Good news has recently been delivered by RTD about the opening day for Denver Union Station: May 9th, 2014! While there is still a lot of work to be done, we are finally starting to see everything come together. In this update, we are going to take a look at the redevelopment from Wynkoop Street, Millennium Bridge, and the 18th Street Pedestrian Bridge.
Let’s start with the wing buildings. Over the past couple weeks the tower cranes have been removed from both sites and we can start to get a sense of scale for these buildings. Here’s the North Wing building. A lot of the brick facade has gone up and thanks to the wind moving some plastic coverings around, we can see the glassy portion facing Wynkoop Plaza.
Here is a view of how the North Wing building fits in along with the historic station.
Now that there are no tower cranes in the picture, you can see the South Wing building is very architecturally similar to the North Wing building.
Trees have been planted at Wynkoop Plaza and the plumbing for fountains has started to get filled in. Also, right now is a once in a lifetime opportunity to see the entire historic station wrapped in scaffolding!
Here is something I have yet to do with these updates: A panorama of the progress being made behind the station. This first one is off of Millennium Bridge. Here we can see (going left to right) the new lightrail station and plaza, the Alta City House parking structure, Chestnut Pavilion, the new mall shuttle loop, Cadence, the 1650 Wewatta crane, the commuter rail canopy, and the South Wing building. Make sure you click to zoom! Click here for a super high-resolution version!
Here is another view off of the 18th Street pedestrian bridge. There are still a lot of empty parcels that need to be filled in but progress is being made quicker than we expected! Click here for a super-high resolution version!
May 9th is coming up soon! This will be the last summer we will be following the construction of this great project!
Piggybacking off of Ken’s last Denver Union Station update, today we are going to look exclusively at Cadence‘s progress. The structure has topped out and is beginning to really take its true shape.
Installation of glass has begun and soon we will start to see what facade materials are going to be used. Judging by the renderings, we will most likely see more earth toned materials being used; somewhat like the RiverClay condos in Jefferson Park.
Now that Wewatta Street is open, we can finally get up close and see what the front of Cadence is going to look like. Notice that there are setbacks in the front and on all sides of the building. It is definitely nice to see that this isn’t going to be a generic box apartment building.
Here are two more angles with Cadence in the picture: the newly opened 17th Street Gardens and the Millennium Bridge. It will be great once all the lots around the 17th Street Gardens are filled, making it quite the urban passageway! Did you also notice that GE Johnson has cleared the 1601 Wewatta site? We will have some more details on that project later!
Cadence may look all alone in the open Union Station field but that won’t last for long. Right next door you have the proposed 1601 Wewatta project along with the proposed 16 Chestnut and the under-construction 1650 Wewatta project sandwiching it in. Cadence will soon be in the center of it all surrounded by buildings!
Our last three Denver Union Station update posts have looked at what’s happening on the downtown side of the project along Wynkoop Street. Now, let’s check out the progress being made on the Central Platte Valley (northwest) side of the station.
First, the new section of 16th Street between Wynkoop and Wewatta continues to near completion. The roadway is now finished, the landscaped median is in, and trees will soon be planted along the sidewalks. This last block of 16th Street should open in its final configuration soon:
Wewatta Street is now open! It was in September of 2011 when the stretch of Wewatta Street between 16th and 19th was closed and removed to allow for excavation of the southeastern half of the underground bus terminal. Twenty-one months later, it has reopened. The new Wewatta Street still feels pretty construction-y, with lane closures and not many of the sidewalks open yet, given construction of the 13-story Cadence and the 21-story 1650 Wewatta projects (plus the Union Station project itself) along its edges. But, you no longer have to detour to Chestnut Street to cross from 15th to 20th behind Union Station:
The new Wewatta Street affords you a close-up view of the Wewatta Pavilion (photo above) and the fabric being installed on the dramatic canopy structure surrounding the new commuter rail platforms:
Being able to get physically closer to the canopy structure gives us a better sense of its scale. The photo below shows workers at the northern end of the canopy, where the pedestrian bridge crosses over the platforms:
For this post’s high-resolution bonus photo, here’s a shot of the entire pedestrian bridge structure. On the far left edge of the photo, the rust-colored box-like structure is the top of the elevator core located next to the stairwell adjacent to the IMA Financial Center and Wynkoop Plaza (see Update #116). In the center and center-right of the photo are two more (white) box-like structures. Those are the tops of the elevators that will allow you to drop down to the two sets of platforms in the center of the commuter rail station area. Finally, at the far right edge of the photo, another white box-like structure is the elevator core at the end of the bridge that will allow you to drop down to Wewatta Street:
In Update #120, we’ll take a look at the newly opened 17th Street Gardens!
We’ve just covered the IMA Financial Center in Update #116 and 1701 16th in Update #117, so let’s take a quick look at what’s in between—the historic Denver Union Station, of course!—plus downtown’s newest public space, Wynkoop Plaza.
Wynkoop Plaza will feature a large water-jet-type public fountain in front of the historic station’s south wing. The infrastructure for the fountain has been under construction for several months:
The north and south wing buildings being set back a bit from the property line will allow Wynkoop Plaza to extend all the way to the corners of 16th and 18th Streets. In the photo below, the plaza area in front of the south wing building is being graded. Plaza construction in front of the historic station’s north wing (which will feature seating and a grove of trees) is further along; the plaza’s concrete base has been poured and holes for the street trees have been cut out:
The historic station, which is getting a full restoration inside and out, will have retail/restaurant spaces and public transit waiting areas on the ground floor and a 110-room hotel on the upper floors. Parts of the historic wings have already been scrubbed clean and repaired, and now the facade of the Great Hall is getting a major makeover:
Let’s end with our double-sized bonus photo. Here’s a once-in-lifetime photo of the iconic facade of Denver Union Station covered in scaffolding:
Coming up… Wewatta Street is open!
Continuing on with our series of Union Station update posts… let’s take a look at progress on the “south wing building” or what’s now known as 1701 16th Street.
Like its cousin down the street, 1701 16th Street is a five-story office building with ground-floor retail/restaurant spaces. Antero Resources will occupy most of the office space. Courtesy of Union Station Neighborhood Company, here’s a project rendering:
Even though construction started on the south wing building a few month after work had begun on the north wing building, the south wing building has mostly caught up and recently topped off:
Here are a few more construction photos. First, here’s 1701 16th Street from Wewatta Street. This shot will only be possible for a few more months as the 21-story 1650 Wewatta tower (under construction in the foreground) and the future remaining “A” block buildings along 16th Street will eventually block this view.
Here’s the view from near 16th and Wynkoop—almost the exact same perspective as in the artist’s rendering above—minus the blurry people:
Let’s conclude with another double-sized overview shot showing 1701 16th Street and its neighbor, the EPA Building:
Next, we’ll take a quick look at the historic station and Wynkoop Plaza.
This is the first of several quick update posts on the Denver Union Station project and its various components.
Let’s start with the 5-story IMA Financial Center, or what’s been generally referred to as the “north wing building.” IMA Financial’s offices will occupy the top four floors, while retail/restaurant uses will occupy the ground floor facing Wynkoop Street and Wynkoop Plaza. As a refresher, here’s a rendering (courtesy of Union Station Neighborhood Company) of the new structure:
The building has been recently topped off at its 5-floor height:
Workers are beginning to install the brick facade:
Progress is also being made on the stairway leading to the pedestrian bridge that will span over the commuter rail platforms:
Finally, here’s a nice overview photo (at twice the normal size!) showing the IMA Financial Center’s location at 18th and Wynkoop just north of the historic station:
Up next, the “south wing building.”