dr. no writes about revitalizing old downtowns[ including denver] in the ny times article If You Build It, Will They Come?
Denver’s solution to this approach seemed to be to pile on more architectural imagery. Fifteen years ago, Michael Graves was hired to design a major expansion for the public library across from Ponti’s museum. As a composition, the project is not Graves’s worst. Its geometric forms (a cluster of cylinders and squares capped by an array of decorative roofs) has some of the haunting qualities of the designs of Aldo Rossi, who saw cities as repositories of memory as melancholy as a de Chirico painting. But the overblown scale of the library gives it a more sinister edge, like a Disney interpretation of Albert Speer’s designs for the Third Reich. When the city hired Libeskind to design the museum addition in 2000, it seemed as if it were trying to heal a deep urban wound by piling on yet more architectural forms. And Libeskind’s plan soon expanded to include an adjoining residential project, one of the clichés of contemporary urban revitalization.
hold on there doctor! who do you think we are? some kind of cowtown wasteland that would commission an artist 20 years past his prime to decorate our public space with kitschy oversized art?