One of the big Denver success stories of the last five years is the adaptation of historic industrial and commercial buildings into lofts -- the word 'condo' being so '80s. Lofts are now all the rage, which means that the city has begun to run out of appropriately sized old buildings; thus new buildings, often in the style of the old, have been built. Unfortunately, most of these are little more than also-rans from an architectural standpoint. Not so the Renaissance Off Broadway Lofts, which just opened on the edge of the Ballpark Neighborhood. Designed by Humphries Poli Architects, the building is thoroughly urbane, featuring fancy, polychromed brickwork and a skeletal steel cornice that seems to wittily comment on the historic buildings that were originally used for loft conversions. But visitors will be surprised to learn that this isn't a luxury building, but rather a project for low-income residents that was developed by the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless.
One of the big Denver success stories of the last five years is the adaptation of historic industrial and commercial buildings into lofts -- the word 'condo' being so '80s. Lofts are now all the rage, which means that the city has begun to run out of appropriately sized old buildings; thus new buildings, often in the style of the old, have been built. Unfortunately, most of these are little more than also-rans from an architectural standpoint. Not so the Renaissance Off Broadway Lofts, which just opened on the edge of the Ballpark Neighborhood. Designed by Humphries Poli Architects, the building is thoroughly urbane, featuring fancy, polychromed brickwork and a skeletal steel cornice that seems to wittily comment on the historic buildings that were originally used for loft conversions. But visitors will be surprised to learn that this isn't a luxury building, but rather a project for low-income residents that was developed by the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless.
Despite its name, new urbanism isn't exactly new. The highly vaunted style has turned out to be little more than old suburbanism in most places -- except that the buildings are closer together. And although most of the development at the old Lowry Air Force Base looks like a tight Highlands Ranch, a group of sensitive and intelligent townhomes and flats has been constructed by National Properties in the area of Fourth Avenue and Rosalyn Street. Called Officers' Row Lofthomes, the residences were designed by Christopher Carvell Architects of Denver and constructed of buff-colored brick, just like some of the historic buildings nearby. If most of the buildings that have mushroomed up at Lowry look like toadstools, the Officers' Row Lofthomes are the porcinis.
Despite its name, new urbanism isn't exactly new. The highly vaunted style has turned out to be little more than old suburbanism in most places -- except that the buildings are closer together. And although most of the development at the old Lowry Air Force Base looks like a tight Highlands Ranch, a group of sensitive and intelligent townhomes and flats has been constructed by National Properties in the area of Fourth Avenue and Rosalyn Street. Called Officers' Row Lofthomes, the residences were designed by Christopher Carvell Architects of Denver and constructed of buff-colored brick, just like some of the historic buildings nearby. If most of the buildings that have mushroomed up at Lowry look like toadstools, the Officers' Row Lofthomes are the porcinis.


Just a few years ago, the Platte River Valley behind LoDo was a nearly empty space. But the Sixteenth Street Mall was recently extended right to the edge of that area, and with it came lots of development. Three of the most handsome of the new buildings, Park Place, Promenade Lofts and the high-rise Riverfront Tower, were built by East West Partners; all are distinctly different yet stylistically compatible residential buildings. Hopefully, the stylish designs, by the Urban Design Group, will set the tone for future development in the Riverfront Park neighborhood. Connecting these buildings to the western terminus of the 16th Street Mall is the nearly completed Millennium Bridge, by Steve Chucovich; the pedestrian suspension bridge is held up by a single pole canted at a jaunty diagonal. Add to this the recently built Commons Park, and the residents of the South Platte Valley have the beginnings of a neighborhood to be proud of.
Just a few years ago, the Platte River Valley behind LoDo was a nearly empty space. But the Sixteenth Street Mall was recently extended right to the edge of that area, and with it came lots of development. Three of the most handsome of the new buildings, Park Place, Promenade Lofts and the high-rise Riverfront Tower, were built by East West Partners; all are distinctly different yet stylistically compatible residential buildings. Hopefully, the stylish designs, by the Urban Design Group, will set the tone for future development in the Riverfront Park neighborhood. Connecting these buildings to the western terminus of the 16th Street Mall is the nearly completed Millennium Bridge, by Steve Chucovich; the pedestrian suspension bridge is held up by a single pole canted at a jaunty diagonal. Add to this the recently built Commons Park, and the residents of the South Platte Valley have the beginnings of a neighborhood to be proud of.


Coloradans have become dispirited over the last few years as they've watched wall-to-wall subdivisions creep over the Front Range and pristine mountain valleys turn into gated communities filled with trophy homes. Now the Nature Conservancy is trying to do something about it. The group has launched a $75 million campaign to protect fifteen unique Colorado landscapes, from the dry plains of eastern Colorado's Arickaree River to the sandstone canyons of the Western Slope's Glade Park. The group has made a priority of buying land along rivers, which are often abundant with wildlife but also popular places for vacation homes. In addition, the Nature Conservancy plans to work closely with ranchers and farmers to protect both wildlife and agriculture in rural Colorado. In a state where growth often seems out of control, that's a development we can all cheer.
Coloradans have become dispirited over the last few years as they've watched wall-to-wall subdivisions creep over the Front Range and pristine mountain valleys turn into gated communities filled with trophy homes. Now the Nature Conservancy is trying to do something about it. The group has launched a $75 million campaign to protect fifteen unique Colorado landscapes, from the dry plains of eastern Colorado's Arickaree River to the sandstone canyons of the Western Slope's Glade Park. The group has made a priority of buying land along rivers, which are often abundant with wildlife but also popular places for vacation homes. In addition, the Nature Conservancy plans to work closely with ranchers and farmers to protect both wildlife and agriculture in rural Colorado. In a state where growth often seems out of control, that's a development we can all cheer.
There are plenty of charming mountain towns in the area, but none as close to Denver as Golden. Washington Avenue, the main drag, features a justly famous welcome sign ("Howdy folks!") and numerous noteworthy attractions, including the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum, the Foothills Art Center and Foss Drug, a sprawling general store stocked with everything from novelty toilet paper to restored gas pumps. As an added bonus, there's also Old Capitol Grill, a watering hole and eatery on the site of what was once Colorado's pre-statehood territorial capitol; it's among the handful of places in the country that serves Barmen Pilsner, an authentic German-style golden pilsner by Coors.
There are plenty of charming mountain towns in the area, but none as close to Denver as Golden. Washington Avenue, the main drag, features a justly famous welcome sign ("Howdy folks!") and numerous noteworthy attractions, including the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum, the Foothills Art Center and Foss Drug, a sprawling general store stocked with everything from novelty toilet paper to restored gas pumps. As an added bonus, there's also Old Capitol Grill, a watering hole and eatery on the site of what was once Colorado's pre-statehood territorial capitol; it's among the handful of places in the country that serves Barmen Pilsner, an authentic German-style golden pilsner by Coors.


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