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The Skyline Urban Renewal Project

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Shane Roberts

on 16 October 2013

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Transcript of The Skyline Urban Renewal Project

The Skyline Urban Renewal Project
The Build-up to Skyline
Skyline Project Details
Skyline in Retrospect
White Flight
-Housing Polices from the FHA and the convenience of the automobile and the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956 led to urban sprawl and suburbs

-Many White American left urban areas while Black Americans had little choice but to stay.

-This left many "inner city" areas struggling.
Federal Urban Renewal
Title I of the 1949 Housing Act funded Urban Renewal
Denver & DURA
The 1965 Flood and disinvestment in downtown Denver lead to Skyline
The Build-Up to Skyline
Rep. Byron G. Rogers (1st District)
Skyline Project Approval & Funding
Project Boundary
Aerial View Today
Original Project Boundary
New Private
"In 1965-66, after two years of nearly desperate attempts to find equity investors to build on the cleared land [the largest land assembladge in downtown Denver], Park City Corp. sold..."

"Aware of critical comment from developers that often they are not consulted about an urban renewal plan's feasibility from the investor's standpoint--and often, when they are consulted, it's too late..."
"Today...Denver's Skid Row residents have two choices--they can sit on the curb or in the bars. Tomorrow, he contrasts, they can sit in a recreation center or in a linear park in the shadow of the Daniel & Fisher tower..."

"Four major education a and medical istitutions are co-operating with DURA in developing this program to treat the psychiatric and physical problems common to the alcoholic homeless men of [Denver's] skid row. "
Slum/Parking Lot
"Prior to the creation of DURA 50% of Denver's Budget went to social services"

"81 establishments... including 50 bars, 7 missions, 12 pawn shops, 6 second-hand clothing stores..."

"120 acres with one-fourth of them occupied by buildings. The rest of the land is in streets alleys and parking."
Skyline Project Goals
Larimer Square1971
Skyline Park 1973, 1976
Tabor Center 1982
Initially Approved

Urban Design

Was the Skyline Project Successful?
-970 people living in families, roughly 500 "homeless alcoholic single men" had to relocate

-580 businesses employing 4,715 people

-Initial estimate predicted 15-25% of small businesses would go under

-No word if relocation was successful
Economic Revitalization

Skyline Park: 15th and Arapahoe
We believe that existing cities are salvageable... We believe that future of human communities lies in ecologically sound cities.
-Lawrence Halprin
Water reminds us of high mountains and streams, of deep chasms and gurgling brooks and the quiet sounds of the wilderness. Even in a city, the sound and sight of water stirs the most elemental and basic roots of out human natures.
-Lawrence Halprin, Cities
"Its our park, where are we now suppose to go and gather with who we know as our family?"
"A plaque tells me that in 1967 voters elected to renew a blighted area and completed the project in 1973...Now the city is again debating what to do, this time with the blighted area the park has become."
"Skyline park was an important open opace design for its time. It remains an early example of how to bring nature into the city-not as a romantic visual image, but as a living presence."
-Lawrence Halprin
"Skyline Park was created by the residents of Denver for the residents of Denver...Taxpayer money should be used to improve conditions of our parks for the citizens of Denver. It should not be used to build entertainment malls for Private business interests."
"Preservationists say the park should not change...deserves to stand as a testament to modern art."
"The park's canyon sculptures have been taken over by the homeless and by criminals, critics charge."
But such defensive design has severe limitations. "I think it's important to ask yourself what your're designing a landscape for," says Halprin. "Do you design based on fear? So that drug dealers can't come? Teenagers? I think its important to recognize that teenagers and drug dealers are citizens. We should have a generalized approach and treat [public parks like Skyline] as a place for everybody."
-Initially defeated as a bond issue in 1964

-Rep. Byron Rogers used Convention center as leverage

-Emerged again in Denver City Council

-Was approved by referendum in 1967 (3 to 1)

-HUD grants DURA $33,046,882 for Skyline
Skyline Park Apts
Bennett, Paul. “Lost in Translation.” Preservation Magazine. May/June 2004

Denver Urban Renewal Autority. “News Release.” Skyline Denver, DURA. 8 October 1973.

Denver Urban Renewal Authority. “Land Utilization and Marketability Study.” Skyline Project, DURA. October 1966

Komara, Ann. Lawrence Halprin’s Skyline Park. Princeton Architectural Press, 2012.

Seibert, Trent. “Homeless Kids Lose Hangout in Skyline Park Overhaul.” The Denver Post., 12 May 2003 pg. 113

Siebert, Trent. “Parks Needs Clash With Needs of Homeless.” The Denver Post. 22 Septmeber 2002. P1A

Siebert, Trent. “Webb May Break Skyline Park Impase.” The Denver Post. 15 October 2002, p2-3

Temple, John. “One Park an Eyesore, The Other Soars.” Rocky Mountain News, 10 November 2001, p2A

Wanke, Connie. “Don’t Demolish Old Skyline Park.” Wall Streetwest, Rocky Mountain News. 4 September 2001, p2C

Johnston, Dick. "DURA Signs Pact to Buy First Property." Denver Post [Denver, Colorado] 29 Apr. 1968: n. pag. Print.

(Author Not Available). "More Good News About Skyline." The Denver Post [Denver, Colorado] 12 Feb. 1968: 20. Print.

(Author Not Available). "Skyline a Special Bargain for Denver." The Denver Post [Denver, Colorado] 1966: 20. Print.

Johnston, Dick. "Outlook for Private Skyline Project Argued." The Denver Post [Denver, Colorado] 30 Apr. 1967: 1K. Print.

(Author Not Available). "Denver Urban Renewal Okay's Skyline Plan." The Rocky Mountain News [Denver, Colorado] 1968: 41. Print.

Reckler, Joanne. "Planners Hope to Transform Slum Area." The Rocky Mountain News [Denver, Colorado] 13 Feb. 1967: 73. Print.

Reckler, Joanne. "Urban Renewal's Opponents Active." The Rocky Mountain News [Denver, Colorado] 15 Feb. 1967: 18. Print.

Johnston, Dick. "City to Profit By $11 Millon." The Denver Post [Denver, Colorado] 1 July 1965: 1. Print.

The provocative city results from many different
kinds of interrelated activities where people have an
opportunity to participate in elegant, carefully designed art and spontaneous, non-designed elements
juxtaposed into what might be called a folk idiom, a series of unplanned relationships-a mixture of what is considered beautiful and what is considered ugly. These relations are often subtle and even disturbing. It is an environment which should provide those random and unforeseen opportunities, those chance occurrences, and happenings which are so vital to be aware of-the strange and the beautiful which no fixed, preconceived order can produce.
A city is a complex series of events.
- Cities, Lawrence Halprin
-$494,640,000 in initial project investment.

-$21.5 million in windfall profit.
Little Housing
Empty After 6pm
"In all of our history, approximately 200 years, the matter of personal, private property by government was held unconstitutional--until 1964."
"[Hoots] preachment's have been refuted by recognized urban planner, 40 state supreme courts and simple logic." -Pasquale Marranzino
-Condemnation was vital in acquiring all the property for Skyline.

-Businesses who wanted to stay but whose image didn't within the Skyline plan were condemned.
Opposition to Skyline
Pinney, Greg. "Skyline Project Defended, Berated." The Denver Post [Denver, Colorado] 9 Jan. 1967: 17. Print.

(Author Not Available). "Mayor Regrets Skyline Area Deletion." The Denver Post [Denver, Colorado] 27 Aug. 1967: 4. Print.

Reckler, Joanne. "Renewal Board Sifts Ideas for Skyline." The Rocky Mountain News [Denver, Colorado] 17 July 1967: 5. Print.

Harding, Del. "Federal Housing OK Boosts Denver." The Rocky Mountain News [Denver, Colorado] 27 June 1965: 8. Print.

Johnston, Dick. "Skyline Renewal Project Has a Tavern for Every 29 Residents." The Denver Post [Denver, Colorado] 7 June 1965: 3. Print.

The City of Denver. Denver Urban Renewal Authority. Skyline Project: Summary of Developments. By DURA. N.p.: n.p., 1980. Print.

Blackman, Joni H. "Pena Outline Plan for $21.5 Million Skyline Windfall." The Denver Post [Denver, Colorado] 1985: n/a. Print.

Price, Max. "Tabor Center, Finally Started, to Be Mall's Crown Jewel." The Denver Post [Denver, Colorado] 5 Sept. 1982: 1G. Print.

Hatami, Marvin. "A Consultant's Critical Look at the Skyline Project." The Denver Post [Denver, Colorado] 6 Dec. 1981: 5B. Print.

Denver Urban Renewal Authority. Skyline: Vote for Skyline May 16! Denver: Denver Urban Renewal Authority, 1967. Print.

Marranzino, Pasquale. "Skyline Project Is Moving Ahead." The Rocky Mountain News [Denver, Colorado] 19 Nov. 1966: 41. Print.

Reckler, Joanne. "Program Planned to Aid Homeless." The Rocky Mountain News [Denver, Colorado] 17 Dec. 1966: 12. Print.

Johnston, Dick. "350 in Skyline Area Need New Rentals." The Denver Post [Denver, Colorado] 4 Dec. 1969: 37. Print.

Chaplin, Leverett. "A Plea for Skyline and Better Life It Can Bring to Lower Downtown." The Denver Post [Denver, Colorado] 15 May 1967: 20. Print.

Reckler, Joanne. "Pastor Asks Skyline 'Human Renewal'" The Rocky Mountain News [Denver, Colorado] 10 Apr. 1967: 8. Print.

Johnston, Dick. "Remaking the Face of Denver... Questions and Answers on Skyline." The Denver Post [Denver, Colorado] 14 May 1967: 28. Print.
-Marvin Hatami
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