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Reader: Denver's Architectural History and Beauty Being Trashed for Growth

Can someone other than a home's owner have the building designated historic? That's the question Judith Battista is asking, now that Denver City Council rep Rafael Espinoza has applied to have the Jefferson Park house she's owned for ten years declared historic. “As I’ve told everyone, my house is for sale to the highest bidder, and it is ‘as is,’” Battista says. And historic designation would make it far less valuable to some potential buyers — buyers who would tear it down and redevelop the property, as happened with another Jefferson Park home last year. The controversy over Battista's house will go to council later this month. In the meantime, says Wende:

I couldn't disagree with this article more. It saddens me to see Denver's architectural history and beauty being trashed in the name of growth. I am not for keeping everything, but this home is beautiful and can never be recreated. What the neighbors around this house don't realize is that historical designation offers more stable, longterm value of a neighborhood: Lincoln Park in Chicago, Cleveland Park, Georgetown and most of Washington, D.C., even Curtis Park in Denver. Making a neighborhood full of nondescript condos and apartments will be fine for today when the economy is good. When things slow down, that will make the area less attractive, particularly when the newer homes start showing their age.

Should a potentially historic home be saved — even over its owner's objections? What do you think about growth and development in Denver?

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