FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
January 31, 2008
Sue Cobb or Lindy Eichenbaum Lent, 720-865-9016
Mayor Hickenlooper Responds To Colorado Historical Society's Decision To Abandon Civic Center Park-Museum Idea
(DENVER) Following the Colorado Historical Society’s decision on Thursday to withdraw their interest in relocating the Colorado History Museum to Denver’s Civic Center park, Mayor John Hickenlooper issued the following statement:
“When the Colorado Historical Society approached us with an interest in relocating to Civic Center, we were open to the idea of a public process to discuss the opportunities and challenges surrounding such a move. Out of that process, a number of community concerns were raised, which we tried to address in the City’s counterproposal. If the Colorado Historical Society feels it cannot move forward under those more restrictive parameters, we certainly understand. “
In July 2007, the Colorado Historical Society asked the City of Denver to consider allowing the Colorado History Museum to locate inside Civic Center by utilizing portions of a restored McNichols Building (Carnegie Library), building a new companion building of equal mass and scale to the McNichols Building in the southwest corner of the park, and creating an underground exhibit space between the two buildings. Following a six-month public process, Mayor Hickenlooper and District 10 Councilwoman Jeanne Robb issued a counterproposal in December 2007 that included significantly reducing the size of the proposed second building.
“We wish the Colorado History Museum the best in finding a suitable site to meet their needs,” said Hickenlooper. “In the meantime, the City's efforts to revitalize the park, which long preceded the Museum’s initial proposal, will continue with renewed vigor.”
Those efforts will include the $9 million voters approved in the November 2007 Better Denver bond package to restore the historic features of the park including the Greek Theater and the Voorhies Memorial.
“The Museum process and others have underscored the widespread community interest in restoring Civic Center to the vibrant historic jewel it was intended to be,” said Hickenlooper. “This park in the heart of our city is important to so many people, for so many reasons, and merits our ongoing, serious attention.”
Flanked by Bannock on the west, Broadway on the east, Colfax on the north and 14th Ave. on the south, Civic Center park is located between the Denver City and County Building and the Colorado State Capitol. Surrounded by the Denver Public Library, Denver Art Museum, the Golden Triangle and Capitol Hill neighborhoods and the Downtown Central Business District, the park provides an urban oasis connecting Denver’s civic, cultural, commercial and residential axes. Large festivals and a summer farmers market are among the park’s current uses.