Councilman Torre said he was concerned about the cumulative feel of downtown Aspen, and that many of the new applications, along with some already approved and recently completed buildings, could be taking Aspen in the wrong direction.“My concern is for the character and feel of Aspen, which has brought us a lot of prosperity,” he said. “I don’t want that to be lost. I don’t want us to become the urban center of the Rockies.”

ASPEN REAL ESTATE Aspen City Councilman Steve Skadron is a mild-mannered guy, but something about the proposed redevelopment of the building currently home to Zocalito restaurant on the Hyman Avenue mall lit him up. “I don’t know if I’ve seen a building that leaves me more outraged than this one,” Skadron said of the proposed three-story glass structure at a recent meeting on the redevelopment plans. “I’m beside myself to think what effect on the historic core a building like this could have.” Building designer and local architect Charles Cunniffe defended his work, noting that the building’s top floor will be set back from the rest of the building, the height has been lowered 2 feet from the original design, and the multi-toned glass, which he described as “transparent and translucent,” would bring light to the mall. “This will be a gem of a building,” he said. Project owner John Martin, of Queenstown, New Zealand, is a big fan of modern art and has designed other glass buildings in his hometown. “They are beautiful,” Cunniffe said.
By Curtis Wackerle, Sept. 10, 12 ADN

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An architect’s rendering of redevelopment plans for the Victorian Square building, located on the corner of Hyman Avenue and Hunter Street, that is currently home to the Garfield and Hecht law offices. To the left of the corner lot are the approved but unbuilt “Muse building” and Aspen Art Museum.