The Postal Annex


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Out With The Old.  The Denver Postal Annex building has dominated nearby Union Station and the rest of Lower Downtown since the 1950s; its massive bulk, featureless facade, and blond brick noticeably out of character with the rest of the 19th century commercial district.  In the late 1990s, a new postal annex was built out by the airport, providing an excellent redevelopment opportunity for Lower Downtown.  The entire city block will soon be home to two new projects, a mixed-use residential development and the new regional headquarters for the EPA.  See Block 013 for details on these projects.




Demolition Set 1:
Photographs taken
February 26, 2005

01. The former Postal Annex as seen from the Millennium Bridge in the Central Platte Valley, showing the Wewatta Street side of the facility. The 16th Street Mall runs along the left side of the building in this photo.

02. After several months of asbestos removal, demolition began in early February, 2005 on the Wynkoop Street side. As of the morning of 2/26/05, a center portion of the Wynkoop side had been demolished, with the right side of the demolished section visible in this photo. 



03. A view of the left side of the demolished section on the Wynkoop side of the building.   

04. After having removed most of the floor plates around them, the excavator is about to knock out the set of columns below the leaning yellow metal stack on the roof.



05. In this 5-photo time lapse sequence, one of the column supports has been knocked out by the excavator, causing the entire set to fall and bring down with them the roof section supporting the yellow metal stack.



06. After the dust settles, the result of the removal of the set of columns.

07. A close up of the jaw crusher attachment at the end of the long boom arm of the excavator, munching away at the floor around the next set of columns.



08. After removing most of the floor plates around the columns on the second and third floors, the excavator begins working on the fourth floor.

09. Now, with almost all of the floors surrounding the next set of columns having been removed, only a precarious
4-story set of columns remain.


10. In another 5-photo sequence, the excavator knocks out one of the columns, causing the columns and another section of the building to collapse.


11. Once the collapse is complete, a large section of a roof beam is still hanging on, dangling at a 45 degree angle.  So...

12. ...the excavator uses its mechanical jaw to grab a piece of rebar sticking out of bottom of the dangling beam and yank it down, seen here in mid fall..


Demolition Set 2:
Photographs taken
March 6, 2005

13. About a week later, more of the northeast end is gone.

14. Looks like the steel beams may be recycled.


Demolition Set 3:
Photographs taken
March 13, 2005

15. A week later, the first visible evidence of demolition from the west.  And here's a sight you won't see again: the Postal Annex deconstruction with the Hyatt Hotel under construction rising in the background.

16. For the first time in half a century, the Morey Mercantile Building is visible from the Central Platte Valley.


Demolition Set 4:
Photographs taken
March 19, 2005

17. The beginning of another Sunday of demolition.  The outside northeastern wall has finally been penetrated.

18. Most of this half of the western wall of the annex has been cleaned out and squared up, resulting in a preview of the nice view of LoDo from the Central Platte Valley that will be available...until construction begins on the new projects.


19. The corner of the building proved to be more difficult than planned.  Despite efforts earlier in the day, the corner didn't fall until the early evening.

20. Here, workers stand beneath 50-year old spaghetti-like rebar, getting ready to attach a cable to the base of the column.


21. The excavator is pulling the cable attached to the column, resulting in several sections of the building starting to fall.

22. After the dust had settled, another chunk of the building had come down.


23. All that remains of the letters that used to spell "United States Post Office Terminal Annex".

24. An interesting composition: the contemporary high-rises of Downtown and the historic warehouses of yesteryear survive, while the middle-aged Annex is destroyed.


25. A panoramic overview from a nearby building.

26. Old and new... the crumbling walls of the Annex with the new Gates HQ building in the background.


27. A five-photo sequence showing a large section of the exterior brick facade coming down.


28. The setting sun illuminates the dust from the spectacular collapse of yet another section of the building.

29. A section of the brick facade refused to fall, but by the end of the day, it too was history.


Demolition Set 5:
Photographs taken
April 07, 2005

29. With the last remnants of the northeast wall finally gone, 50% of the building had been demolished. 

30. The first sections of the southwestern half of the building have started coming down.


Demolition Set 6:
Photographs taken
April 29, 2005

31. As seen from Wewatta Street near 16th, only one section remains on the west side of the building. 

32. The view from 15th and Wynkoop, only one section remains on the east side of the building as well. 


33. From 16th and Wynkoop.

34. From the 16th Street Mall, the building's presence is no longer felt, providing new views across the block.


Demolition Set 7:
Photographs taken
May 12, 2005

35. About two weeks later, it's down to about one building section left.

36. As seen from near 15th and Wewatta.


37. Here's an overview of the entire block, with the new Gates HQ building in the background.

38. As the last part of the Postal Annex is coming down, workers are already getting ready to start work on the new EPA building along the 16th Street Mall side.


Demolition Set 8:
Photographs taken
May 14, 2005

39. The final building section has come down.  All that remains is one wall section along 15th Street.

40. Looking down the last remaining wall edge along 15th Street.


41. For the first time, the new Gates HQ building is totally visible from 15th & Wynkoop.

42. The view of the last standing wall section from Wewatta Street.


Demolition Set 9:
Photographs taken
May 31, 2005




43. Finally, on a sunny spring afternoon, all that remained of the building was this one lone column along what used to be the 15th Street side of the building.

44. Then it was gone.


45. One final view from the Millennium Bridge, from where the historic buildings on Wynkoop will be visible for only a few months until the new EPA Building rises up in front.

46. The building is gone.  All that remains is rubble.  Good bye, Postal Annex.  We will miss you! ... well, maybe not.

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