Letter: A case For City Hall redevelopment

I read with great respect Neil B. Siegel’s letter regarding the need for a plan C on City Hall (Letters, April 19, The Aspen Times). In the past, I have frequently sided with Mr. Siegel on all issues Ireland and the Aspen Art Museum.

In the case of City Hall, I disagree.

In the 40 plus years that I have lived in Aspen, I have always been sensitive to the lack of a “community center.” Our community has always had to rely on the generosity of privately owned venues for meeting areas or special events. The lack of a central facility that accommodates a variety of community serving groups in a convenient downtown location has always been an impediment to our sense of community.

The core in particular has been transformed into a cold and somewhat stratified environment that has lost the support of locals, many visitors and mixed age groups.

Converting Armory Hall into a community center is an almost unprecedented opportunity to re-open the downtown community to everyone who wants to participate in the Aspen community. Imagine the possibilities: a roller rink, affordable performances, an indoor farmers market and space for clubs and organizations to meet.

Our community needs this opportunity to embrace all the people in the valley and their myriad needs. I for one welcome the opportunity to spend more time in Aspen and to be surrounded by groups of varied interests that are not subject to socioeconomic barriers or limited to dining.

Converting the Armory Building to a community center is a positive step to embrace all members of our community and re-energize the downtown core.

Andy Modell