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Archive of posts filed under the Skyline category.

Spring 2013: Downtown Denver Tower Crane Census

Today we are bringing back the tower crane census here on DenverInfill. As Ken mentioned in his previous post, there are a lot of projects under construction around Downtown Denver right now and a good handful of those projects wield a tower crane or two. It is always exciting (and a little geeky) seeing tower cranes scattered throughout the city which also represents a great sign of development to both the trained and untrained eyes. Let’s begin!

1, 2, 3, 4 -Exempla Saint Joseph Heritage Project


5 – Renaissance Stout Street Lofts, 6- 2300 Walnut (now known as ‘The Douglas’)


7 – North Wing Building, 8 – South Wing Building


9 – Cadence, 10 – The Delgany Apartments


I also have a little bonus photo for you! When I was out shooting, I was trying out my new wide-angle lens which is why some pictures seem a little distorted and stretched. Well, here’s a great wide-angle perspective of everything that is complete and under-construction in the Union Station field thus far. You can see the new light-rail station/plaza, Chestnut Pavilion, Wewatta Pavilion, the DaVita Headquarters building, Cadence, both Wing Buildings and the awesome train canopy. Absolutely amazing progress with much more to come! (click to view high-resolution):

We have a total of 10 tower cranes in Downtown Denver as of today. With new projects underway, I’m sure we will see that number climb this year. We will revisit this in a few months to see what has changed!

EXTRA BONUS PHOTO: Hi everyone. Ken here. I’m hijacking Ryan’s post to include a photo of my own of yet another nice shot of some of Downtown Denver’s tower cranes. Here’s the view on this beautiful sunny spring Mile High afternoon of four tower cranes from my Lower Highlands vantage point. From left to right: North Wing Building, Cadence, South Wing Building, Delgany Apartments (click/zoom to view at extra-huge resolution for your viewing pleasure):

It was nice of the operators to position the cranes for the weekend to be perfectly aligned for this photo!

The New 14th Street

What a difference two buildings make:

Denver’s Emerging Skyline

A couple of high-rise projects underway in Downtown Denver have climbed high enough to take their place on the Denver skyline.

In this view from my perch in the Highland district, the 45-story Four Seasons project on the right is starting to block the view of the Curtis Hotel, which it will eventually eclipse by over 200 feet.

In between the Curtis Hotel and Brooks Tower is a little corner of the beautiful Gothic-Deco Mountain States Bell building, along with its new under-construction neighbor, the 41-story Spire project. Eventually, the Spire will rise above the Curtis and climb to about 60 feet taller than the top of the Hyatt on the left.

The View

No, not the TV show. It’s the view from Lower Highland and our excellent trio of bridges that creates a 1.75 mile pedestrian spine through the heart of Downtown Denver. From the always-busy Lola at 16th and Boulder to 16th and Broadway and the State Capitol, it’s one heckuva corridor. Here are a few shots from yesterday. Enjoy!

City Park View Plane: Too Close to Downtown

With all the discussion about the City Park View Plane and its impact on development in Upper Downtown, I thought I would elaborate my position on this further.

I am not opposed to the City Park View Plane. I am not opposed to the height restrictions it imposes. What I am opposed to is the view plane’s western boundary. Here is a map (courtesy of of the City Park View Plane:

The view plane extends all the way to the alley between Lincoln and Sherman, yet the view plane is intended to protect the view of the mountains and the skyline from City Park. If that is the case, then I argue that Sherman Street is way too close to the skyline to be the western edge of the view plane. In fact, Lincoln and Sherman streets are located within the skyline! With our most iconic tower, the Wells Fargo (Cash Register) building located between those two streets, how could anyone argue otherwise?

Here’s a graphic I put together to show the view plane’s western boundary from a different perspective:

A more reasonable western boundary to the view plane would be Pennsylvania Street, or perhaps Washington Street. That would allow high-rise development to occur along Lincoln, Sherman, Grant, and Logan, which is appropriate given the location and existing conditions, with the view plane then taking effect to allow the skyline to taper down as it heads east into the Uptown district.

The point of the City Park View Plane is to prevent a building from blocking the view of the Downtown skyline with the mountain backdrop, as viewed from the Museum of Nature and Science. Certainly, a tall building built along, say, York Street would block that view and should be prohibited for that reason. But how close to Downtown do you get before a building no longer blocks the view of the skyline, but becomes part of it? Sherman Street is definitely too close; plus, given all the nasty surface parking lots in that area, the last thing we need to do is to discourage development.

I urge the City planning office, Planning Board, and City Council to consider shifting the City Park View Plane’s western boundary to the east by at least two or three blocks.

18th and Sherman Project Denied View Plane Variance

In the latest issue of Life on Capitol Hill, Vanessa Martin reports that the condo project planned for the corner of E. 18th Avenue and Sherman Street was denied a variance from the City Park View Plane by the Denver Planning Board. Back on March 10, I opined about this proposed project and the requested view plane variance.

According to the developers, as a consequence of the denial, the site will not be developed and will remain a surface parking lot. For all the details, here’s the full article by Vanessa: 18th & Sherman Project Denied View Plane Variance.

Downtown Denver Crane Panorama

Rick from the Glass House was kind enough to provide this photo of a portion of the Denver skyline with eight tower cranes visible. Thanks, Rick!

Winter 2007-2008 Downtown Denver Crane Census

Our last Downtown Denver Crane Censuswas on Labor Day 2007, about five months ago. At that time, we had 10 tower cranes in Downtown at 9 different project sites. Projects that dropped from our list since the last census are 816 Acoma (which had 2 cranes) and RiverClay.Since then we’ve gained 7 new cranes at 5 new project sites, giving us a total of 14 tower cranes at 12 different sites in Downtown Denver. Here they are in no particular order:

1900 16th Street:

1515 Wynkoop:

Four Seasons:

1200 Elati:

One Lincoln Park:


1755 Blake:

Zi Lofts:

Denver Justice Center:

1400 Wewatta:


2101 Market:

Here are a couple of bonus photos. View down Blake Street with, from front to back, SugarCube, 1755 Blake, and Zi Lofts:

View of the LoDo/CPV with, from left to right, 1400 Wewatta, 1900 Sixteenth, and 1515 Wynkoop:

I’ll do the next Downtown Denver Crane Census in another five months—July—just before the Democratic National Convention. Have we peaked or can we do even better in July?