On Wednesday, I posted information from a meeting the night before where the city and the new owners asked residents what they would like to see from the redevelopment of the Loretto Heights Campus. But, the issue of preservation was not clear.
Now, it is at least more clear.
And that is thanks to District 2 City Councilman Kevin Flynn, who responded on Facebook, where I had posted a link to this blog, something I do whenever I post on this blog.
A person on Facebook had said there needed to be a preservation study of the campus. And there is one being conducted, by a company called Square Moon Consultants, LLC. Wrote Flynn, mentioning the photo I had posted:
“The Loretto Academy building shown here, by Frank Edbrooke (1890) and the adjoining Loretto Chapel (also by Edbrooke, 1911) are subject to a preservation covenant in the deed, running with the land and binding the owners and their successors for a minimum of 50 years. Other campus buildings are being assessed in a historical resource study being done at this moment as part of the Area Plan, and I expect soon there will be an announcement of another building being preserved.”
He then later wrote that Square Moon was the firm working on the study, which is good to know. It’s my understanding that the firm was founded by a former principal planner for the Denver Landmark Preservation Commission, which is housed under the city’s department of Community Planning and Development.
Also, Historic Denver has a page on its website addressing not just the situation involving Loretto Heights, but also a lot of information on the school’s history and a list of the architects who designed buildings on the campus.
Correction alert: I had heard that Machebeuf Hall was designed by Musick & Musick, but it really was John K. Monroe. Sorry for the incorrect information. Checking out Historic Denver’s Loretto Heights page certainly is worth your while.
Below, I have included several links, including Denverite’s coverage of the meeting earlier this week, but posted yesterday, and the page on Historic Denver devoted to Loretto Heights. As well, there are links to minutes and a presentation from the December 18, 2018, steering committee meeting; the committee, with representation from the city and those with a stake in the campus, is working on addressing the future of Loretto Heights. After all, this is another major development for Denver involving existing buildings that could — should — become part of the future use of the campus. Affordable housing, art studios, rehearsal space — so many options to pursue.
Finally, as someone who has followed historic preservation in the metro area for decades, I know that preserving historic buildings is a tough road to travel. The greenest building is the one that is already built, considering the materials used and the embedded energy of just building that building.
I hope that buildings on that campus can play a part of the redevelopment, but I wasn’t born yesterday.