And the winners are…

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Tejon34 was a winner in the Many Shades of Green category

Seventeen eclectic projects – from a 7-Eleven to an innovative Sustainability Park in downtown Denver – have  been chosen as winners of the Mayor’s Design Awards 2011.

The awards began life in 2005 under then-Mayor John Hickenlooper to celebrate Denver and its people; the city’s public realm; and pride in the design and appearance of the places in which Denverites live, work, educate and play.  Mayor Michael Hancock has kept the tradition going. Susan Barnes-Gelt, a former City Councilwoman and a columnist for the Denver Post, has been instrumental in choosing the winners since it began.

In general, winners must:

  • Honor the public realm
  • Demonstrate sustainability
  •  Show an extraordinary use of the ordinary
  •  Provide thoughtful, contextual and integrated design
  •  Be creative

Winners and categories are below:

Category: What Goes Around Comes Back Around

Winner: West Side Books, 3434 W. 32nd Ave.

Comments: West Side Books recently expanded, adding lots of light, big windows and a revitalized feel to its West 32nd Avenue location. A stalwart on the commercial corridor since 1998, the independent bookstore’s expansion adds community meeting space, more books and miscellaneous goodies to a much-loved neighborhood treasure.

 Category: The Past Is Present

Winner: Engine House #5, 1331 19th St.

Comments: Engine House #5 has been transformed into SLATERPAULL Architects’ headquarters. The building was constructed in 1922. It served continuously as a fire station and later a line shop from 1923 to 2010. The red brick exterior has been restored. Fire house features have been reused, such as the hose drying tower, fire pole and reuse of built in lockers, which were creatively incorporated into the new office as library space. It is Colorado’s first LEED-Platinum historic building. SLATERPAULL was able to combine its passions for historic preservation and sustainability in its restoration and reuse of Engine House #5.

 Category: Main Street Transformation

Winner: 7-Eleven, 2431 E. Colfax Ave.

Comments: National convenience store giant 7-Eleven agreed to incorporate the design standards of Denver’s new Main Street Zoning in the redesign of their store at the corner of Colfax and Josephine. By bringing the building to the street, a key intersection is defined by structured transparency instead of surface parking. When national chains like 7-Eleven recognize that conformance with local design codes and context are important, Denver’s urban corridors come alive!

 Category: The Past is Present

Winner: Vestal/Hua Residence, 2013 Grove St.

Comments: This Queen Anne-style gem was designed by noted architect William Lang – the only William Lang home in the Witter-Cofield neighborhood. It was built in 1888. It had severe structural damage and was nearly lost. The owners took on this substantial project to rebuild the front façade and restore the front porch, saving an original member of this eclectic neighborhood.

 Category: What Goes Around Comes Back Around

Winner: bittersweet, 500 E. Alameda Ave.

Comments: With the revival of adjacent neighborhoods, Alameda Avenue, once dominated by cars, is becoming an engaging place. The transformation of a former gas station/car repair shop to a hip neighborhood café exemplifies this progress. Bittersweet, with its inviting, landscaped gardens and carefully curated interior is very sweet indeed!

Category: Oh, Pioneers!

Winner: Great Divide Brewing Co., 2201 Arapahoe St.

Comments: The Tap Room at the Great Divide’s northeast downtown brewery has become a gathering place for tourists and local urbanistas. Opened in 1994, the brewery expanded in 2008 and its production tripled. Resonant with Denver’s industrial past, housed in an old brick commercial building, the Great Divide is catalytic to activity in Arapahoe Square, one of the City’s most diverse urban neighborhoods on the cusp of revitalization.

Category: The Past Is Present

Winner: Hangar 2, 7581 E. Academy Blvd.

Comments: In the early 1990s, the Air Force shuttered its 12,000-acre base at the border between Denver and Aurora. The adaptive reuse of the 1938 Hangar 2 as the neighborhood center includes restaurants with engaging patios, boutique retail, offices, and a state-of-the-art storage facility. With the purposeful adaptation of old infrastructure, Hangar 2 reinforces the synergy between old and new in defining a great mixed-use neighborhood.

Category: Home Is Where the Art Is

601 Martiindale

Winner: Strickline/Roach Residence, 601 E. Martindale Drive

Comments: 601 Martindale, in South Denver, is a thoughtfully considered pop addition to an ordinary, one-story wood-siding bungalow just west of Porter Adventist Hospital, off Yale Avenue and Pearl Street. Surrounded by mature trees, the addition reconfigures the street level with the addition of large windows, a defined front entry and thoughtful landscape. The new second story adds character, transparency and architectural scale to a formerly nondescript residence. The new structure demonstrates sensitivity to context, elevation and scale in a mid-century neighborhood.

Category: Oh, Pioneers!

Winner: Anchor Center for Blind Children, 2550 Roslyn St.

Comments: Stapleton’s Anchor Center for Blind Children serves children from infants through 5-year olds and their families, offering a nurturing environment where children can reach their potential. The Center’s Julie McAndrews Mork Building embraces all the senses; the building itself is a teaching tool. It has special acoustics, light and textures to enhance the children’s understanding of the world. The school’s landscape is a natural playground where children experience a garden, Braille trail, gazebo and greenhouse. The Anchor Center earns kudos for lighting the way.

Category: Oh, Pioneers!

Winner: Jelly, 600 E. 13th Ave.

Comments: The lively and colorful façade of this neighborhood breakfast and lunch spot on the southeast corner of 13th and Pearl is testimony to the importance of cool urban places, living streets and imaginative owners. Despite narrow sidewalks, concrete barricades and zooming one-way traffic, Jelly is helping transform 13th Avenue into one of Denver’s most engaging urban corridors.

Category: Home Is Where the Art Is

Winner: Evans/Kampstra Residence, 2745 Umatilla St.

Comments: This highly visible home in the Stoneman’s Row National Historic District can be seen from I-25 and Speer Blvd. and affords views of Downtown Denver and the entire Front Range. It is a new construction, single family home, and while it is fairly traditional in form and materials, it refrains from appearing old or original to the site. It is intended to appear as a high quality, contemporary building, yet it follows the lead of neighboring historic homes.

 Category: Many Shades of Green

Winner: Tejon34, 3400 Tejon St.

Comments: This new 28-unit condominium project in the heart of LoHi is smart and smart looking. Tejon34 features 100-percent recycled windows, beetle kill Colorado pine timbers, reclaimed flagstone, radiant hydronic heating and a low cost, low impact innovative cooling system. Tejon34 exemplifies how re-purposed material, contemporary design and sustainability add value, quality and modern livability to an historic Denver neighborhood.

Category: Buildings That Beckon

Stir Cooking School

Winner: Stir Cooking School, 315 Zuni St.

Comments: Stir Cooking School, in the lively north side LoHi neighborhood, is a terrific addition to an intersection that’s becoming one of Denver’s most engaging. The school is filled with colorful cabinets, countertops, a cocktail bar and polished restaurant kitchen equipment. Large windows, bright lights and an engaging façade tantalize both inside and out.

Category:  Buildings That Beckon

Winner: Marczyk Fine Foods on Colfax, 5100 E. Colfax Ave.

Comments: When Pete Marczyk and his wife Barbara Macfarlane opened Marczyk’s urban market on East 17th Avenue in 2002, people thought they were nuts. Today the locally owned and operated urban market and wine shop is an Uptown mainstay for foodies. Barb, Pete and brother Paul Marczyk recently opened their second urban store in the former Fairfax Hardware on Denver’s longest Main Street – Colfax Avenue. Marczyk’s on the FAX brings a commercial landmark back to life with lots of windows, a standing bar where people can eat overlooking the Colfax sidewalk, pleasing graphics and a family friendly place to shop.

Category: Many Shades of Green

Winner: Sustainability Park, 2500 Lawrence St.

Comments: A remarkable partnership among the Denver Housing Authority, the Colorado Renewable Energy Society and Urban Farmers Collaborative is planning a full-block pilot and testing site for renewable energy, green building and urban farming. Located in historic Curtis Park, the park will feature urban gardening, reuse of on-site concrete, sustainable bio-swales for water detention and drainage, a green roof nursery and solar panels for energy production and conservation. The myriad multi-modal and sustainable transportation elements include bike kiosks, car-charging stations, a bus stop and permeable parking surfaces.

Category:  Buildings That Beckon

Winner: Ale House at Amato’s, 2501 16th St.

Comments: Formerly the old Amato of Denver lawn furniture and fountains store at 16th and Central in LoHi, the Ale House adds lively pedestrian scale to an obsolete site. Adjacent to I-25, the building’s patio and rooftop deck feature spectacular views of Denver. Owner/operators Breckenridge and Wynkoop breweries worked with the city, adjacent businesses and neighbors to provide offsite parking, people (and dog) friendly access and a well-designed place for engagement in an engaging Denver neighborhood.

Category: Buildings That Beckon

Winner: Bistro Vendome, 1420 Larimer St.

Comments: Entering this Larimer Square gem, the diner walks through a beautiful tiled entry into a small, charming well-worn space surrounded by windows with a view to an outside terrace. Neither a café nor a brasserie, this engaging concoction – just like its Paris namesake – is a local favorite in a downtown rich with history.

Contact John Rebchook at JRCHOOK@gmail.com.

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John Rebchook

John Rebchook has more than 30 years of experience in writing and communications. As the Real Estate Editor for the Rocky Mountain News, he wrote about residential and commercial real estate for 26 years. He has won numerous awards for business stories and columns that he wrote, both as an individual and part of teams. In addition to real estate, he also covered economic development, banking and financing, the airlines, and cable TV for the Rocky. In addition, he was one of the original freelance writers for GlobeSt.com, covering commercial real estate for the Internet publication.

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