World News

City rejects bid to save architect Richard Crowther’s Denver home

Denver City Council on Monday night shut down efforts to save pioneering architect Richard Crowther’s former home in Cherry Creek, citing arguments from the property’s owner, who plans to develop it into luxury duplexes, and the opposition of neighborhood residents.

In October, architects Alan G. Gass and Michael Hughes, as well as Historic Denver Inc. board member Tom Hart, filed an appeal to the city’s landmark commission to prevent the demolition of the 1979 structure, which included elements of the late, Denver-based Crowther’s groundbreaking work in residential solar design and “passive” energy use. Crowther is also known for leaving his mark on Lakeside Amusement Park after moving to Denver in the 1940s.

The Denver Landmark Preservation Commission received the application to demolish the structure in July, although the architects’ application to save it didn’t arrive until Oct. 3, said Kara Hann, principal planner for the commission.

But landmark supporters couldn’t come up with the $4 million required to buy the property from owner MAG Builders. The developer also said an additional $3 million was required to restore the house, which has sat empty for the last 15 years, and bring it up to code.

The commission looked at the property through its Modernist design merits, according to video of the Dec. 11 session posted Tuesday morning, but also found extensive water damage and other issues. During the hearing for proposed Bill 22-1472, which would have officially created an ordinance designating 401 N. Madison St. as a structure for preservation, Hann said the commission ultimately recommended preserving the structure.

Hart, a Historic Denver Inc. board member, argued that the national attention on the home and landmark status would also increase the value of the property. He also criticized the overall process.

“In our opinion, this wasn’t a good-faith public process,” he said.

Supporter Gass also addressed negative comments about the preservation, such as complaints about the aesthetics and recent vandalism. “I’m sure you’re all aware that landmark designation is not a beauty contest,” he said.

Attorney Steve Gilman, representing the owners, said “structural deficiencies” have driven off buyers. After multiple public comments in opposition of the designation, council members overall voted against the designation.

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter, In The Know, to get entertainment news sent straight to your inbox.

Source: Read Full Article