thu., Sept. 14, 5:30-7:30 p.m.; Tue., Oct. 10, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

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Amy Haimerl