A vanishing view | AspenTimes.com

A vanishing view

Dear Editor:

I am writing to urge you and your newspaper to remind those who cherish the character and uniqueness of our city to come out and walk the north side of the 600 block of East Hyman Avenue. Look up at the vista of Aspen Mountain that is the backdrop for our town. Cherish the view because it soon will be gone.

As I watched the green-covered chain-link fence being built and listened to the melodious chirping of the backup signals of the big “Cats,” I realized that this is the beginning of a construction phase that will last for years and result in a wall of buildings that will block any possible view of our namesake mountain.

From the towering, sheer walls of the justifiably maligned Aspen “Art” Museum to the far end of the Hyman Avenue mall, we will not only see a wall of masonry, but we will be able to touch and feel it due to the lack of setbacks from the sidewalks. No parking, no greenery, nothing to allow us to continue to claim that we are honoring our heritage and preserving our character.

Shame on our elected officials who loudly proclaimed, through our mayor, that the city would defend the character, the mass and the scale of Aspen to the last dollar and then sanctioned the building of the Art Museum over the written objections of 1,500 residents. To compound the absurdity of that action, the ripples created opened the floodgates for the current wave of vertical expansion.

We can only hope that the Art Museum will be a huge success, that the lack of parking will not cause more congestion and inconvenience downtown, that its employees will all walk or bike to work, that its rooftop “public” space cafe will be successful and accessible, and that the design will not prove to be as inefficient as it appears.

Maybe the mayor will get his “objet d’ art” … maybe?

Richie Cohen


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