Save Aspen from the AAM blight |

Save Aspen from the AAM blight

Dear Editor:

Saving Aspen’s Character formed in response to the Aspen City Council meeting on Aug. 2, during which a vastly oversized art museum on the Wienerstube site was approved without a normal review process and without public input. Since then, more than a thousand citizens have signed a petition to join Saving Aspen’s Character in objecting to the proposal’s height, scale and mass.

This overwhelming rejection of the structure is provoked by a height and breadth that bear no relation to surrounding buildings, block views of Aspen Mountain that have been respected until now, cast long and ice-forming shadows during ski season, and dwarf the pedestrian with high walls flush with the sidewalk. Citizens also object to a decision of this magnitude being made without their participation.

Aspenites are now appealing to the Aspen Art Museum board and supporters to modify the museum design to be more sensitive to Aspen’s character and more sympathetic to the town’s residents and visitors. It is reasonable to wish to preserve our values, views of the mountain and the sunshine reaching our streets.

Saving Aspen’s Character’s thousand signatories ask their fellow citizens to contact supporters of the art museum to encourage them to make significant changes to the museum design because supporters would not want to force an unpopular building on the town they are part of – against so much opposition.

It is a consensus that no one wants the Aspen Art Museum to be an outsized blight on our downtown, but a structure that locals and part-time residents can be proud of as they share it with our visitors. We can come together in pride only if the museum directors recognize the public’s rejection of the proposal as it stands, and agree to rescale the building so that it blends harmoniously with Aspen’s values, look and feel which we treasure.

Julia Hansen, Susan O’Neal, Steven Ferrell and Richie Cohen


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