4

Skyline Park

^
Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

Skyline Park, which runs along Arapahoe Street between 15th and 18th streets, was once a world-class example of modernist landscape design. It was created in 1970 by Lawrence Halprin and featured a multi-level topography created with cast-in-place concrete planters, berms and fountains. Now it's a ho-hum kind of place, as seen above.

The city entertained a number of bad ideas about what to do to Skyline, and in 2002, Thomas Balsley's neo-modernist redesign with expressionist pavilions was chosen. As it turned out, there wasn't enough money to complete Balsley's park, something I think he deserved, since he should never have agreed to conspire with those bent on destroying the Halprin.

Here's the funny part about Skyline Park: Its destruction and replacement involves some of the very same people who are right now fiddling with the Civic Center (see "Hit Parade" ). James Mejia, for instance, was the head of Denver Parks and Recreation when he oversaw the destruction of Halprin's masterpiece, and now he's project director for the construction of the Justice Center and a member of the Civic Center Conservancy. Or how about Dennis Humphries? He was involved on many levels with the Justice Center process and is also a member of the Civic Center Conservancy. And get this: Last week he unveiled his design for restrooms at the new Skyline!

Info

Skyline Park

Arapahoe Street between 15th and 18th streets

The Humphries restrooms will be the biggest architectural element in the park aside from the D&F Tower, so not only will Skyline no longer be a Halprin, it's never going to be a Balsley, either. What a waste. Denver could have still had the Halprin and have hired Balsley to design some other park in town, but instead, those civic soothsayers who always run the show made sure we have neither.

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.