Adaptive re-use, Littleton town hall

Material Information

Adaptive re-use, Littleton town hall an urban design study
Bower, Mike
Publication Date:
Physical Description:
44, [2] leaves : illustrations, maps, plans ; 22 x 28 cm

Thesis/Dissertation Information

Master's ( Master of Architecture)
Degree Grantor:
University of Colorado Denver
Degree Divisions:
College of Environmental Design, CU Denver
Degree Disciplines:
Urban Design


Subjects / Keywords:
Municipal buildings -- Designs and plans -- Colorado -- Littleton ( lcsh )
Municipal buildings ( fast )
Colorado -- Littleton ( fast )
Designs and plans. ( fast )
theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )
Designs and plans ( fast )


General Note:
Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree, Master of Architecture in Urban Design, College of Environmental Design.
Statement of Responsibility:
Mike Bower.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Colorado Denver
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
12306569 ( OCLC )
LD1190.A73 1977 .B668 ( lcc )

Full Text
town hall


adapti ve re-use:
1i ttleton town ha 11
an urban desi gn study
may 1977
mike bower
university of colorado
college of envi ronmental design
masters in architecture and urban design
Date Due
.table of contents.
study approach.................
background and analysis........
pedestrian movement framework, proposals for town hall re-use conclusions....................
4 26 34 46

new City Gov, Complex

The Littleton City Government function will be moving from its location in the historic Town Hall building on Main St. to a new home, three blocks north, on west Berry St. This move should be completed by fall 1977.
It is probable that as a result of this relocation the Main St. shopping area will experience a signifigant
decline in pedestrian activity. This leads to an identification of the problem, and a statment of a more specific sub-problem.
PROBLEM: A decline in pedestrian activity could weaken the viability of the Main St. area.
SUB-PROBLEM: How can we re-use the Town Hall to the maximun advantage of the Main St. area?
In addressing the "problem", it becomes apparent that from the standpoint of pedestrian activity, a range of issues affect ar y plans or proposals to increase the viability of Main St. and downtown Littleton.
For instance: Do we plan to develop retail uses that will allow us to compete with Southglenn Shopping Mall?
I ...and what does this mean in terms of parking and access?
Should we become a specialty shop district, complementing other regional shopping centers?
Should we encourage higher density housing opportunities?
How do we capitalize on the market potential of Arapahoe Community College students and staff?
Do we need to widen and repair the sidewalks? etc.
The issues involved range from regional scale economic considerations to specific physical improvements, and certainly are affected by current political realities, as well as the social goals of the community.
It becomes obvious that the magnitude of the "problem" is beyond the scope of this study, if we are to get at the pressing issue of what to do with- the Town Hall building. Also obvious is the fact that mere re-use of the building, (while possibly generating the same numbers of people as the city gov. use & providing a solution to the sub-problem), just might not be a part of the solution to the "problem"; Therefore a study approach was developed to provide a means of evaluating various re-use alternatives in relation to pedestrian activity issues.
Essentialy, existing conditions and trends in the downtown area were analyzed along with potential opportunities and limitations, inorder to develop a conceptual pedestrian movement framework for the Central Area. Various adaptive re-use alternatives for the Town Hall building were evaluated in relation to the pedestrian movement framework, and an adaptive re-use proposal was generated. Certain architectural and design considerations, which might enhance other uses were also explored.
The intent in approaching the problem in this manner is twofold: One...provide Littleton with some viable alternativesfor the building's re-use, and identify a range of pedestrian activity issues. Two...establish the basis for specific development of a masters thesis in architecture and urban design, by generating pro-* graming information, as well as, gaining an intimate understanding of the downtown area.

A wealth of information must be compiled and digested inorder to develop a viable proposal. Viable on many scales...
Viable interms of the proposed function and re-use of the Town Hall building.
Viable in terms of the dynamics of Main St. and downtown.
Viable interms of Littleton within a regional context.
This information is summarized here, in two parts.
1. ) An assessment of the respective "roles" played by
the Town Hall building, the Main St., and the Central Area
2. ) An assessment of potential opportunities and limitations within the Town Hall building, the Main St., the Central Area, and dealing with citizen perceptions and social climate.
physical center activity generator visually unique & dominating historic anchor functionally unique
This building serves as a reference point...we can measure our position in time... remember our ancestors... recall the beginings and roots of the city.
The Town Hall is also a reference in the sense of a person's position on the street..."On the same side of the street as the Town Hall..." "yeah, just west of the Town Hall."
Another aspect of the Town Hall's role is that its historic use is symbolic of the city. Its use has also brought people onto the street for reasons other than shopping.
The first Town Hall. Located on the same site.

The existing Town Hall building as it appeared when it was built. Note the open arches.

physical center
lineal bisector
major shopping & retail uses
primary activity node
channel of space, a feel...a place
historic "downtown"
Main Street, being centrally located and the primary activity node, takes the leading role in the Central Area Neighborhood. It functions as the focus of the Neighborhood...and due to its exposure,(thru traffic), and feeling of "place", it provides the definition for the Central Area.
"Space and time in the image of man become pi ace and occasion"
Looking west down the four blocks of Main Street.

governmental focus of city & county "old part" in sea of suburbs location of community college (ACC)
smaller shops supplimenting regional centers elderly housing
an "urban node" along the Platte River activity center concept (RTD study)
Its role is unique within the region... Littleton in its entirety would seem anything but unique.
It is one of the many suburban growths that surround Denver within the metropolitan vicinity... yet the Central Area does perform a unique role!
It has a visible hisory. (which is certainly unique after the 1950's space-age-rage on building facades. Even having a history is unique within the suburban growth context.
Consequently the Central Area's role is one of generating a feeling of "place"...a sense of community and belonging. The central area serves as an historical reference point... a begining from which residents can measure the growth and change of their city can reference the growth and change of life. ESOTERIC, but of PRIMARY IMPORTANCE.
The role of the Central Area is also unique in a functional sense. It houses uses and activities such as Arapahoe Community College (ACC), Arapahoe County Government and Courts,housing for the elderly, shops with regional specialty and specific market appeal, City Government functions.
According to the regional activity center concept of the Joint Regional Planning Program, the Central Area of Littleton has been designated as a location with high potential to develop an intense, pedestrian oriented character, and serve as a mass transit stop.
View from court house roof, 1910


Opportuni ties
1. Now that the City Hall use no longer needs the space, it would be nice to open up the arches and regain the historic facade, and pleasent pedestrian space!
2. Since the structure was origionally designed with an auditorium occupying the second level, it would be possible to have a clearspan space on the second floor, or even remove this floor and have a monumental feeling two story clear-span space.
3. The roof is spanned with 8' deep heavy timber trusses, and there is enough room inside the trusses to run lots of mechanical equipment, lighting, catwalks, or even a few "loft" spaces.
4. Since the City will be leasing, selling, or re-using the building, there is an opportunity to encourage a connection through the block to the alley and the post office in back.
Limi tations
1. The building has been designated as an historic structure, and as such the exterior can't be altered.
2. A 3' level change occurs across the building about 18'south of the origional front door.
3. The origional finished floor in the fire truck garage slopes at a pitch of 1:15.
4. The second floor is supported by bearing walls, therefor re-partitioning the 1st fl. will be inhibited.
Original Floor Plans f 20'

Many of the opportunities and limitations that arise in the Main Street area are discussed in more
detail later in the study. Presented at this time are those that relate to physical development
and circulation.
Opportuni ti es
1. The minimal usability of all north/south streets except Prince, presents a chance for developing the R.O.W.
2. A mid-block connection can be established on the south side of Main St. between Curtice and Nevada.
3. A 25' by 125' parcel adjoining the Town Hall building on the west, could become available for redevelopment
4. As proposed parking lots develop, an enormous amount of land behind the buildings might become available for re-use and development.
5. Open and developable land exists at each end of Main St., presenting opportunity for an ambitious, aggressive development scheme...Large department store type anchor uses at each end of the street? How about using the air rights & build these structures over Santa Fe Drive and the railroad tracks?
6. The pedestrian activity generated by the grocery store and by the post office & bank could be tapped to the benefit of Main Street.
7. The number of developable sites in the Main St. are allows for accommodating much of the future urban development, and presents an opportunity to concentrate commercial growth in an intensified, compact area. (Such a condition is conducive to walk-in specialty shops and produces a whole greater than the sum of its parts.)
Limi tations
1. The amount and intensity of auto and truck traffic on Main St. minimizes the ability of both sides of the street to function co-operatively, and diminishes the desirability of the space.
2. Well...what can I say about the parking/
3. The existing undeveloped parcels weaken the sense of enclosure on Main St, and as a result minimize its ability to become a truly super pedestrian experience.
4. Main Street carries much through traffic, due to its connection with Santa Fe and Bowles Street.
5. The western-most blocks on Main do not compliment the rest of the street due to their auto oriented uses.

Hard buildings and uses are those that are not expected to be replaced. Criteria for determining these are as follows:
buildings which are structurally sound or relatively new uses which contribute to pedestrian activity and/or character designated historic structures
some buildings in and of themselves may not be particularly good historic examples, or even in excellent condition, but each in combination with its neighbors is necessary to create the sense of place and character of the street.

Soft buildings and uses are those that have the potential to either turn over in function, or be demolished for redevelopment. Criteria for establishing these are as follows:
buildings which are physically dilapidated
uses which lack a people orientation and/or discourage pedestrian activity
buildings or parts of buildings whose materials and architecture detract from the image and character of the area

Main Street runs one-way in a westerly direction and carries about 9300 vehicles / hour. Alamo Avenue runs one-way in an easterly direction and carries about 10,200 v.p.h.
Prince Street runs both ways, north/south and carries from 6400, (north of Main), to 6000 v.p.h., (sout of Alamo). It should also be noted that Prince will probably be emphasized as the major entrance into downtown from the north, as a result of the developing government complex.

These opportunities and limitations are presented in relation to the following catagories:
existing land use
zoning and flood plains
pedestrian activity
natural and physical factors
Throughout each discussion, the regional impacts of, and upon the Central Area are presented.
Bega Park
i. %

The c-a, or the "central area" zone, essentially allows for a wide variety of uses and places less restrictions on development. It also establishes a Development Review Committee.
Opportuni ties
1. The existing conditions coupled with the features of the c-a zoning may encourage rapid redevelopment of the area between ACC and Main Street.
2. Natural open space, or developed river-front along the Platte River could become an integral
part of life in the downtown area.
3. The potential for functional open space is enhanced by Littles Creek and Slaughter Gultch.
Limi tations
1. Industrial uses within the c-a zone are legally non-conforming, and these current uses are not encouraging the best use of the land.
2. Since there is not much area actually zoned for residential development it is important to develop means of encouraging residential development within the c-a zone.
3. Floodplains may restrict or place constraints on development. (However, the Platte will be channelized by the Corp of Engineers).

Opportuni ti es
1. The relative locations of these concentrations place pressure on intermediate areas to redevelop.
2. The distance, (2 to 3 blocks), between these areas is within comfortable walking distance.
3. The relative locations and functions of these areas creates a situation where a user would experience a percievable area and a manageable scale in his living activities.
Limi tations
1. At present these concentrations of people and activity are separated and don't mutually benefit each other.
2. Heavy auto conflicts occur at Santa Fe Blvd. when any of these pedestrian areas attempt to "reach" the pedestrian amenity of the Platte.
3. The parking lot for ACC presents a major pedestrian barrier.

Natural and Physical Factors
Opportuni ti es
1. The topography aids in defining the downtown and helps people define it in their minds as a distinct "district". The railroad tracks, Santa Fe, and the River also give physical definition to downtown.
2. The topography combined with the open space of the Platte flood plain insure prime mountain views, and local views of the River.
3. Existing railroad bridges could be adapted as pedestrian grade separations.
4. The existing building height of Main Street allows for maximum solar exposure on the street space.
L i mitations
1. Noise and danger of the railroad.
2. Noise and danger of Santa Fe.
3. The bridge at Bowles and the River is the only one in the area, and consequently much through traffic cuts through the area.

natural and physical factors

1. The relative locations of these concentrations place pressure on intermediate areas to redevelop.
2. The distance, (2 to 3 blocks), between these areas is within comfortable walking distance.
3. The relative locations and functions of these areas creates a situation where a user would experience a percievable area and a manageable scale in his living activities.
Limi tations
1. At present these concentrations of people and activity are separated and don't mutually benefit each other.
2. Heavy auto conflicts occur at Santa Fe Blvd. when any of these pedestrian areas attempt to "reach" the pedestrian amenity of the Platte.
3. The parking lot for ACC presents a major pedestrian barrier.

Natural and Physical Factors
Opportuni ties
1. The topography aids in defining the downtown and helps people define it in their minds as a distinct "district". The railroad tracks, Santa Fe, and the River also give physical definition to downtown.
2. The topography combined with the open space of the Platte flood plain insure prime mountain views, and local views of the River.
3. Existing railroad bridges could be adapted as pedestrian grade separations.
4. The existing building height of Main Street allows for maximum solar exposure on the street space.
Li mi tations
1. Noise and danger of the railroad.
2. Noise and danger of Santa Fe.
3. The bridge at Bowles and the River is the only one in the ahea, and consequently much through traffic cuts through the area.

natural and physical factors

Citizen Perceptions and Social Climate
A "loose" questionnaire was run in the Littleton Independent Newspaper on March 10, 1977. The number returned was insufficient to formulate definite conclusions. However, utilizing this information in conjuction with informal conversations with residents, and interpretation of public planning policy, the following observations were generated.
1. There exists a strong sense of community, reinforced by effective citizen involvement in the affairs of the City.
2. Residents identify with Littleton as distinct from the metropolitan sprawl that now surrounds it. (As opposed to Greenwood Village, or even Aurora).
3. Various policies established in the COMPLAN indicate a commitment to public initiative in Central Area redevelopment.
4. People are begining to perceive downtown, as extending beyond Main St. to ACC and the new Government Complex.
5. At minimum there exists a small group of people who are strongly committed to patronizing Main Street shopping.
Limi tations
1. Many residents relate to downtown Littleton as being only the area of Main Street.
2. It is likely that many people don't have a clear image of the physical configuration of the central area. (If you can't visualize in you mind where something is in relation to another, actual distances become out of proportion.

Heres Your Chance .
This is a chance for YOU to provide guidance in the growth of Littletons downtown. Mike Bower, a graduate candidate in the University of Colorados master of architecture program, in co-operation with the Littleton planning department, is studying
some possible re-uses for the citys town hall building. The results of this study will be considered in developing Littletons central area neighborhood plan. He will present his findings at a public hearing in May.
Please answer the following questions and mail this form to:
c/o Littleton Independent P.O. Box 811 Littleton, Co. 80160
Better Yet, Stop in and drop it off by hand! Thanks!
1. Would YOU describe downtown Littleton as: (Select One)
a. ) Being mostly the Main St. area between Santa Fe and the railroad
b. ) Including almost all the land bounded by Santa Fe and the tracks
and Arapahoe Community College and the new government complex.
c. ) Other (Please Descri be.)
2. In the following space state YOUR major reasons for going downtown.
3. What would YOU like to see built in downtown Littleton in the future?
4. If you have time, please draw a map, (FROM MEMORY), of downtown Littleton. Include and label things that are important to YOU. Use a sheet of typing paper and mail it with this form. Thank you very much.
Thanks again for your concern and valuable help!

what to do with all of this
.....from that to this......
..Objectives...Proposals... the synthesizing...

This diagram represents in "conceptual" graphic form, the elements, which, when functioning together realize the conceptual pedestrian movement framework..."but so what? you know as
It is of importance to know man, and how
speed up, slow down, cl imb steep grades, go
most i effecti ve mode of transport:
1501bs. I |weight of man)
50001bs . 1 [weight of car)
1501bs. 1 [weight of man)
1501bs. 1 [wei ght of man wal 1
he traverses about so. Free to to the the left, hop
= 1.0 (efficiency)
stop, turn a squat! legs:
full 360c The
The most freedon of choice in direction and in speed. The most freedom to vary the degree of contact with people, with places and with things. (Necessary freedoms if changing, growing, and learning are to live within. Necessary freedoms also inorder that man be able to interpret and give scale to places). As a result the framework was developed with 2 elements that respond to the 2 baisic reasons for movement. 1.) Open Space/Recreation Element. 2.) Functional Use Element
It is of importance to know man, and how he builds, trades, makes physical changes. Always busy... reacting to this change, to that situation. Cost Effective? Is it timely? Let's vote! Inflation. Recession. Whatl A new shopping mall across the street from Centenial Racetrack!? Therefore the framework was developed with a possible phasing concept. Various timing and expansion concepts and questions are identified in the descriptions of each element that follow. Some of the components are loosely defined and well able to react to "this change" and "that situation". The intent here is to bring greater depth to our understanding the range of pedestrian issues affecting Littleton.
"what good are the ponderosa pines lining the curving paths, if its out of the way, AND I WANT
Inorder to properly evolve the pedestrian movement framework, and in cosideration of the assessment of potential opportunities & limitations, a set of objectives and criteria were developed.

1. encourage walking as the primary mode of transportation in the downtown area
2. help to change residents and visitors perception of the physical boundaries of the downtown.
1. route orientations should make sense in how they will be used:
compliment existing use patterns Intersect sites at appropriate places be efficient when necessary be fun sometimes too
2. routes should embody as wide a range of places to sit and watch
to lie down and rest to see a mountain view to stop and talk to a friend to go slow to hurry along
to go inside and have a drink
of who will be using them and
experiences as possible, and include:
to climb above grade
to peek into a sunken court
to enter a building
to feel the hustle and bustle
to feel alone
to feel alive!
Objectives 1. to orient users to the central area.
2. to increase the diversity of use in downtown by providing a recreational element
Criteria 1. routes should tie in to existing openspace and recreation systems, like: bike/hike paths rec center schools etc.
2. this element should take on functional characteristics in relating the central area ped. framework to surrounding neighborhoods and to the state-wide Platte pathway system.
3. paths should orient lines of sight to successive visual destinations.
4. auto/man conflicts should be minimized by route selection, and where unavoidable by design means.
5. paved and delineated pathways should have solar exposure.
6. routes should be designed so as to identify the major elements of the downtown.
Objectives 1. to make direct, efficient connections between the 3 major areas of pedestrian activity within downtown.
2. to encourage pedestrian activity on Main Street.
3. to reinforce Main St. as the focus of the Central Area Neighborhood.
Criteria 1. beginings of "pathways" should be defined by uses which are trip generators, and physical configurations which say..."Right this way!"
2. ends should be defined by uses which are trip destinations, and physical configurations that say..." This is the place!"
3. places of transition between vehicle and foot, (pkg. lots, bus stops etc.), should always be beginnings of pathways.
4. adjacent land uses and activities should encourage use of routes.
5. routes should encourage successive perceived destinations inorder to reinforce pedestrian scale..."yeah, just about a block from Main St. to the recreation center and then on to ACC."

This element consists of actual pathways to accommodate walkers, runners, bicyclists, and possibly equestrians.
These are the Components...
This component should utilize the railroad right-of-way and/or the irrigation ditch that roughly parrallels and runs east of the tracts. In its first phase it could be developed by City initiative as a standard hike/bike path with landscaping. It will serve to link the relatively passive openspaces and public uses of ACC, Bega Park, and the Govenment Centerpark space. Bega Park will function as an intermediate "focus" of this component, and should, (through signage, route orientation, and materials), say...
"Right this way to the Main St. shopping experience.
Taking advantage of the potential opp. presented by Littles Creek, this component serves as an extension of the City bikeway system by connecting w/ Sterne Park. It will provide an attractive, non-vehicular access into downtown for the surrounding neighborhoods. a logical 1st phase would develop the segment bet. Sterne Park and component "a1, emphasizing access to Main St. The remainder should develop on demand and tie into the State-wide Platte trail system.
As development occus, an intermediate ."focus" should be created at the point where the Functional Use El. intersects this Littles Creek Component. This "focus" could be a unique use and/or an interesting visual feature. Its function should be to define the 2 different elements of the movement framework, and direct usersto the type of "movement" they desire. This "focus" will also provide a point of reference, giving a more perceivable scale to the downtown.
This component follpws the alignment of Slaughter Gulch, and ties residential areas ft the Broadway strip into the ped. movement framework. It also provides direct access to openspace and recreation for residents of the Geneva Home. The 1st phase can be realized by site development at the Gov. Cntr. Future phases will include extension to the Platte, (grade separation at Santa Fe), and developed trails east on the Gulch. Geneva Lake & the proposed amphitheater wi11 compliment this component, ft serve a a unique intermediate "focus".
The State-wide Platte River Trail System makes up the fourth component of this element. This alignment provides a unique experience along the River, as well as integrating Littleton's ped. system w/ a regional route. The Corps of Engineers has funds committed for developing this component. Citizens should pusue contacts to insure input into the design.
V y These are points that need further explanation...
1. Old Railroad Station Designated Historic Structure Art Museum. Should compliment the pathway experience.
2. Existing Railroad Bridges. Old Trolley used to cross under tracks here. Ready-made grade-separated crossing. Signage and other features should announce entrance to downtown & identify Government Complex.
3. Points of intersection with regional trail system. Should identify downtown Littleton
4. Prince Street crossing. Materials and signage necessary to minimize auto/man conflict. Signage should also identify ACC.

These are points where issues must be addressed...
? Should the system be extended north along the tracks.
? Should formal" connections into adjoining areas be developed.
? Is a grade separated or traffic controlled crossing necessary at Alamo and Main.
The "loop nature of this Open Space/Recreation Element makes it ideal for special activities and events. An equestrian path through downtown could reinforce historic character and add excitement. A jogging loop with excercize stations could become a unique activity within the region, catering to lunch hours, ACC students, and weekend vitality. The neighborhood and regional access reinforce the Activity Center concept of downtown as a people oriented place with a wide mix of activities.

Open Space/Recreation Element

)uduid|3 esn leuojiounj

This element consists of a series of related functions and uses, along with the necessary spaces and paths for people to move efficiently as they carry out their daily activities.
a These are the Components...
Si- The purpose of this component is to provide a connectionbetween
ACC and the Main St. shopping experience. As the area between the two develops, this connection should emerge as an efficient, perceivable route with a focus to serve as an intermediate destination. Perhaps a Low St. Comnercial area could provide this focus, or a student/community center might be appropriate if the area does redevelop with student housing. The master plan for ACC shows a pedestrian space extending from the building to Curtice St. Therefore the intersection of Curtice and Church Sts. would make a logical point co begin such a connection. A phasing concept for this Component is based or. the premise of a "catalyst development".
The 1st phase of developing component a is to concentrate efforts and energies on component b. It is felt that increased attention given to the Main Streei shopping experience will catalyze the area between ACC and Main, to redevelop rapidly. This opinion is based on a combination of the factors discussed previously in the Background & Analysis. Therefore, another necessary part of the 1st phase activities for component a is to develop an urban design plan for the downtown area, which would provide a means of evaluating and implementing various proposals withing this area.
Aside from the above "catalyst, activities", some specific 1st phase activities for component a are:
1. Encourage temporary location of student oriented retail shops
- ACC faci1ities
- any other shopping or community oriented uses rental spaces available in this area.
2. Begin sidewald maintenance efforts along Curtice St.
3. Implement a "low key" signage program to help establish Curtice as "the short 3 block walk to Main St."
4. Begin a serious investigation of student housing needs and various potentials for joint developments. The Public Housing Program was recently revitalized, and other federal housing
programs and potential funding sources should be sought.
. Component b is essentialy the Main St. shopping experience. It is recognized that this catalyst concept is not a 'one dided deal".
As certain improvements in "b" stimulate development in "a", "b" will begin to feed off of the increased market potential and vitality emerging in "a", and so on. Consequently, this Main St. Component is explained in greater detail on the following pages.
This component of the functional Use Element is geared toward serving the office, coinm., and service uses which have developed to the east on Littleton Blvd. This street will most likely maintain its auto oriented character due to the massing, rythym, and siting of structures; as well as existing traffic flow. Physical
development, therefore, would entail redeveloped sidewalk spaces and concern for building orientation, entrances and parking. To further "develop" this area as a successful component, the 1st phase activities should include encouraging restaurants and shops on Main St to meet noon time needs of Littleton Blvd. (expansion, new uses, special events, directed advertising, etc.).
The purpose of this Component is to provide a connection between the Governmental Complex and the Main St. shopping experience. There are a couple, of options that need to be explored here. 1.) This functional use "route" could utilize a Prince St. orientation and capitalize on existing functions and uses which might encourage pedestrian movement.
2.) A Hill St and Sycamore St. orientation might be more valuable if the proposed site for the RTD park & ride and/or transit station ever develops. In this case the intermediate "focus" would be the RTD station. The phasing and development of component "d" is similar to that of "a" in that it would depend on "b" as a catayst development. The Gov. Cntr. will also exert a catalyst effect.
tt1 These are points that need further description...
1. Various defined connections from housing, office or other uses that develop in this area.
2. Signage and other identification of Main St. shopping experience.
3. Same as (1.) above.
4. Existing visual terminus. Route orientation should take advantage of this.
5. Identification, (along Platte trail system), of downtown Littleton and Main Street.
6. A possible future phase of component b. Perhaps the Platte River could become an integral part of the "Main St. experience".
This element of the pedestrian movement framework really only identifies some of the pedestrian movement issues that need to be addressed in any proposals for development and redevelopment of downtown. It is important that a clear definition between this Functional Use Element and the Open Space/ Recreation Element be visible to the people using downtown. In this way the two systems should compliment each other, and reinforce their individual efficiencies. The Main Street component is emphasized as the focus of pedestrian activity and life downtown.

Main Street Component

Main Street is currently, (and should continue to develop as), the focus of pedestrian activity in downtown Littleton. It has a number of characteristics that make it particularly attractive as a pedestrian environment.
20 to 50 foot store frontages: (all suburban shpping malls have realized that this scale is best to provide maximum interest and variety for the
walking shopper. Walking the length of Main St. is equivalent to walking the length of Aurora Mall.)
a sense of enclosure: (the county court house & the library building are sited so as to provie a visual terminus at either end of Main St. The height
and facade frontage of buildings along Main create a "channel" of space that feels good and enclosed, but not overpowering.)
a variety of uses: (post office, grocery, drugstore, bank, doctor's office, meatmarket, florist, etc. All tightly grouped, make it practical and exciting
to use and experience the place on foot.
The unique character of this space is its primary asset in terms of a pedestrian experience. This character is in part derived from the historic western appeal. An integral and historic part of a western "main street" is just that... the street. Although we are talking about Main St as a component of a pedestrian movement framework, it is felt that if the street itself were to qo entirely pedestrian, (no cars), the feeling and character wouldcertainly be diminished. A pedestrian mall would feel an applied decoration. *N0 PEDESTRIAN MALL IN THIS UNIQUE CHANNEL QE SPACE*
The first phase of developing this component should consist of:
Future phases should include:
developing off-street parking w/ logical pedestrian connections to Main St.
redeveloping signage to relate to pedestrians.
encouraging relocation of non-people & shopping oriented uses.

removal of on-street parking. (Encourages back & forth movement and enhances sense of place.
widening and improving walkways.
possibly encouraging larger anchor uses at each end of the St.
developing back entrances, pass throughs, and interesting niches to enhance the
Main St. shopping experience.
L.^ ^ese are Potential
opportunities that could lead to policies and design criteria...
1. These uses are relatively 'soft' and the potential exists for redevelopment. Perhaps a larger "anchor"use could take advantage of this site. Should
the building wrap around the historic library and create a "setting" for it? Should the building take advatage of the topography and build across Santa Fe, using air rights to link the.Main St shopping experience across Santa Fe?
2. As this whole end of Main has the potential to redevelop, perhaps this open space fronting on the Street could be developed as an enlargement of the
pedestrian space. A plaza for people at this end of the Street, complimenting Bega Park at the other.
3. These heavily outlined rectangles indicate sites for infill development. This infill is necessary to reinforce the sense of space and rhythym of
shopping which will enhance the pedestrian experience.
4. This alley presents an opportunity for an intimate pedestrian experience, which could link with proposed public parking and/or functinal use com-
ponent "d". Should adjacent shops open up display windows and entrances onto this space? (It gets lots of sun!)
5. Bega Park presents a nice pedestrian oriented "gateway" to Main St. Relatively "soft" uses on the north side of the street might redevelop. Maybe we
should require a generous landscaped setback to balance and enhance this feeling of entrance-arrival into a pedestrian experience.
6. The "gaps" that exist in this block should be indilled to the present frontage and facade line inorder to reinforce the sense of space and rhythym of shopping on Main St. Any infill on both of these sites should pay particular attention to its alley frontage. With the Post Office, Littleton National Bank, and Bega Park generating pedestrian activity in the south '-2 of this block this block should develop a real pedestrian experience and place here in the "back".
7. Part of this Main St. Component includes enhancing ped. walkways on the cross streets. Similar ground surface materials and textures can help. Maybe corner shops should have forms and pass throughs, as well as secondary entrances on cross streets inorder to encourage this type of movement.
8. This identified soft bldg, could be removed to develop a mid-block connection from proposed parking to Main St. This connection must be more that just
a side walk. Maybe new shops could be opened in the backs of existing structures. Perhaps the space becomes an open air market. Should we leave the
brick building facade inorder to maintain the visual character and rhythym of Main Street?
9. These existing auto oriented uses are a weak spot in the Main St. shopping experience. The exit'g structures don't compliment the viual and spatial
character of Main St. Should this site utilize the open space behind the Elks Club and redevelop a a larger structure? (Could be a good location for a anchor use). Should we even encourage an anchr use/ Could more be done for pedestrian activity if Main St. develops as a specialty shop district?
ID. Due to the high visibility of this site, the area should prsent an image which says..."pedestrians...people shopping...a nice place!"

Chomp Chomp...SIurp.. Hmmm..yummheh. Having digested thi range of pedestrian issues How can we re-use the old Town Hall to best advantage? What should we do with the building? Well, in the c-a zoning the bldg, use could legally become:
", service, residential, public and associated commercial and business uses that can best support the community from a central location, at high densities (Specific permitted uses are listed in the Littleton Zoning Ordinance under 10-5-20 B).
But how do we find a good adaptive re-use for the bldg.? Obviously many of the permitted uses just ar ent practical from a market demand standpoint, vihile others have space & service requirements that are not compatible w/ the physical limitations of the site & structure. Besides being economically & physically feasible, a good re-use should do the most for benefiting the entire down town area.
Certain uses would violate the historical function of the bldg., which would be as detrimental as violat^Qthe hist orical look of the building. This is not to say we must find some city government function as a re-use, but it is saying...A PROPER RE-USE SHOULD BRING PEOPLE ONTO THE ST. FOR REASONS OTHER THAN SHOPPING, (since this factor contributes greatly to the vitality & diversity which compliment the physical character of the area.) And perhaps it is saying...THE ADAPTIVE RE-USE SHOULD DO SOMETHING TO SYMBOLIZE THE CITY AND SENSE OF COMMUNITY IN LITTLETON, (for this "symbolism" is of key importance in maintaining the role of Main St. as the focus of the downtown area.)

The Proposal
The historic Town Hall bldg, becomes the new "Town Hall".
A meeting place for exciting space for the pedestrian...the setting for a variety of events and activities. .the focus of the Main Street experience! A real COMMUNITY center: not in the sense of swimming pools and locker rooms, but in the sense of the downtown...cultural, civic, shopping activity, working...the heart of a social and economic center.
The interior bearing walls and the second floor which they support, along with the second level ceiling would be removed to create a 40' high, dear-span pedestrian space, which would extend through the block. The building functions would be as flexible as the open space, and community oriented in nature:
farmers markets (special shopping events)
museum displays (bring the Historical Museum's displays to an historical setting for certain occasions) intimate theater (compliment the emerging Cultural Arts
Center at ACC)
dances & lectures ( youth services bureau )
exhibitions & demonstrations (community organizations, artisans,
athletic teams, etc.)
A mezzanine level could accommodate additional theater and exhibition seating, as well as people watching vantage points, exciting booth space during farmers markets etc. Mechanical equipment and storage needs would be handled in the basement.
A number of large skylights installed beween the wood trusses would flood the space with a natural light, creating a "Town Hall" which becomes an inviting extension of outdoor pedestrian spaces. On-street parking in front of the bldg, would be eliminated inorder to develop an enlargement of the main St. pedestrian walk. Development of this space would increase the visibility of the Town Hall site from either end of the block, and reinforce it as a pedestrian focus. The space behind the bldg, would be redeveloped with a pedestrian plaza that doubled as an amphitheater and outdoor booth space. This sunny area would provide a connection to the proposed public parking off of Alamo between Curtice and Nevada Sts., and also to the Post Office.
As adjacent shops begin to develop "rear" entrances onto this space, a signifigant step will have been taken in preparing for the redevelopment of the area between Main St. & ACC.
The following drawings explain the architectural concept.........

the historic facade is regained by opening the three arches in the front of the building.
exposed wood trusses, brightly painted air handling ducts, and banners lend a feeling of celebration and gayiety.
the rear portion of the structure is occupied by small specialty shops on the ground floor, with the second floor housing a child care center for shopping mothers, and/or office space for civic interest groups, chamber of commerce, or the like.
the ground floor shops front on a pedestrian arcade which connects with the plaza development in the alley.
the mezzanine level wraps around the north, west and south walls, allowing people to use the space above the opened arches below.

the lines of, (and vistas into), this space encourage pedestrian movement from proposed parking and areas to the south. The plaza also functions to bring the Post Pffice into a more intimate relationship with Main Street.
level changes in the plaza provide informal seating with a view
all shops can still be served by truck from the back, and the alley r.o.w. is maintained for mail truck use.
adjacent parking and service is screened by low walls and planted earth berms.
this space receives plenty of sun, and the majority of the trees are deciduous to allow for winter solar exposure.
the black triangles indicate re-oriented entrances, or entrances to newly developed shops.
an outdoor cafe in a nice sunny space, with a view of the street as well as the activity on the new plaza! besides being a great place to's an exciting visual element within the space.


inorder to make this "Town Hall" community center an extension fo the pedestrian environment, it is desirable to have as many shopping opportunities as possible opening onto it.
the building to the east of the Town Hall might develop uses which could benefit by this exposure.
today it looks like there are some local artisans selling goods from small booths set out in the space, there is also some kind of display being presented on the other side of the space, since there are no columns or permanent walls to deal with, the Cultural Center Theater Group will be able to set up their modular theater seating this afternoon for the performance this evening.
it's noon and the plaza behind the building is buzzing... people running errands to the Post Office and bank, you can see couples sitting on the amphitheater step, eating their lunches in the shade of those new trees they planted last may. it's always fun to stop in and see whats going on, because there is always something different.

Section l"=10'

It is likely that the proposal would require the City to remain in ownership of the building, and for various economic, or political reasons this may not be possible. The following drawings present three architectural and design concepts which might help other uses become more of a "place" for the community. An attempt was made to investigate the "not-so-obvious" alternatives.
street section thru Main
the historic facade is maintained as just that...a facade, this facade forms the entrance to a plaza space which is developed where the building used to be.
a new taller structure is set back from main st., and occupies the space behind the buildings, the alley, & parking lot. its height is controlled by views over the cornice line on main street.
the massing defines connections to the post office, & bega park.
shopping activity at the plaza level, but what goes on up above??? spec, office, or how about county court activities.
(so much nicer that the contemplated greenwood plaza location)

4 stories?! you gotta be kidding! yes, this concept not only maximizes rentable space, but combines a mix of uses with an exciting spatial concept.
the large floor to celing dimension in the existing Town Hall makes it possible to add new structure, and create
3 new floors with at least an 8' f 1. to ceil'g dimension, also available would be loft spaces between the 8' deep trusses.(spaced 14' o.c.)
the pedestrian arcade forms a mid block connection and takes on the feel of a narrow italien street with its veiw of
4 levels of activity, a place with real identity!
the specialty shop/professional office thyp uses compliment the existing character of main street, but this may possibly be a bit "novel" in feel, for adapting to the historic Town Hall.

with minimal physical changes to the structure this concept responds to the developing of a privately owned theater/restaurant combination. the existing square footage of the 2cd floor is ideal to accommodate intimate theater for up to 200 people, this would be especially attractive if the nearby proposed parking lot develops, bringing a little nightlife to Main street would be nice.
the covered plaza connection could become an established location for local artists and craftsmen to set up temporary booths.


Ease of pedestrian movement is critical to the vitality of downtown. Littleton's downtown area has a definite need, as well as a unique potential for becoming an appealing area for on foot.
There are numerous attractions all within a compact, walkable area. The physical character and scale are conducive to pedestrian activity, as is the emerging functional role as specialty shopping district.
It appears as though development pressures are growing in the downtown area, and it will be the attention paid to developing a pedestrian orientation, that will determine the quality of the change in this central area.
Main Street is losing a viable use, but the down -town isn't. We must sieze this opportunity presented by the City government's move, and make a commitment to the future of the down town.
Make this move a positive event in the life of the City by stimulating activity and involvement in the historic center of Littleton.