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CNN highlights new Punch Bowl Social in old Stapleton control tower

CNN had some fun in its travel section telling folks about the new Punch Bowl Social that took over the abandoned air traffic control tower at the former Stapleton Airport.

The new establishment "combines diner-style food, bowling, karaoke and stunning views of Denver below." the report said.

The airport closed in 1995 and several plans were considered to keep it from demolition. The city approached Punch Bowl Social, which liked the challenge of a unique renovation. 

"Designing and reusing a former airport tower is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to enhance an iconic municipal structure while revitalizing that which was once abandoned," says Rebecca Stone, managing principal at 
OZ Architecture, who worked on the project on behalf of Punch Bowl.

Read the whole story and see CNN's entertaining photos here.

 

Architectural Digest reports on Denver's proposed "supertall" skyscraper

Architecture magazines don't pay all that much attetnion to Denver, but a 90-story high-rise, proposed for 650 17th Street got a lot of people talking.

If built, the structure would be the tallest in the city, "topping out at 1,000 feet, Six Fifty 17 would stand 286 taller than the Republic Plaza building, Denver’s current tallest at 714 feet," according to the magazine. It would house 84 luxury condos and 22,000 square feet of commercial retail space. 

The developer is Manhattan-bassed Greenwich Realty Capital. The designer is Uruguayan architect Carlos Ott, who designed the Opera de la Bastille in Paris.


See a rendering and read the entire story here.


Must read: The Nation magazine sheds a suspicious light on the Interstate 70 upgrade plan

The Nation presents a dark take on how the government's plan to bury sections of Interstate 70 in Denver could destroy the character of historic neighbohoods. In short, residents lose and real estate investors win.

"The CDOT’s plan would condemn 56 homes and 17 businesses—a more extensive use of eminent domain than was required for the construction of the highway in the first place. It would also sever the neighborhoods during the decade of construction and open them to land-grabbing by developers."

The plan, the story contends, is an update of redlining because it would make many homeowners ineligible for FHA mortgages. 

"It already appears to be working. In addition to direct displacement by eminent domain, home values in GES have increased by 68 percent in the last two years (compared to 30 percent in the rest of Denver). This has displaced the neighborhoods’ renters, who are uniquely precarious—over 50 percent have no lease at all—as well as longtime homeowners who cannot afford the increased property taxes. The stormwater component of the plan also places Globeville back into the 100-year floodplain, making homeowners ineligible for FHA loans. The redlining returns."

Read author Caroline Tracey's full report here.
 

Norfolk, the latest city to witness, and envy, Denver transit

Jordan Pascale, who covers transportation for The Virginian-Pilot, writes about RTD's light rail to DIA and uses it as a platform for discussing the transit system in Norfolk.

He writes:

"I’m convinced, now more than ever, that if Norfolk’s proposed light-rail extension doesn’t go to Norfolk International Airport, then we’ve made a huge mistake."

He's good at explaining how it works:

"Technically it’s designated commuter rail – the cars look a bit more like subway cars on the outside and have a higher capacity than Norfolk’s light rail but still feel like light rail on the inside."

And he points out its peculiarities, which is kind of entertaining:

"One odd thing that I noticed: police and other personnel stationed at each crossing gate holding stop signs as the train passed. They had umbrellas set up and everything to keep them out of the heat. I thought it was just a weird Colorado law.

Turns out the gates have been malfunctioning. The private consortium is footing nearly $6 million a year to staff the gates."

And this:

"Some things are confusing, especially to this out-of-towner. The airport line is called the “University of Colorado A Line” despite not serving any of the campuses. It’s merely a name sponsorship deal."

Read the whole story here.

 

Albuquerque asks: Why are our people moving to Denver?

The Albuquerque Journal wanted to know why so many folks from Albuquerque have transplanted themselves to Denver lately.

New Mexicans are moving here despite what the story describes as "long traffic jams on major roads that put Albuquerque’s commuter woes to shame and a median home cost that’s double Albuquerque’s."

The economy has a lot to do with it:

"Unemployment in New Mexico has ranked as one of the highest in the nation, registering 6.4 percent in June. Colorado, meanwhile, has been shattering its own state records, with a 2.3 percent rate in June. Colorado and North Dakota have the lowest in the nation."

But there's more, as one of the interviewed transplants, Andrew Webb, notes:

“There is a sense of vibrance and positivity,” Webb said. “It’s very exciting here right now.”

Read the entire report here.


 

Does DIA have the best wifi on the planet?

Denver is getting some world-wide attention for its internet capabilities. The Financial, a publication out of Tbilisi, Georgia, reports that Denver International Airport has the "fastest Wi-Fi among the world’s top airports."

The article cites a report from  "the global internet testing and analysis company, Ookla."

An exceprt:

"According to Ookla, DEN offers free Wi-Fi with an average download speed of 78.22 Mbps, topping the list of more than 50 major airports tested across North America, Europe, Asia and Africa. DEN previously was listed as the fastest Wi-Fi among U.S. airports by Ookla. Updated testing conducted from March to May 2017 found that DEN’s Wi-Fi speed increased by 27 percent. Additionally, Ookla noted a 60 percent improvement in cellular download speeds at DEN."

Reasd the story here.

 

Massachusetts reporter's marijuana travelogue tells what it's like to live in a pot-friendly state

Here's the set up:

"Larry Parnass, investigations editor for The Berkshire Eagle, is in Colorado reporting on that state’s experience with medical and recreational marijuana. With recreational markets expected to open in Massachusetts next year, Parnass is examining how more than three years of legal sales have changed Colorado."

One if his stops is at the River Rock Cannabis grow facility in North Denver, where he met with owner Norton Arbelaez:

"He opens one door and blinding light spills out. Cannabis plants crowd the room. They sit atop low, wheeled carts, their tops stirred by wall-mounted fans.

A bunch of plants. Well, hundreds of them. I decided that a flower room like this needed to be one of my first stops here in Colorado."

It's a colorful rendering, full of first-person musings, about a scene a lot of Coloradans still don't know much about.

Worth a read of the full story right here.
 

Top art blog Hyperallergic has some fun with alien conspiracy at DIA

A bit of local lure goes national with Hyperallergic's recent piece on DIA. The airport is considering getting rid of the maintenance-heavy Interior Garden, which is a great excuse to bring up the old trope about aliens and Satan-worshippers being part of DIA's grand plan. Again.

There is good info about the endangered pice:

"The airport’s art has been in the news recently because an installation by Michael Singer, “Interior Garden” (1995) — commissioned for the opening of the airport itself — was flagged by management as an expensive liability. This led to outcry against the proposed deaccessioning of the work, with the public weighing in on the piece’s value for the airport and the city."

And some nonsense, that's always worth repeating, probably because nothing more interesting ever really happens at DIA:

"Conspiratorial “experts” like Jay Weidner assert that the airport’s murals and capstone prove the existence of a secret government plan for a “New World Order.” Others implicate the airport in the murder of JonBenét Ramsey. One local Evangelical Christian group, Cephas Ministries,  claimed that the DIA was built as part of a plot to murder the “people that Lucifer hates.”

Read the whole thing here.

 

Vivid New York Times photo essay of Denver captures our endangered animal fetish

The New York Times featured the National Wildlife Property Repository in a stunning pictorial essay by photographer Tristan Spinski.

The repository holds, as the accompanying text points out, "stuffed monkeys and ivory carvings, snow leopard coats and dried seal penises, chairs with tails and lamps with hooves" and other oddities.

Where do the 1.3 million items occupying 22,000 square feet come from?

"Some items in the repository are confiscated from naive tourists, but most are part of a global trade in endangered wildlife."

It's not pretty. But you can see the photos here.

L.A. Times catches up with Denver's Laundry Truck

The Los Angeles Times spotlighted Denver's Laundry Truck in a feature that called the aid to homelss people "simple and innovative."

An excerpt:

“You need 13,000 watts running through the truck to make it work,” said Tim Reinen, executive director of Radian Inc., a nonprofit design group that worked with Bayaud on the truck. “Then you have six dryers operating simultaneously at 120 degrees heated by propane.”

And an 800-pound generator mounted underneath.

After several redesigns and $90,000 in donations, the truck hit the streets in April. Denver Water, a city utility, lets it hook up to fire hydrants for water and provides a meter to measure how much it uses. Since then the truck has washed 660 loads, or about 10,000 pounds of laundry."

Read the full story here.
 

Construction Equipment magazine offers comprehensive take on I-70's innovative jobs program

The innovative jobs program for the Interstate 70 renovation project was big news in the construction industry.  Illinois-based Construction Equipment magazine offered a suprisingly thorough look, showing how different constituenices value news differently.

It is a unique program, as the story points out:

"An estimated 350 workers will be drawn from the area and provided with training to build the Central 70 project now and a good career as time goes on."

The training is real -- and funded:

"Using a $400,000 federal grant received last year, CDOT will partner with Gary Community Investments (GCI) to provide more than $1 million for training and support programs, including child care so residents can take advantage of the training opportunities and jobs.  Last year the U.S. Department of Transportation gave CDOT – one of only nine other transportation agencies nationwide – permission to pilot a local-hire program for Central 70."

Read the whole story here.

 

Atlanta Journal-Constitution comes to Denver to write about good transporation ideas.

People in Denver may complain about public transportation on those days when the trains run slow, but, from the outside, things look pretty good. The Atlanta-Journal-Constitution, exploring ways its home city can plan for future transit needs, found some good ideas at work here.

"It’s the kind of complex transportation network experts say is needed to address traffic congestion in booming metro areas. And Atlanta officials are paying attention to Denver and other cities that are building those kind of networks.Metro Atlanta’s long-term transportation plan includes many of the elements the Mile High City already has: bus rapid transit, new light rail and streetcar lines, an extensive network of toll lanes for congested highways and new trails to encourage commuting by bike and on foot."

The story includes a nice summary of the history of light-rail. A good read for anyone here who doesn't know the evolution of our trianst system and what it can teach us about making big, bold moves:

"The Denver Regional Transportation District opened its first light rail line – a 5.3-mile stretch along I-25 in central Denver – in 1994. It proved so successful RTD had to order six more vehicles to carry passengers."

Read the whole story here.

 

Broadway World spotlights Denver's world premiere of Frozen, the musical

Broadway World helped give a little hype to Denver Center Attractions' upcoming presentation of Frozen. The musical play, based on the popular Disney animated movie, opens here first in August. Then makes its way to New York.

An excerpt:

""This Broadway-bound Frozen, a full-length stage work told in two acts, is the first and only incarnation of the tale that expands upon and deepens its indelible plot and themes through new songs and story material from the film's creators. Like the Disney Theatrical Broadway musicals that have come before it, it is a full evening of theatre and is expected to run two and a half hours.
Based on the 2013 film written by a trio of Oscar winners, Frozen features music and lyrics by the creators of the film score Kristen Anderson-Lopez (Up Here, Winnie the Pooh, In Transit) and EGOT-winner Robert Lopez (Avenue Q, The Book of Mormon, Up Here) and a book by Jennifer Lee (Zootopia, Wreck-It Ralph), the film's screenwriter and director (with Chris Buck). Frozen won 2014 Oscars for Best Song ("Let It Go") and Best Animated Feature."


Read, and watch, the piece here.

A quick hit from Forbes puts Denver at top of warehouse development

Denver apparently leads the nation in leased warehose space currently under development.

According to Forbes:

"The top 10 markets with the most warehouse space under construction include Denver, Kansas City, Chicago and Indianapolis. In Denver, 70.3% of the space under construction is pre-leased, followed by 54% in Kansas City, 51.3% in Chicago, 50.6% in Indianapolis and 43.4% in New Jersey."

Read the whole story here.

Bloun Art Info notes major donation to Denver Art Museum

Blouin Art Info noted that the Denver Art Museum will receive significant works as part of a donation from the
Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros,

Here's an excerpt:

"According to CPPC, “The donation seeks to expand the geographical and temporal horizons of these institutions’ collections, expand scholarship, and offer a broader, more diverse and inclusive vision of Latin American artistic production from the 17th century to the mid-19th century.”

CPPC’s colonial art collection was formed with the aim of creating a broad representation of Venezuelan art from the mid-1600s to the mid-1800s. The core is complemented by works from the viceroyalties of New Spain (Mexico) and Peru as well as elsewhere in the Spanish Caribbean."

Read the rest of the article here.     
 
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