By Michael Abeyta

DENVER (CBS4)– One hundred and two years ago, in 1919 when Denver’s Civic Center Park was opened, the idea of what a park was for was much different.

(credit: Wenk Associates and Livable Cites Studio)

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“It was a space that was meant to be admired and occasionally used,” says Eric Lazzari the Executive Director of Civic Center Conservancy.

Now in 2021, as the City of Denver and Civic Center Conservancy are planning an upgrade, they have had to find a way to blend the modern concept of a park with some of the park’s more classic aspects.

“That’s an interesting puzzle and an interesting challenge,” admits Lazzari.

The facelift will include a new promenade, upgrades to the Greek Theater and the central gathering area. The biggest change though, will be making Bannock Street a permanent part of the park itself.

(credit: Wenk Associates and Livable Cites Studio)

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“Really extending it into the park and making it a park feature,” says Gordon Robertson, Denver Parks and Recreation director of park planning, design and construction says.

The city asked for feedback from the community and learned, Denverites want the park to be more of a gathering space. Not just during special events, but every day. That means increasing ADA accessibility and providing more comforts for visitors like shaded areas, places to sit and gathering spots.

“They want the park to be a place for everybody. And everybody means everybody,” says Robertson.

Currently, the park is closed because too much use has made a mess of the park. The city and its partners say improvements like these will help make the area more maintainable and safer for everyone who wants to enjoy downtown Denver.

(credit: Wenk Associates and Livable Cites Studio)

“We’re excited to get everybody’s sees on the final concept design.”

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The final plans for the park will be revealed at a virtual public meeting Thursday, Sept. 23 at 5:30 p.m. If you would like to attend you can find the link at Denvergov.org/theoutdoordowntown.

Michael Abeyta