Architecture

Is the Beauvallon the Ugliest Building in Denver?


Another day, another new building — and another neighborhood up in arms over Denver's rapid growth. There have been definitely been positives coming from this boom — longtime Westword art/architecture critic Michael Paglia recently listed the ten best new buildings in Denver. But what goes up must come down, and earlier this month he offered the reverse of that list: the ten worst new buildings in downtown Denver. And while Paglia says he had some trouble coming up with ten modern beauties, he had no trouble coming up with their mediocre counterparts — bad buildings that bother many readers. Write John and Dorothy Hall:
Congratulations to Michael Paglia on the article "Mile High Mediocre."  That selection of buildings just gives one "retina burn" and leads one to wonder where and when the term "highest and best use" was applied, and by whom. Certainly beauty - even architectural beauty - is in the eye of the beholder, but the buildings Michael selected raises a serious question as to who who really thought they were an asset to Denver's architectural collection as they were being designed. 

And, if Michael had included the boxes going up everywhere, layer upon layer, you would have had to double the size of that edition of Westword
John Parfey is irritated by one particular building.


Here's what he had to say about it:
Excellent compendium of Denver’s most awful buildings. I pity the author who had so many to choose from. Personally, I’d take most of them and put them into a tie for last. But the Beauvallon and its two hideous siblings easily deserve their place at the top of the rankings. There are a few notable exceptions, but far too few for a city the size of Denver. The sad part is that these buildings will be with us for many, many years to come.

I tell visitors, “If you merely don’t like Blucifer out at the airport, you’ll surely hate the architecture.”
But beauty can be in the eye of the beholder — or the cameraman. Says Andrew:
I’m sorry, but did Westword send out interns to take pictures of these buildings with their iPhones? Typically, if you want to show examples of good architecture, you get a professional to take pictures of it — so how about next time, use some of that sweet, sweet marijuana-dispensary advertising money and hire a photographer?
Did you miss the original story? You can still read it here...and watch for more letters in this week's print edition of Westword.
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Patricia Calhoun co-founded Westword in 1977; she’s been the editor ever since. She’s a regular on the weekly CPT12 roundtable Colorado Inside Out, played a real journalist in John Sayles’s Silver City, once interviewed President Bill Clinton while wearing flip-flops, and has been honored with numerous national awards for her columns and feature-writing.
Contact: Patricia Calhoun

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