We can dance for joy about this, since the sculptural depictions of dancers are gone, and work has begun to build a new entry to the Sheraton Denver Downtown hotel. This renovation project was announced in late August, and now it’s time to get caught up with it.
It is still painful to recall the history of the hotel, designed more than a half century ago by master architect I.M. Pei, who passed away earlier this year. The destruction of the hyperbolic paraboloid is still troubling; that lyrical structure served as its own entree to a complex that for years included a hotel and a department store.
While wandering downtown on Saturday, the entry / porte cochere plopped on the hotel in the 1990s — dubbed the “elegant glass box” — now is gone. And the ballerina sculptures have jetéed their way to the arts district on Santa Fe Drive, where the Colorado Ballet has made its home.
The architect on the new façade and porte cochere is Johnson Nathan Strohe (JNS), which has noted that the new structure will be lighter than the previous structure as a nod to the work by I.M. Pei. After all, the old one was straight out of Dynasty, all glitz and shine. Still, this seems to be somewhat problematic, since only I.M. Pei could create a work by I.M. Pei.
But, the box is gone, and the ballerinas are gone, and now the problem is how to drive through that block of Court Place. A parking lane and a traffic lane have been blocked off for construction, leaving not much driving room, since this project is across the street from a drop-off spot for visitors.
The image at the top of this post was taken Saturday, while trying not to get run over; the rendering below is JNS’ design to replace that non-elegant box. Links below lead to the JNS’ page on the Sheraton project, a story on CBS local news, a detailed story on HospitalityNet on the full $80 million renovation project, and a story in The Denver Post.