Downtown Denver

Construction Updates
A final look: Triangle Building
September 7, 2015 at 10:44 pm 1
Wewatta PlazaThe final punch list items are taking place at Denver's Triangle Building. The 10-story office structure is located at 16th Street and Wewatta adjacent to Denver's Union Station. The construction of the Triangle Building has created 200,000 square feet of office space and 10,000 square feet of ground floor retail space. Denver-based AndersonMasonDale Architects designed this building. The Triangle Building was developed by East West Partners and Starwood Capital Group. East West Partners also serves as a master developer of the Union Station neighborhood and Riverfront Park in Denver. Two tenants have been announced to lease office space in Liberty Global and WeWork. Liberty Global has signed to lease just over 70,000 square feet of space at Triangle Building and will be relocating from its Englewood office. WeWork, a company that focuses on shared workspace and entrepreneurial services  announced in August that it will be leasing 72,000 square feet at Triangle Building. Also, the final touches are being applied to Wewatta Plaza, a public right-of-way that will allow pedestrian access from 16th Street to 15th Street located adjacent to Triangle Building. A bicycle station will be placed on Wewatta Plaza. Triangle Building receives some special attention below with photos and a video since it's no longer featured in the monthly construction update.
Triangle Building December 2014

Triangle Building December 2014

East West Partners  
Denver Union Station

Triangle Building and Wewatta Plaza looking towards 16th Street.

Denver Photographs
Downtown Denver evening photos
August 31, 2015 at 2:25 am 2
Taking photographs of downtown Denver in the evening is an activity that one is relegated to during the dog days of summer. Cooler fall temperatures will be welcomed, but the evening photography in downtown Denver creates some unique images. Sundays evenings are a great time to be downtown with free parking meters, a limited amount of chemically altered knuckleheads in LoDo, and in general a more relaxed and subdued environment as the thoughts of Denverites begins to shift towards the workweek. The first picture shows Denver's second tallest skyscraper 1801 California on the left, 1999 Broadway in the middle, and One Lincoln on the right. 1999 Broadway A narrow window exists after the sun has gone down and there is still a touch of blue in the sky. This window is known as "Blue Hour," but in my opinion it is closer to Blue Half Hour." This being the case, a plan is needed to maximize this ephemeral lighting. I usually start with a plan and then about half way through I end up scrapping it and start pointing the camera at whatever catches my eye. Next is an image of the Byron White U.S. Courthouse at 18th and Stout Street. Denver Courthouse The intersection of 14th Street and Market is captured. Two cranes can be seen- the one in front of the Four Seasons belongs to the 22-story 1401 Lawrence project that is currently under construction. The crane to the left of the Four Seasons and Brooks Tower belongs to the 40-story 1144 Fifteenth Street project. Downtown Denver With the fleeting light of urban night photography, a person may feel compelled to dash to new spots in downtown Denver as fresh ideas percolate in the photographer's mind. Cutting through scarcely traveled alleys while jogging past restaurant staff on their smoke break where mutual head nods and howdy's are exchanged seems oddly within normal urban activity. The restaurant workers don't seem to be phased by a person running down an alley on a Sunday night with a camera and tripod. The below photo was taken near Blake Street on the 16th Street Mall. The white building is the middle of the image is the re Barclay Tower, and for years was one of the few residential options in downtown Denver. The second photo was snapped while an RTD Mall Shuttle drove past. Daniels and Fisher Tower RTD Bus Denver Next are a couple of photos of the fountains adjacent to Denver's Union Station. Denver fountains On the left hand side of the next photo, one of the construction cranes for the Z Block project can be seen. Denver fountains The below photo was captured at the train platform at Denver's Union Station and looks towards the Millennium Bridge. With all of the current construction and development, this part of Denver is becoming a top notch location for urban night photography. urban photography Above, if you look closely at the base of the Millennium bridge mast, just to the left of it is a glowing light blue object. This is a new piece of art that was recently installed on the plaza of 1601 Weatta. The sculpture slowly changes color from yellow, orange, red, purple, blue and green. Here is a closer look: 1601 Wewatta No more vestiges of daylight are left, so time to head home. Here is one last photo of I-25 looking towards Sports Authority Field at Mile High home of the Denver Broncos. urban night photography
Construction Updates
Facade work begins at 1401 Lawrence
August 25, 2015 at 1:45 pm 0
The exterior finishes are now being installed at the 22-story 1401 Lawrence project in downtown Denver. Denver construction The ground breaking for 1401 Lawrence took place in October last year. The building will include 13 stories of leasable office space that will sit upon a 9 story parking podium. The project is being developed by the Canadian developer First Gulf, the commercial division of Great Gulf Corporation. Downtown Denver Ground floor retail has also been incorporated into the structure. Space will exist for a 9,000 square foot restaurant and a coffee shop. National law firm Polsinelli has signed a 15-year lease to become the signature tenant of the building. Denver construction   Downtown Denver                  Denver Construction
Denver Photographs
The man behind the Denver Photo Archives
August 20, 2015 at 2:01 pm 0
"My goal was to take an image that was absolutely killer! I walked and walked, climbed and climbed. I took an image fueled by childhood adventure and honed into an uncommon view from my tenacity to capture a powerful iconic image!" -Kim Allen
Denver native Kim Allen who grew up in Harvey Park is most well known for his photographs of Denver from the 80s and early 90s where he documented the Mile High City at a unique time in its history with the use of his camera. 
Denver Photo Archives

Photo of 16th Street viaduct in 1984 looking towards downtown. Copyright Kim Allen / Denver Photo Archives

What makes these pictures distinctive is Allen had the foresight to capture areas of downtown Denver that were decayed, but were on the cusp of a renaissance. He captured photos of the viaducts just before they were torn down, the area where Coors Filed was built, and a desolate and deteriorated LoDo was visually chronicled before any trendy bar or exorbitantly priced lofts could be found. Allen's photographic adventure of Denver has created a comprehensive review of a city that was on the brink a major metamorphosis.
LoDo historic Denver

16th Street looking northeast down Wazee Street in 1988. Copyright Kim Allen / Denver Photo Archives.

Denver Skyline

Rail yards in 1986 near current location of Pepsi Center. Copyright Kim Allen / Denver Photo Archives

Kim's photos are showcased at Denverphotoarchives.com. The Denver Photo Archives was created to feature Allen's work. His photos are also found on the website buckfifty.org which includes engaging articles and works from several contributing Denver writers and artists.  Denver Urban Review had the privilege to learn more about Allen's photographs and captured his thoughts on Denver. DUR: How did your youth shape your photography? Kim Allen: My youth was unstructured. I do remember an elementary school visit to the City and County Building, our class was asked to draw about it... I distinctly remember a pencil drawing I did of the front of the building I was very proud of, an early conception of composition. DUR: Was photography something you were passionate about as a youngster or was it something you discovered later?  Kim Allen: Photography was not on my radar as a youth, sports was king... then discovering girls and beer replaced sports. DUR: How did your interest in photography evolve? Was it something you fell in love with right away, or was it something you gradually developed an interest for? Kim Allen: As a teenager I traveled alone many-many times by bus to visit cousins in Lake Tahoe. I started collecting postcards and was enthralled by wanderlust and postcards that celebrated travel. After high school I moved to Vail, I traveled as well by bus and hitch hiking mostly in the west. . . I started taking images of my trips with my little instamatic camera, I was hooked - I could not wait to see my photos! DUR: The photos featured on the Denver Photo Archives website– the idea to capture Denver and specifically LoDo just before all the redevelopment took place, was that the result of one epiphany or was there a build up and a combination of several ideas that coalesced to create this work? Kim Allen: I had lived in Vail and Telluride for a total of 10 years after high school. I thought I would spend the rest of my life in the mountains... basically the adventure dulled. I was essentially a lower/middle class kid that as time went by realized I loved and felt more comfortable in Denver. I noticed various renovation projects in Denver and started to photograph them, I became hooked on documenting Denver as artistically as possible. Once again, I was hooked! I studied books of photographer's L. C. McClure, J.E. Stimson and David Plowden and realized the respect I had for such important work as chronicle of our historical heritage. DUR: Why do you think you were really the only one that recognized that this moment in Denver's history needed to be documented? Kim Allen: I would love to take full credit for being the only person to photograph in a similar vein at that time. A gentleman named Roger Whitacre did some work related to his real estate clients. Some of his work was seen in Historic Denver publications, he is a drawer and done small sculpture's as well. Roger is a very talented man, I consider him a friend. I developed my own style of climbing R.R. tower's, climbing buildings, climbing viaduct infrastructure's etc.  - My goal was to take an image that was absolutely killer! I walked and walked, climbed and climbed. I took an image fueled by childhood adventure and honed into an uncommon view from my tenacity to capture a powerful iconic image! I researched subject matter, called people, talked to people... I knew exactly what was going on, "if a board had moved" from one month to another... I had become Denver. My composition became better, each photo, each roll of film confirmed my dedication was producing excellent photographs. My own style was created, I wanted to be better than any photographer Denver had ever seen, period! DUR: Do you see yourself as an artist or documentarian? Kim Allen: Documentation and art can overlap each other... I tried to combine both intensions. I artistically wanted my images to be great, the documentation was simply the determination to continue part of Denver's story. I hung around with some artist's (painters) and some photographers... it really was not my gig. I actually was shocked that none of them seemed to understand what was occurring, even the photo staff's of two major newspapers in Denver did not recognize the phenomena that had started. DUR: During the time of the Denver Photo Archive images were captured, were you working as a full-time photographer? If not, what was your day job? Kim Allen: I started out wanting to be an assistant commercial photographer or a newspaper/magazine photographer. I really had no clue of the actually reality of each profession. I really did not fit into either profession and discovered early on I had a different calling... I was a loner determined to create special work. I worked construction jobs of painting to pay rent, buy my film and beer to celebrate. DUR:  When you were down in the LoDo area taking photos, was it pretty easy to walk around and take photos, or were you always looking over your shoulder? Kim Allen: I would have devoted more time to other areas of Denver, the action just was not there. I followed the money... when Dana Crawford, Mickey Zeppelin, Larry Nelson, Jerry Glick and others were starting LoDo projects I knew the city was about to change Lower downtown/ Platte valley was very expansive. I could walk forever never crossing a fence or major street because the viaducts carried most of the traffic... it was all fields, birds and rabbits. It is a huge misconception of downtown or lower downtown being dangerous, there was no one there. It is a myth that is was dangerous, a good story for my photos - but untrue. DUR: Did you continue to take photos of Denver through the 1990s and into the 2000s? If not, why did you stop? Kim Allen: Photographing Denver was an obsession, it had taken control over my life. I realized one day I seldom took images of my Mother or family members. The respect of my photo work had not matured, I liked beer too much, and a new relationship with my future wife, they all added up to putting my camera away in 1994. I put my negatives and camera in storage, never looked at them again until 2008. DUR: Over the last 25 years, has Denver progressed as you anticipated it would, or have you been surprised by how it is evolving? Kim Allen: I was absolutely certain Denver was going to bust out big time. I thought more would develop to the east side of Union Station. The vast Central Platte Valley took precedent... the deep financial pockets of Denver's sport scene replaced the rail yards with Coors Field and Pepsi Center, and the gold rush was on.... Elitch Garden also relocated prior. Many-many small projects had started prior in lower downtown, the transformation was already set. John Hickenlooper and fellow founders in 1988 of the Wynkoop Brewing Company. The perfect storm had started, the purchase of land behind Union Station by East-West Partners and also Continuum sealed the deal big time! DUR: With Denver's current incredible growth, do you fear that Denver's identity, its culture, and its built environment are headed in the wrong direction? Kim Allen: The market determines everything, supply and demand. My parents experienced a different Denver, I experience a different Denver, new residents are now experiencing their reality. I would however urge ALL residents to look deeper into the wonderful attributes of Denver other than the low hanging fruit of the dazzle of overpriced restaurants and cocktails that appear in the sewer system soon afterwards and the money gone... setting the bar a little low as a community in my opinion. DUR: Down the road in 50 years, how do you feel people will view the architecture of this current development cycle? Will people say that buildings were constructed that are not architectural significant? Kim Allen: Yes and no... a city is part of massive complex of components. You can not make everyone happy... developers, contractors, architects, planners, citizens all have their own role and agenda. Living in a perfect world of great architecture and construction etc. for small town prices is a thing of the past. There are pros and cons of everything, nothing in life is free, there is a price we all pay - the result of what we consider success. People who sit on the side line and complain about every design need to get a JOB in the field, then will realize their boss calls the shots - and the boss is told what to do - by his boss!
Project Announcements
Downtown Denver high-rise announced
August 10, 2015 at 4:08 pm 1
Emily Griffith Foundation and Zocalo Community Development have announced plans to develop a high-rise, mixed-use project in Downtown Denver. Denver SkylineThe development will be located on one of three adjacent parcels at 1811 Lincoln and is part of a larger, 93,000-square-foot acquisition of land executed and closed by Zocalo on behalf of the Foundation.  The acquisition also includes a parcel of land at 1830 Broadway and a 320-space parking garage at 1855 Lincoln.  Funding for the transaction was provided by Citywide Banks while the Emily Griffith Foundation was represented by the Denver-based law firm of Otten Johnson.  Zocalo and the Foundation plan to break ground in the second half of 2016, 100 years after the Emily Griffith Technical College first opened its doors. In a phone call with Iván Anaya, development manager of Zocalo Community Development, he stated that renderings are not yet available and the height of the building has yet to be finalized. Anaya did state that the project could potentially be up to 20 floors in height. The development will include 200 apartments for families that earn between 50 to 90 percent of the area's average income. A daycare center, and a workforce development center ran by Emily Griffith will also be included. “With this purchase and future development, the Emily Griffith Foundation has taken a big step toward a financially-sustainable future and an increased role in the support of Emily Griffith Technical College,” said Alby Segall, president of the Foundation. “Our intention is to be a catalyst for economic growth and social enterprise in the rapidly growing neighborhoods to the north and east of downtown. We are excited about the continuing partnership with Zocalo Community Development.” Zocalo has also developed Denver's Cadence Union Station, 2020 Lawrence Street, Solera Apartments and RiverClay Condominiums. “Over the past century Emily Griffith Technical College has contributed immeasurably to the growth of Denver’s middle class.  Zocalo is excited to collaborate with the Foundation on an innovative, reproducible project that will increase the Foundation’s capacity to support the Technical College in an unprecedented manner.  Community impact projects such as this embrace Zocalo’s commitment to serving community through real estate development,” said Anaya.