As we think about the future of Denver – especially in terms of the new mega-projects worth billions of dollars – I had to consider the importance of more down-to-earth issues. Like our source of water to support new buildings, environmental challenges, the need for more coherently planned and funded affordable housing, strategies to keep residents from being pushed out of their neighborhoods – all those boring things that seem so 20th century.
But now, as we are firmly grasping the aspirational weirdness of development all over the city, we also are involved in projects that will remake the face of the city: The River Mile, the North Denver Cornerstone Collaborative, CDOT’s Central 70 Project, an Aerotropolis complex at Denver International Airport. I’m probably missing something.
But it could be much more daunting: If you live in New York City, residents now have an array of buildings designed by top-shelf architects and clustered around a $200 million sculpture called Vessel. When Hudson Yards is fully built out, it will be a $25 billion project, featuring (for now) a hotel, office space, a soaring condo building, and an art space. Subsidized apartments are mentioned, too.
Yes, we are not New York City, and we have not yet reached that level of conspicuous consumption and high-stakes development. But the outpouring of critiques about Hudson Yards offers a jolt back into reality in Denver.
The first link below leads to a column that really resonates. New York Times’ architecture critic Michael Kimmelman offers a thoughtful examination of Hudson Yards, with superb graphics. (The photo used here shows where 15 Hudson Yards meets the arts center called the Shed; the credit belongs to Times’ photographer Tony Cenicola.)
Following that are links to pieces on Hudson Yards, Vessel, and the project’s landscape architect, and a deliciously acerbic New Yorker piece on the artist who created Vessel (which apparently now is going to get a nickname).