Save the Englewood Civic Center from Demolition

Save the Englewood Civic Center from Demolition

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Josh Goldstein started this petition to Englewood City Council

Englewood's Civic Center building, which is also the last remaining piece of Cinderella City Mall, is at risk of demolition. But with a little creativity, it could be adaptively reused into the new heart of the CityCenter neighborhood.

In fact, this building has been saved once already. It was built in 1985 as a Broadway Southwest department store, as part of a major renovation to the late, great Cinderella City Mall. When the mall was redeveloped in 1998, the City of Englewood saved the former department store from demolition, and converted into the multi-functional building we know today. 

Today, the City of Englewood is planning to redevelop certain parts of the larger CityCenter neighborhood, and the Civic Center building is likely to be demolished if action isn't taken

Hi Englewood, I'm Josh. As an alumnus of Englewood public schools, this city has always been close to my heart, and I'm looking to give back to the community and celebrate the building that changed my life for the better. I wrote this petition and created the video above to demonstrate that rejuvenating the CityCenter neighborhood does not have to result in the Civic Center building falling to the wrecking ball.

When I saw Cinderella City getting demolished in 1998, it changed my life. This launched in me an interest in architecture and retail design that led to a Master of Architecture degree, and a career designing mixed-use developments and retail centers around the world. Today, I work at Autodesk, making 3D modeling software for architects, which I’m using to rebuild Cinderella City for an interactive historic exhibit.

When I found out the last remaining piece of Cinderella City may fall to the wrecking ball, I set out to combine my experience in architecture and software design, to illustrate an adaptive reuse vision for the future of the Englewood Civic Center, knowing that adaptive reuse projects preserve history while creating places with authentic character, often costing less than new construction.

This is a one-of-a-kind building found only here in Englewood. Its location and historic significance make it uniquely positioned to become the heart of CityCenter, bringing new life to the southwest corner of the neighborhood.

The video above illustrates the main concepts behind my adaptive reuse vision for the Englewood Civic Center:

  • Create the Heart of CityCenter: Preserve the existing building, and install a food hall in the lower level, to bring culinary variety to the neighborhood. Between the building and the former 24 Hour Fitness, a new farmer's market could connect seamlessly with the food hall. Convert the building and its immediate surroundings to the new heart of the CityCenter neighborhood, creating a new node of activity and providing "eyes on the street" in the southwest corner of the neighborhood.
  • Embrace the Terrain: Remove some of the existing parking garage on the south side of the building, and install a new series of outdoor spaces which embrace the elevation change between the upper and lower levels, and create new family-friendly experiences and amenities.
  • Connect the Neighborhoods: Use the enhanced site design to improve bicycle and pedestrian access through City Center, supporting better connections to nearby neighborhoods, the Mary Carter Greenway, the Englewood light rail station, as well as potential new developments and structured parking.

Of course, the video and these concepts don't get into certain details that supporters might be curious about:

  • Based on my understanding of the city's thinking, all current uses in the Civic Center would be relocated out of the building to some other location, if demolition proceeds.
  • This vision assumes that some of the existing ground level uses could be relocated, either to the upper levels, or to another location, to make room for the Englewood Market food hall.
  • The upper levels could remain as civic uses, or get converted to something like co-working offices or a multicultural arts center, with minimal effort.
  • This vision includes an alternate design, which would open the building up further, allowing for new uses on the upper levels like a hotel.

To see all the details, including area calculations and floor plans, take a look at the original vision book I created to present to the Englewood Historic Preservation Commission.

Englewood demolishes too many of its historic buildings, and it's time to save a building of significance, and transform it into the new heart of the CityCenter neighborhood.

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