August 30, 2006

Transforming Civic Center Park

Daniel Libeskind's vision.

Architectural star Daniel Libeskind has offered his vision for a revitalized, multi-use Civic Center that would become a standalone draw in Denver:
A central water plaza shaped like a bowtie, an "iconic" light and water tower and a swooping bridge that sails over the intersection of Broadway and Colfax Avenue highlighted Daniel Libeskind's proposals to revive Civic Center.

The proposals, announced by the architect at a Wednesday press conference, were funded by the Civic Center Conservancy, which hired Libeskind last fall for about $75,000 to come up with ideas that could bring people into the park. He created a master plan for various structures and elements, based on a plan for Civic Center adopted by the city last year.

There is no price tag yet for the project, said Mayor John Hickenlooper during a press conference at the Colorado Convention Center. A series of public meetings will be held this fall, culminating in a report in January by parks and recreation manager Kim Bailey to the parks advisory committee.
Why is this such a pressing issue? Examine the caption below.

Marc Piscotty © News
A view of Civic Center Park Thursday, March, 17, 2005 looking northeast with Downtown Denver and the State Capitol in the background as shot from the seventh floor of the Denver Art Museum. Denver is working on a plan to turn Civic Center Park into a destination point in downtown Denver by possibly connecting it to the 16th Street Mall and perhaps even burying part of Colfax Avenue to make the whole area more pedestrian friendly. The ambitious plan calls for reviving the area around the park that has largely become a haven for drug dealers and users and the homeless.

So the problem is less one of beautification, and more a concern with weeding out undesirable guests. This, of course, is much more palatable when the city is dominated by Democrats, including a popular mayor. If this were a Republican plan, the critics would be outraged!

Let's just hope the plan doesn't include nude statues. What a furor that might cause!



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