Letter: Restore public use to Armory | AspenTimes.com

Letter: Restore public use to Armory

Recall that Aspen voters favored a “community use” for the present City Hall — the Armory Building — in November. In addition, the City Council favors a new municipal-government building based on sound economics.

That provokes the question of what “community use” might be undertaken with the Armory Building and how that repurposed use would be paid for in due course.

A new nonprofit — the Aspen Armory Community Center — advocates that the building can be restored to its original, historical use as a public space. Such use was in place from 1892 to 1957. With consideration for modern needs, this reuse can include affordable meeting spaces; event and performance spaces; a venue for lectures, political gatherings, dances, fundraising events, and senior and children’s activities; and even a winter farmers market.

Such a wide variety of uses would address a wide variety of needs and truly make for a community space — and a much more useful one than cramped, inefficient city offices.

Moreover, the new nonprofit has committed to raise the needed restoration funds, thus relieving the city budget of the cost of renovation.

A new community center in the historic Armory would add vitality to the core, enhance our historic character and offer community benefits for years to come.

So, let’s do it!

James DeFrancia


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