Reader: Taking Away the Character of the City, Again and Again...

Carmen Court today.
Carmen Court today.
Robert Delaney
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When the stay-at-home order is lifted and residents of Denver get out and about in the city again, what will they see? The closures caused by the coronavirus crisis have not put an end to all action around town: Earlier this month, owners of the Carmen Court condos filed for a Certificate for Demolition Eligibility with Community Planning and Development.

The charming, Spanish colonial-style complex was constructed in 1925 in what was then a large, dusty lot just south of Speer Boulevard at Emerson Street; today it's an unofficial landmark in a park-like setting full of 95-year-old trees. For now....

Says Bob:  

Developers: Taking away the character of the city, again and again and again. How sad.

Adds Jerry: 

I have lived in Denver for 45 years and have seen many beautiful, historic and architecturally significant buildings demolished and replaced by schlock. New apartments are being built, but they have no character: just boxes with windows. When will it end?

Recalls Megan:

 I remember being in one of those apartments in 1974 after moving to Lakewood from Utah. Friends of my parents lived there. I was fascinated by the layout and every time I drive by, I always look at and remember that cool little place.

Replies Brian: 

I lived in a center unit from 1973 to 1977, went they went condo. Tearing this down would a be great loss.

Adds Ward:

 Always one of my favorite pieces of architecture in Denver. Hope it stays undeveloped. Maybe someone will save it like they did the Mayan Theater.

Counters Jeff:

There should be no such thing as historically preserved buildings.

Explains Kathryn: 

Follow the $$$$. Destroy and develop!

Responds Steve: 

Anyone who is against this is free to match the offer from the apartment developer and buy up this land themselves.

Adds Jay:

The owner has the right to do what they want with it.

Suggests Eron: 

Sell the air rights keep the historic buildings where they are. Need to rezone historic areas to preclude this kind of problem.

Says Buster: 

Goodbye to the old beautiful city and state forever gone to greed.

Matthew has a different focus: 

Michael Paglia's pieces should be published as opinion pieces. He has a highly-biased perspective on architectural change, and a never-ending axe to grind with planners in this city who work to allow it to evolve. Carmen Court is a lovely building with a wonderful landscape, and human-scaled architecture that is beautifully drawn from Southern Colorado's vernacular and a splash of Mission Revival style....

Whether Carmen Court is historically designated or not, readers of Westword should take his architectural "critiques" with a spoonful of salt. And Westword, y'all need to find another architectural critic who has a balanced viewpoint on matters of urban evolution, if you want to remain esteemed in the eyes of young Denverites.

Concludes Carla: 

We’re losing so much architectural character. I wish the historical society would step in

Well, someone is: A group has indicated that it will file an application to have Carmen Court designated a landmark; if granted, demolition would be off the table. As a result, Community Planning and Development has pushed back the schedule; the deadline for the historic-designation application to be filed is May 26. Read about the Save Carmen Court petition here.

What do you think about Carmen Court? Development in this city? Post a comment or send your thoughts to editorial@westword.com.

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