Columns » Street Smarts

Battle of the beige

Street Smarts

by

comment

We're not bereft of architectural treasure, but Colorado Springs has had its struggles with making the best of brick and mortar.

Noli Morath of Manitou Springs

Noli Morath of Manitou Springs is a teacher.

What's your favorite building in Colorado Springs? The Fine Arts Center. John Gaw Meem, the architect, blended Art Deco with a Native American pueblo look.

What's our ugliest building? Palmer High School. The original building was an architectural gem, but what they replaced it with in the '40s has grown shabby and dingy. It hasn't aged well.

Would you like to see more high rises in Colorado Springs? Three to four stories is the optimum height. You want to be able to see steeples, tree tops and the tops of buildings. Old Colorado City is a perfect example of that.

Is there a city whose architecture you love? Boston, where I grew up, has some high rises in its business section, but neighborhoods like Beacon Hill have maintained a very livable, human scale. That's what you want.

Warren Arcila of Knob Hill

Warren Arcila of Knob Hill is a stay-at-home dad.

Name your favorite building in Colorado Springs. The Pioneers Museum: its exposed metal architecture, its windows, its stonework and masonry.

What's the ugliest building in town? A slew of them downtown — all that modern box stuff.

What does our architecture say about this town? We're a town dedicated to business, money and efficiency.

Would you like to see more high-rises downtown? High-rises block the sun and depersonalize a city.

Name an architecturally attractive city. Santa Fe and Taos: no harsh angles, everything rounded off, use of earth materials like stucco.

Bob Doyle of Crystola

Bob Doyle of Crystola is a technician.

What's your favorite building in Colorado Springs? The Pioneers Museum. It evokes the era of the town's founding.

What's the ugliest building in town? The Holly [Sugar] Building. It's not only ugly, it's too high. Nothing about it suggests the slightest awareness of local surroundings and history.

What does our architecture say about this town? Depends on where you're talking about. Old Colorado City is distinctive. It evokes the history and evolution of this area. The east side of town seems like Anywhere, USA.

Name a city that's architecturally beautiful. Charleston [South Carolina]. They preserved their architectural past. We lost ours by tearing down a lot of old classics and replacing them with unattractive non-entities.

Add a comment

Clicky Quantcast