In the wake of September 11, security experts decided that the main entrance to the City and County Building should be locked and all traffic funneled through a side door. Besides being a big pain in the neck for workers and visitors alike, it smacked of a siege mentality gone too far. The decision to finally reopen the doors of City Hall on January 28 afforded Mayor Wellington Webb an opportunity to do a bit of grandstanding: "This is the people's building, and we are not going to let the terrorists win," he said. But the plain fact was that taking off the locks and chains provided a minor but significant sign that normalcy was returning.
In the wake of September 11, security experts decided that the main entrance to the City and County Building should be locked and all traffic funneled through a side door. Besides being a big pain in the neck for workers and visitors alike, it smacked of a siege mentality gone too far. The decision to finally reopen the doors of City Hall on January 28 afforded Mayor Wellington Webb an opportunity to do a bit of grandstanding: "This is the people's building, and we are not going to let the terrorists win," he said. But the plain fact was that taking off the locks and chains provided a minor but significant sign that normalcy was returning.


Sports Authority Field at Mile High
One less ugly, crumbling parking lot; one more nice Denver building. For the last several years, the Civic Center Office Building, a gleaming new twelve-story edifice, has been rising at the north end of Civic Center Park. When it opens this summer, the structure, designed by David Owen Tryba with RNL Design, will provide badly needed office space for the City and County of Denver. The building -- especially the main tower, a contemporary neo-modernist confection with dramatically curving walls of aluminum and glass -- will also provide a nice complement to the rigidly rectilinear 1949 city-owned international-style Annex I, which will be connected to it by a large atrium. The new building's height allows a graceful transition between the relatively low profile of the monumental public buildings of the Civic Center and the much taller commercial skyscrapers just behind it in the central business district.
One less ugly, crumbling parking lot; one more nice Denver building. For the last several years, the Civic Center Office Building, a gleaming new twelve-story edifice, has been rising at the north end of Civic Center Park. When it opens this summer, the structure, designed by David Owen Tryba with RNL Design, will provide badly needed office space for the City and County of Denver. The building -- especially the main tower, a contemporary neo-modernist confection with dramatically curving walls of aluminum and glass -- will also provide a nice complement to the rigidly rectilinear 1949 city-owned international-style Annex I, which will be connected to it by a large atrium. The new building's height allows a graceful transition between the relatively low profile of the monumental public buildings of the Civic Center and the much taller commercial skyscrapers just behind it in the central business district.


Annex I was used for decades as offices for the City and County of Denver, but it was originally built in 1949 as part of a never-finished and ultimately abandoned downtown campus for the University of Denver. It was designed by local architects Smith, Hegner and Moore, with G. Meredith Musick. And although Annex I is radically different from the older neo-classical buildings in the Civic Center, it blends in because it's been appropriately clad in a similarly cut gray stone. Despite the many architectural plaudits Annex I has received, however, over the years it became a sport among amateurs to hate it, and the administration of Mayor Wellington Webb threatened to demolish it. So it was a surprise when Webb actually saved Annex I, including it in the city's plans for the new Civic Center Office Building. Government work has become a little easier to look at.
Annex I was used for decades as offices for the City and County of Denver, but it was originally built in 1949 as part of a never-finished and ultimately abandoned downtown campus for the University of Denver. It was designed by local architects Smith, Hegner and Moore, with G. Meredith Musick. And although Annex I is radically different from the older neo-classical buildings in the Civic Center, it blends in because it's been appropriately clad in a similarly cut gray stone. Despite the many architectural plaudits Annex I has received, however, over the years it became a sport among amateurs to hate it, and the administration of Mayor Wellington Webb threatened to demolish it. So it was a surprise when Webb actually saved Annex I, including it in the city's plans for the new Civic Center Office Building. Government work has become a little easier to look at.


Historically known as the Gates Mansion, the fabulous house that sits high above the corner of Fourteenth Avenue and Josephine Street is an easy-to-recognize landmark. Built for merchant Russell Gates in 1892, the fine Richardsonian-Romanesque residence is noteworthy for its monumental stone arches and elegant massing. The identity of the designer is unknown, but it's thought to have been architect H. Chatten. Unfortunately, the house was divided into apartments nearly twenty years after its completion, and it later became a boardinghouse. In 1984 it got a slight rehab and was turned into an office building. More recently, the building was acquired by the Del Norte Neighborhood Development Corporation, which completely renovated and expanded it last summer. The mansion is now a housing-and-care facility for formerly homeless people with HIV, and it has been renamed Dave's Place. Surprisingly, the neighbors didn't complain as they might have done in another neighborhood when faced with the combination of homelessness and HIV. Location, location, location.
Historically known as the Gates Mansion, the fabulous house that sits high above the corner of Fourteenth Avenue and Josephine Street is an easy-to-recognize landmark. Built for merchant Russell Gates in 1892, the fine Richardsonian-Romanesque residence is noteworthy for its monumental stone arches and elegant massing. The identity of the designer is unknown, but it's thought to have been architect H. Chatten. Unfortunately, the house was divided into apartments nearly twenty years after its completion, and it later became a boardinghouse. In 1984 it got a slight rehab and was turned into an office building. More recently, the building was acquired by the Del Norte Neighborhood Development Corporation, which completely renovated and expanded it last summer. The mansion is now a housing-and-care facility for formerly homeless people with HIV, and it has been renamed Dave's Place. Surprisingly, the neighbors didn't complain as they might have done in another neighborhood when faced with the combination of homelessness and HIV. Location, location, location.
Charlie Woolley, who specializes in rehabbing historic buildings, has earned a reputation as one of Denver's most creative and thoughtful developers. For his latest effort, he poured $20 million into the three former Karmen Western Wear buildings on Wazee Street between 15th and 16th streets -- which he's dubbed the Hardware Block -- and turned them into lofts, offices and stores. But the project was no ordinary one. With the help of architect Josh Comfort, Woolley has transformed the former eyesores into showplaces. For instance, the tawdry fake stone that long covered one of the buildings has been removed, revealing red brick, and a long-lost cornice was restored to another of the structures. That's a nice development in a wonderful part of town.
Charlie Woolley, who specializes in rehabbing historic buildings, has earned a reputation as one of Denver's most creative and thoughtful developers. For his latest effort, he poured $20 million into the three former Karmen Western Wear buildings on Wazee Street between 15th and 16th streets -- which he's dubbed the Hardware Block -- and turned them into lofts, offices and stores. But the project was no ordinary one. With the help of architect Josh Comfort, Woolley has transformed the former eyesores into showplaces. For instance, the tawdry fake stone that long covered one of the buildings has been removed, revealing red brick, and a long-lost cornice was restored to another of the structures. That's a nice development in a wonderful part of town.


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