‘Demolition and development is a form of religion in the last decade.’

Carmen Court Screen Shot 2020-04-21 at 10.58.14 AM

The headline above is part of a quote from Sarah McCarthy, a long-time preservation supporter and one of the neighbors involved in rallying the troops to landmark Carmen Court. Lisa Purdy, also another long-time preservation supporter, is heavily involved, too. Purdy said that with the help of a mediator, they hoped to sit down with a representative of the developer (Hines) or the former owners to talk about this situation. They helped raise the $875 to submit to the city to ask for a pause for time to submit a nomination about Carmen Court. 

Writing about preservation can be difficult. Years ago, when I was at the News, I wrote straight news stories about certain preservation topics, but also columns that took a decidedly active stance for preservation. One of the worst issue the city faced was the loss of the hyperbolic paraboloid, which was an integral part of I.M. Pei’s complex including a department store, a hotel, and the paraboloid. But then there was the Skyline Park’s partial scrape, which was left a mess. Then there was when high-rollers decided to back a big name architect to “activate” Civic Center with all sorts of intrusive elements that made no sense.

And that was before the boom-town Denver decided to get rid of more buildings that were important to the city’s history and the need for admirable buildings. We’re in a bad place right now. 

The same exhaustive research goes for Michael Paglia at Westword, who always deals with the reality of the situation and presents the facts. 

Some other news outlets will post stories, but quite often they have an edge or a chance to get in a dig against the concept of preservation.  

But what I also have read is work by a reporter inamed Thomas Gounley, who writes for BusinessDen. Last year, he was writing about Tom’s Diner and the Park Hill Farm House and the mortuary in Berkeley, and so many other issues. Now he is tackling Carmen Court. Going back through the posts on my blog last summer, filled with preservation turmoil, I found so many references that Gounley just wrote straight down the line.

It is information that helps people in Denver have a good grip on the situations that had come to a point where many people were just over all the scraping.  He writes the news, and yesterday he wrote more about Carmen Court, and the people who are trying to save this complex. 

The headline on this post is part of a quote from Sarah McCarthy in the story on BusinessDen. Here’s the full quote:  McCarthy said she thinks that “demolition and development is a form of religion in the last decade” in Denver.  “You can’t tell whether you’re in Cherry Creek or LoHi anymore … that feature of every neighborhood looking alike is spreading,” she said.

Recently, someone living in Denver said that something I had written was stirring people up. Why even answer, I thought. No one needs to foment a revolution. For many people in Denver, they already know that the revolution against scrapes and the spread of the ugliness has begun. We’ll see how that goes. 

The links below lead to stories by Gounley about Carmen Court, adding more information, and last year’s struggle with the Park Hill Farm House. While Tom’s Diner and the mortuary have found new owners, the farm house didn’t make it. 

Neighbors talk effort to preserve Carmen Court condo complex off Speer

Commission denies landmark application from non-owner for Park Hill home


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