Wake-Up Call: History in the taking

Yesterday afternoon, I posted a note from Marcus Pachner, informing members of the CBHD -- the stakeholders' group working with Shea Properties on its redevelopment of the former University of Colorado Health Sciences campus -- that Denver City Council's public hearing to consider landmark status for two buildings on the site has been postponed from Monday, January 5 to an as-yet undetermined date.

This postponement came as news to the Landmark Preservation Commission, whose recommendation early this month that the two '60s era Hornbein and White buildings be designated landmarks (after the Denver Planning Board had voted the opposite) moved the proposal on to Denver City Council, which must make the final decision. "No word from the city to us at all," one commission member told me after reading my blog.

Although the buildings are remarkable in their own right, their creators have a significant history, too. Hornbein was the primary proponent of Usonian architecture in Denver; Ed White was a founder of Historic Denver, an organization created to save the city's heritage at a time when Denver boosters seemed determined to erace it. Let's hope the unpublicized postponement means a compromise is in the works that would preserve an important part of Denver's history -- rather than wipe it off the map. -- Patricia Calhoun



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