By Jeff Todd

DENVER (CBS4) – A world famous attraction could soon be coming to the heart of Denver, at least that’s one idea for how to rejuvenate Civic Center Park. The park being Denver’s first historic landmark, this would be the first major contribution or addition to the park in more than 100 years.

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“The central gathering feature is right in the middle of the park and would become a key feature focal point,” said Mark Bernstein, a spokesman at Denver Parks and Recreation.

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The city is working with the Civic Center Conservancy on a new initiative called Civic Center Next 100. It’s another step from a 15-year-old master plan that calls for rejuvenation and reworking four separate parts of the park.

First, public input is being sought on Thursday, Feb. 11 at 5:30 p.m. over Zoom.

“As we think about the next 100 years for Civic Center Park we think about, we want to hear from the community about what this space can become,” said Eric Lazzari the Executive Director of the Civic Center Conservancy. “Great public spaces have activity 18 hours a day 365 days a year and that’s something that’s still missing from Civic Center.”

Bannock Street, now closed to cars, is a blank slate. The Greek Amphitheater is slated for renovation so it can host more events; a new attraction in the center of the park as well as improvement to the central promenade connecting the library and museums to the south with downtown to the north.

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“We recognize there’s a lot more room for improvement and that’s what this is about. How do we elevate the Greek Theatre to become that premiere outdoor music venue?” Bernstein said.

The hope is to make the park more useful. It’s a space that sees huge crowds during events like Independence Eve and the Bronco’s Super Bowl celebration. Even regular events draw a crowd like Civic Center Eats and the Christkindl Market.

However, on an uneventful afternoon, the park can be vacant.

“What are we going to do to create those literal sticky elements that keep people in the space?” Lazzari asked. “Build a park for everybody every day and that includes me and my friends, but that also includes our neighbors who don’t have homes. Everybody will have a space in Civic Center as long as there is a Civic Center.”

Jeff Todd