Historic Denver Feedback on Cultural Landscape Report for City Park Golf Course
1) The report generally provides a solid overview of the course and its development, and the photographs and maps are useful visual aids. While the document would have been more helpful at an earlier stage, it should still be useful in informing design decisions.
2) We concur with the proposed period of significance for the reasons documented in the CLR and because the proposal is reasonably consistent with the proposed period of significance for the remainder of City Park, which is currently undergoing a master planning process. We also concur that the course currently exhibits good integrity.
3) The underlying premise of the report seems to be that the Golf Course has changed overtime. That is clearly true, however, the core foundational elements of the Course have not changed substantially (topography, views, spatial relationships, circulation patterns). Additionally, the Course had taken on its current state, more or less, by the mid-1960s and so most of the changes to landscape style and vegetation should be considered contributing to the historic character as we now know it. Efforts should therefore be made to preserve, honor or reinforce relationships and attributes that date to the period of significance. This includes the foundational elements noted above, but also the key plantings and the planting patterns, that date to the period of significance.
4) There remains some incomplete thinking related to the trees and defining their significance. Emphasis has been placed on the age of trees alone- rather than on understanding which planting patterns have significance, even if they are less evident today. While certainly preserving the legacy/champion trees is critical, understanding the patterns during the period of significance could guide the designers in choices about where to re-establish those patterns, what kinds of trees to plant, etc.
5) Justification is made for moving the clubhouse based on previous conversations about moving it in the 1940s and 1990s, but preservation practice would say that simply because something was previously discussed or even designed, if it wasn’t built it’s not “historic,” so using those previous conversations as an argument to support the move doesn’t really work. There should be further discussion of how the move affects other contributing features, and whether those attributes can be preserved even if the club house moves.
6) The views are defined as significant both into and out of the course, so the idea that buildings need to be low, and not dominant, is very important not only to the views but also to the sense of vastness that is repeatedly noted as a significant characteristic.
Annie Robb Levinsky
Historic Denver, Inc
1420 Ogden St.
Denver, CO 80218
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