Aspen gives Given negotiations more time
October 27, 2010
ASPEN – The Aspen City Council on Tuesday night approved another extension for negotiations between the city and the University of Colorado’s medical school to preserve the Given Institute.
All five members voted in favor of the extension with no deliberation.
The council also extended negotiations late last month, continuing a month-long saga during which the university has tried to get rid of what it says is a financial burden. The city, meanwhile, has tried almost everything within its power to keep the building.
University officials have said operating the Given costs about $200,000 annually – more than CU can continue to pay given its fiscal situation.
CU originally wanted to demolish the Given because a potential buyer didn’t want the lot unless the building was gone. It has been used for nearly four decades as a conference center for medical talks.
The City Council has met many times since in executive session to establish a deal that would save the building, which many consider a community icon.
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Aspen philanthropist Elizabeth Paepcke donated the site to the university for academic purposes.
On Nov. 8, the council is scheduled to decide whether to pass an emergency order that would zone the property as academic, making it illegal to build a single-family home on the lot.
That order passed a first reading in early September as a piece of leverage in the negotiation.
The lot, located on 100 E. Francis St. in Aspen’s West End, overlooks Hallam Lake.