Citation
Union Station urban design plan

Material Information

Title:
Union Station urban design plan
Creator:
Liu, Si-Ting
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
29, [52] pages : illustrations, maps, 6 folded plans (in pockets) ; 29 cm

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Urban renewal -- Colorado -- Denver ( lcsh )
City planning -- Colorado -- Denver ( lcsh )
City planning -- Colorado ( lcsh )
City planning ( fast )
Urban renewal ( fast )
Buildings, structures, etc -- Conservation and restoration -- Denver (Colo.) ( lcsh )
Colorado ( fast )
Colorado -- Denver ( fast )
Genre:
theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )

Notes

General Note:
Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for a Master's degree in Architecture in Urban Design, College of Design and Planning.
Statement of Responsibility:
Si-Ting Liu.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Colorado Denver
Holding Location:
Auraria Library
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
09030124 ( OCLC )
ocm09030124
Classification:
LD1190.A73 1980 .L58 ( lcc )

Full Text
ENVIRONMENTAL DESIGiy AURARiA LIBRARY
UNION STATION URBAN DESIGN PLAN
SI-TING LIU FALL 1980
URBAN DESIGN


ENVIRONMENTAL DESIGN AURARIA LIBRARY
CONTENTS
1 INTRODUCTION HISTORY
2 PROBLEMS ISSUES
' * V ' i'-.
3 OBJECTIVES GOALS
4 SITE ANALYSIS
Project Description
Site
Existing Analysis Climate Topography Land Use Floor Area Circulation Building Quality
5 CONCEPT ANALYSIS
Conceptual Plan Land Use Circulation Historic Preservation
15
15
Urban Design Program
24


6 SERVICE REQUIREMENTS
7 DESIGN SOLUTION O APPENDIX
27
Gidelines for Rehabilitating Historic Building Private Signing Guidelines
Demand of Housing and Office Space in Demver Area


INTRODUCTION AND HISTORY
With economic pressures and the energy crisis impacting Americans' lives, more and more people are looking to the core cities of the United States as places not only to work but also to live and recreate. These factors coupled with the migration to the Rocky Mountains and Ener gy Center in Colorado, have put downtown Denver in a boom town situation. The urban renaissance trend places growth pressures on Denver but, more importantly, it offers the city a valuable opportunity to reshape, rehabilitate, revive and resettle the area to create a vital core city and make it a place for people.
The recent building boom in downtown Denver has sparked interest in the older section of downtown Denver. The area bounded by Speer Boulevard, the railyard, 20th Street, and Market Street is known as Lower Doentown.
The Lower Downtown area was included in the original Denver city charter and was the city's major commercial area for many years due to its proximity to the river and later the rail service which was so vital to the city's economic health.
1


The early structures which still stand in the area
are mostly second and third generation buildings and owe their longevity to the masonry construction which was required by city ordinance after a series of disastrous fires in the original wooden frame structures of the new city.
Denver expanded very rapidly during the late 1800's and, as a result, the economic center of the city began to move away from Lower Downtown. The businesses and industries which remained in Lower Downtown were those most dependent on the railroad, such as food processing, manufacturing and warehousing.
The advent of the automobile and subsequent decline of rail transportation of both goods and people further eroded the economic vitality of Lower Downtown. It became all but deserted and was used almost exclusively for warehousing and manufacturing, and for some of those seamier uses which seem to find their way into declining areas By the early 1960's the future of Lower Downtown appeared bleak.
Three events in recent years, however, have served to focus renewed interest in the potential of Lower Down-
2


town. The first was the growing awareness of our architectural history, emphasized by Bi-centennial and initially capitalized on by the development of Larimer Square. This development not only altered the economic climate of the area, but also focused attention on the possibilities inherent in the recycling of basically sound older structures.
The second event which has affected the future use of Lower Downtown is the creation of the Denver Urban Renewal Authority (DURA) and their undertaking of the Skyline Urban Renewal Project directly southeast of the area. The Skyline Project has brought needed capital investment back into the area. This new construction has, in turn, brought thousands of downtown employees into close proximity to Lower Downtown and has created new markets for the shops and rental space available in the area. The destruction of many historically and architecturally valuable, though deteriorated, building in the Skyline area also helped to crystallize interest in preserving and rehabilitating the remaining structures in the Lower Downtown .
3


Finally, in response to the newly demonstrated
potential of the area, and the interest in preservation and adaptive reuse, the City of Denver, in cooperation with property owners in the area and the downtown business community, created the new B-7 zone in Lower Downtown, previously zoned 1-1 to encourage reuse of the exist
structures and to maintain the scale and character of the area. The B-7 zone was adopted by City Council in Nov-
ember, 197^-




PROBLEMS AND ISSUES
There are a number of major issues which need to be addressed for improvement and redevelopment of the area:
* Pedestrian Environment
The pedestrian environment of the area is in need of improvement. The low quality, and in many places, in poor repair or no-existent of the sidewalk, makes pedestrian access somewhat difficult. The existence of railroad spurs and loading docks in front of many of the buildings is typical of the type of problem. Redevelopment in the area should include improvement of the sidewalk and streetscape as an integral part of the project, and should conform to an overall concept.
* Transportation
The RTD express buses use the viaduct on 16th Street to reach the new northwest terminal of the Trans-itway-Mall located on the Market Street block. The introduction of a large number of pedestrians leaving their express buses and transfering to the Mall shuttle vehicles,
5


is a potentially positive activity generator. It could help provide the impetus for an expanded mix of retail activity types. But the positive aspects of pedestrian introduction to the area are offset hy the bus and auto traffic which bisects the pedestrian spaces of the area.
Transportation decisions within and immediately adjacent to Lower Downtown will have far reaching impacts on the future of its economic recovery. Problems of internal circulation and access to and from the area must be addressed if Lower Downtown is to realize its full potential as an integral part of the downtown economic community.
* B-7 Zoning
The City Council in 197^ adopted a newly created B-7 zone. Originally zoned exclusively for industrial uses only, the new zoning permitted mixed usage. The following description of the district, taken from the code presents an excellent statement regarding its purpose and goal:
" This district is intended to provide for and encourage the preservation and vitality of older areas that
6


are significant because of their architectural, historical and economic value. A variety of land uses will be permitted in order to facilitate the reuse of existing structures without jeopardizing or reducing zoning standards promoting the public safety, convenience, health, general welfare, and the preservation of the Comprehensive plan.
To preserve the additional scale of buildings in the areas, the floor area ratio is minimized. Premiums for additional floor area are provided to encourage new buildings to conform to the style and character of the area."
* Commercial Factor
The Skyline Urban Renewal Project, immediately adjacent to the B-7 District, is the new focal point of increased commercial development adjacent to the Central Business District. Currently the parcels within the Skyline Urban Renewal Project constitute a visual and physical barrier between the Central Business Destrict and the B-7 District. Development within the project area would enhance the B-7 District and the renovation of the B-7 District would reduce the stigma which is associated with proximity to a less than desirable nerighborhood.
7


* Residential Demand
There is little residential use in the Lower Downtown. One recent project which contains housing is the Black Street Bath and Racquet Cluh at 18th and Black Streets, consisting of ten condominium residences above commercial space. Most of the housing in Lower Downtown, however, is confined to the residential hotels.
The Skyline Project is evidence of renewed interest in residential development in the downtown area. Convenience to work, and retail, cultural and relational facilities are the primary attractions to downton living.- It is encouragement that residential development in Lower Downtown to create a sense of neighborhood .
* Future Development
For the future demand and expansion of Metro-Denver, the Union Station serve as a new transit center, combining access to the RTD bus system with nationwide rail access already available at the station or the light rail system in the future Denver, or the possibilities of developing commuter rail system along rail rights of
8


way at some future date.
9




OBHECTIVES AND GOALS
In developing a projection for Union Station Urban Design, I accepted the goals and conditions for the Central Business District and Lower Downtown as established by the Denver Planning Office.
The general objective is to promote varied and mixed uses which establish the economic and esthetic scale provided for the B-7 zone, and to maximize the unique opportunities of the scale and historic characteristics that exist in the area, describing as follows:
* To stimulate economic growth in the Lower Downtown and to encourage increased commercial and business activity.
* To extend the Transitway Mall from C.B.D. area to Union Station as the focal point for the system of pedestrian links.
* To improve the environment of pedestrian, such as sidewalk, streetscape, and street furnishings should be complementary to the character and scale of the Lower Downtown.
10


* To retain and to preserve many older buildings that exist in the area as a unique district of historic and architectural interest and to keep new constrcutions in scale with the area.
* To encourage new development and to reuse of older buildings for residential, office, retail and entertainment uses.
* To minimize the impacts of heavy traffic volumes in the area to creat a pedestrian environment.
11


SITE ANALYSIS
Project Description
The project, Union Station Urban Design plan, as an example to improve pedestrian environment and encourage commercial uses in Rower Downtown, consists of six block that are bounded by 16th Street, 18th Street, Market Street and Wynkoop Street including Union Station.
The major concepts of this project are to link the Transitway/Mall from Downtown Core to Union Station as the focal point for pedestrian system, to improve the environment of pedestrian, to encourage redevelopment and reuse of older buildings for residential, office retail and entertainment uses, to create a retail market in Union Station to stimulate commercial growth in the Lower Downtown and given an recreational amenity for the people, to preserve many historic and architectural interesting buildings as a cultural places of the city.
Site
12
\


UNION
STAT ON URBAN DESIGN PLAN
-Site


SITE
SCALE r-:20CT


Existing Analysis
* Climate
The climate in Denver is excellent for outdoor activity a majority of days in the year.
The sun shines an average of 250 days a year, and the annual precipitation is only 14.5 inches. The mean temperature in january, the coldest month, is 28.5 degrees, and in july, the hottest month, 72.9 degrees.
Within the downtown area, the diagonal street pattern takes adavantage of sun orientation and prevailing winds. With this street orientation, the summer sun bathes the numbered streets from approximately 9 to 4, with very little interference from buildings shadows. The strong western and northern winds are broken by this building pattern, creating strong, varied, local wind currents, but forming a barrier from inclement weather.
* Topography
13


UNION
STAT ON URBAN DESIGN PLAN
-Topography


* Land Use
Retail
Office
Residential
Industrial and Warehousing
Hotel
Parking
* Floor Area
* Circulation
* Building Quality
Historic and Rehabilitation
lk


f
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DIRECTION OF LANE


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7.


CONCEPT ANALYSIS
Conceptual Plan
* Conceptual Land Use Plan
The Conceptual Land Use Plan is a generalization projecting where various and mixed uses will occur in the site and establish the economic and esthetic scale. Maximizing the unique opportunites of the scale, and also architectural historic characteristics that exist in the site is the major objective here.
Office Land Use
Office use will grow from the real estate market but encourage here to stimulate economic growth.
Fvetail/Hotel/Entertainment Land Use
The market will encourage the increase of these uses, such as a retail market in union Station,and an open air market at the Union Station Plaza, but they must be controlled to maintain the quality of the area, especi-
15


ally in entertainment.
Retail/hotel/entertainment areas are intended to create a central focus of entertainment activity on both sides of where the Transitway Mall will extend down to Union Station.
Residential Land Use
Promote the use of upper level residential with compatible mixed use, such as office or shop, on the first floor and second floor.
Such residential units would probably be moderate to high income types of housing, and be directed away from high volume traffic areas.
Warehouse/Showroom Wholesale Land Use
Showroom combined with some Warehousing, such as furniture design showrooms will continue to be attracted at the presently area.
Industrial Land Use
It is assumed that market pressures will force industrial land uses out of this area.
16


Parking Land Use
To encourage redevelopment of existing parking areas for commercial, office, redident-ial uses, but still recommend two underground-parking for the people, shopper and business The problems of transportation will be discussed in the following section.
Open Space Land Use
The other important land use for pedestrian environment is to create some pedestrian plazas among the buildings with planting, fountain, seating, flower and berm, as amenities for the people.

17


BLAKE

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CONCEPTUAL LAND USE
RETAIL OFFICE
SCALE
1" : 200*


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CONCEPTUAL LAND USE
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CONCEPTUAL LAND USE ^
OFF-STREET PARKING l y


* Conceptual Circulation Plan
As the barriers of Cherry Creek and Central Vally railyards, the Speer BLVD. 15th, 16th, and 20th viaducts are the only accesses acrossing these barries from and to Lower Downtown..Especially RTD inbound and outbound express buses via the 15th and 16th Street viaducts, which gives the potential negative impacts on the area.
The other impact is the auto traffic volumes which is carried on 15th and 16th Street viaducts through the area. With the implementation of the 16th Street Mall, the traffic now carried by 16th Street will be diverted onto the other Streets of Lower Downtown. As the objective for this area to minimize the impacts of heavy traffic, I recommend the 16th Street viaduct only for express buses use as access to and from the Northern Terminal of the Transitway/Mall, the 15th Street viaduct only for outbound and inbound auto traffic, and encourage the Speer Boulevard and 20th Street viaduct to carry the
18


bulk of the passing traffic.
That people leaving their express buses and transfering to the shuttle vehicles, is a potentially positive activity generator. It could help provide the impetus for commercial activity here. The 16th Street Mall, and its logical extension to Union Station on 17th Street, should serve as the focal point for this system of pedestrian links. The 17th Street, from Market Street to Union Station, will be closed for pedestrian and shuttle vehicles use only. Union Station will serve as a new transit center, combining the RTD shuttle bus system with nationwide rail access already available at the station and the people leaving from proposed parking structure over railroad tracks behind Union Station to reaching shuttle bus. The streetscap and pedestrian environment must be improved for amenities in the area, six blocks including Union Station Plaza.
To relieve the parking pressures and auto traffic in Lower Downtown, I recommend the parking
19


structure over the railroad tracks behind Union Station for long-term parking who works in Lower Downtown and C.B.D. Core area. These people can reach shuttle vehicles or walk from Union Station to where they work. Pedestrian activity between parking structure and Northern Terminal of Trans-itway/Mall, would stimulate retail use mixed with office along 17th Street between Market and Wynkoop. For short-term parking, such as shoppers and business, I provide two underground-park-inging in the area.
20


AUTO
CIRCULATION PLAN
mm-
TRANSITWAY/MALL
SITE
-EXPRESS BUSES y STREET DIRECTION
Airrn traffic.


* Historic Preservation Plan
As Lowere Downtown is designated an historic district, the existing "buildings described previously ("Building quality") would be maintained.
Among these buildings, there still exist many conflicts between original condition and appearance which have to change. The options available to owners and developers of the existing older structures and new structures fall basically into four categories
(a) Restoration
Restoration is literally the return of the building to its original condition and appearance. This technique requires a great deal of reserch and expense because of the need for careful craftsmanship and reproduction of destroyed ornamentation. It is normally attempted on only the most important and valuable historic structures.
(b) Renovation
Ronovation is the category into which most of the redevelopment in Lower Downtown should
21


fall. Renovation means alteration of exis-
ting strcutures to meet changing situations and can range all the way from a simple clean-up and painting to an effort to restore the character and spirit of the original structure, while adding the additional elements necessary to make the building function for its intended use.
(c) Redesign
Redesign is just the opposite of restoration and usually results in a building which bears little or no resemblance to the original structure. Redesign should be reserved for buildings of unattractive design or built or faced with inappropriate or unattractive materials, and should be considered only as a last resort in the case of the older structures in Lower Downtown. When undertaken, redesign should consider the character of the area, and should be responsive to the design, massing, materials, colors, and scale of
22


neighboring buildings.
(d) New Design and Construction
New structures should be considered only on vacant sites, in place of buildings without architectural merit, or after all the possibilities for reuse of an existing valuable structure have been thoroughly explored.
If new construction is the only reasonable alternative, the owner or developer should insure that the design is sensitive to its context. In this way, tne variety and vitality of the area can be maintained and enhanced without limiting individual expression or destroying its existing historic character.
Note: There are some materials concerning guidelines for rehabilitating historic buildings and private signing described on appendix.
2?


WAZEE
BLAKE
PRESERVATION PLAN
RENOVATION
MS^RE NOVATION
REDESIGN
SCALE r=200* NEW CONSTRUCTION
0


Urban Design Program
This following program is based on the issues, objectives and concept described previouly and on demand of residential and office space in Denver area.* (*See appendix III)
PROGRAM
1. The existing building that are listed on the National Register of Historic Place, the Colorado Inventory of Historic Sites, and the Denver Historic Building Inventory, will be maintained as a historic district.
2. It allows for existing buildings, which face with inappropriate or unattractive materials, to be redesigned on a compatible scale with the surrounding historic buildings and still preserve the character of the district.
3- The maximum floor area ratio allowed in the B-7 zone is 2:1. Increasing the density for vacant in this area to 3:1 is recommended for developing certain uses, such as residential, office and retial, and
2k


still to keep new construction in scale with
the existing scale of building.
4. To extend the Transitway Mall from C.B.D. area to Union Station as the focal point for the system of pedestrian links.
5. To improve the environment of pedestrian, such as sidewalk, streetscape, and street furnishings should be complementary to the character and scale of the Lower Downtown.
6. To minimize the impacts of heavy traffic volumes in the area to create a pedestrian environment.
7. ( Next page )
25


BLOCK A B C D E TOTAL
OFFICE 98,530 126,700 64,760 135.970 159,710 585,670 (45.6%)
RETAIL 34,510 37,820 79,829 86,040 10,410 248,600 (19-3%)
RESIDENTIAL 64,350 98,880 42,170 41,660 247,060 (19-2%)
HOTEL 29,464 18,645 48,109 ( 3-7%)
SHOWROOM 120,520 36,916 157,436 >$> C\J 00 rH
TOTAL FLOORSPACE 317,910 329,780 186,750 240,656 211,780 1,286,875
F A.R (Excluding Parking area) 2.4
Parking (off-street) 345 spaces
* Excluding parking area behinc . (Jnion Station
26


SERVICE REQUIREMENTS
The business establishments on 17th Street are served primarily from two areas. On-street loading is permitted for a 30 minute period in designated loading zones on 16th, 18th and named streets. The majority of off-street service takes place in the one-way alley system running at mid-block to 17th Street at a certain time.
With a 16th foot right-of-way, these alleys are too narrow for passing vericles. Ordinance prohibits single unit vericles greater than 30 feet and tandem vericles greater than 38 feet from downtown streets. Alleys that currently cross 17th Street would be maintain, allowing access accross the Mall, but not allowing turn onto the Mall.
Taxi service Taxi service areas would be provided
on the cross-streets adjacent to the 17th Street Mall.
For emergency service to an invalid, sick or handicapped person, taxi would be permitted on the Mall.
27


Mail delivery
Mail would be picked up by hand cart,
Food service
Maintenance
or picked up through the building serivce entrances.
Food kiosks, vending machines, and sidewalk restaurants would be served by hand carts from the alleys or named streets.
Mall maintenance vehicles would be permitted on the Mall during specific hours to empty trash baskets and to deliver special equipment and supplies. Special access to the Mall would be permitted for snow removal equipment, street sweepers, and other motorized utility vehicles.
Moving vans would also be allowed on
the Mall by special permit specific instances.
This operation would take place in early hours or in the evening to minimize disruption of building
28


entrances and the Mall.
The Handicapped The design of the 16th Street Mall
includes many special features for the handicapped and the elderly.
At intersections, curbs are eliminated to create a smooth transition for wheelchairs. Ramps would provide access to raised and depressed seating areas.
Berms and planting areas are sloped from the pavement with no curbs to hinder the handicapped. Telephone kiosks, drinking fountains, and trash containers are designed to be low enough for use by ambulatory persons. Signs and graphics would utilize raised lettering that could be touched and understood by the blind.
29


GIDELINES FOR REHABILITATING HISTORIC BUILDING
Ol

Source : DENVER PLANNING OFFICE


THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIORS STANDARDS FOR REHABILITATION
AND
Guidelines for Rehabilitating Historic Buildings
The following "Standards for Rehabilitation" shall be used by the Secretary of the Interior when determining if a rehabilitation project qualifies as "certified rehabilitation" pursuant to the Tax Reform Act of 1976. These standards appear in Section 36 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 67.
1. Every reasonable effort shall be made to provide a compatible use for
a property which requires minimal alteration of the building, structure, or site and its environment, or to use a property for its originally intended purpose.
2. The distinguishing original qualities or character of a building, structure, or site and its environment shall not be destroyed. The removal or alteration of any historic material or distinctive architectural features should be avoided when possible.
3. All buildings, structures, and sites shall bp recognized as products of their own time. Alterations that have no historical basis and which seek to create an earlier appearance shall be discouraged.
A. Changes which may have taken place in the course of time are evidence of the history and development of a building, structure, or site and its environment. These changes may have acquired significance in their own right, and this significance shall be recognized and respected.
5. Distinctive stylistic features or examples of skilled craftsmanship which characterize a building, structure, or site shall be treated with sensitivity.
6. Deteriorated architectural features shall be repaired rather than replaced, wherever possible. In the event replacement is necessary, the new material should match the material being replaced in composition, design, color, texture, and other visual qualities. Repair or replacement of missing architectural features should be based on accurate duplications of features, substantiated
by historic, physical, or pictorial evidence rather than on conjectural designs or the availability of different architectural elements from other buildings or structures.
7. The surface cleaning of structures shall be undertaken with the gentlest means possible. Sandblasting and other cleaning methods that will damage the historic building materials shall not be undertaken.
fl. Every reasonable effort shall be made to protect and preserve archeological resources affected by, or adjacent to any project.
9. Contemporary design for alterations and additions to existing properties shall not be discouraged when such alterations and additions do not destroy sifnlficant historical, architectural or cultural material, and such design is compatible with the size, scale, color, material, and character of the property, neighborhood or environment.
10. Wherever possible, new additions or alterations to structures shall be done in such a manner that if such additions or alterations were to be removed in the future, the essential form and integrity of the structure would be unimpaired.
GUIDELINES FOR APPLYING THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR'S STANDARDS FOR REHABILITATION
The following guidelines are designed to help individual property owners formulate plans for the rehabilitation, preservation, and continued use of old buildings consistent with the intent of the Secretary of the Interior's "Standards for Rehabil1 tat ion." The guidelines pertain to buildings of all occupancy and construction types, sizes, and materials. They apply to permanent and temporary construction on the exterior and interior of historic buildings as well as new attached or adjacent construction, although not all work implied in the Standards and guidelines is required for each rehabilitation project.
Techniques, treatments, and methods consistent with the Secretary's "Standards for Rehabilitation" are listed in the "recommended" column on the left. Those techniques, treatments, and methods which may adversely affect a buildings architectural and historic qualitites are listed in the "not recommended" column on the right. Every effort will be made to update and expand the guidelines as additional techniques and treatments become known.
Specific information on rehabilitation and preservation technology may be obtained by writing to the Technical Preservation Services Division, National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, Washington, D.C. 20240, or the appropriate State Historic Preservation Officer. Advice should also be sought from qualified professionals, including architects, architectural historians, and archeologists, skilled in the preservation, restoration, and rehabi1itation of old buildings.
THE ENVIRONMENT
Retaining distinctive features such as the size, scale, mass, color, and materials of buildings, including roofs, porches, and stairways that give a neighborhood its distinguishing character .
Vr t. Fceo*mcndc.i
Introducting new construction into neighborhoods which is incompatible with the character of the district because of size, scale, color, and materials.


Retaining landscape features such as parks, gardens, street lights, signs, benches, walkways, streets, alleys and building setbacks which have traditionally linked buildings to their environment . Destroying the relationship of buildings and their environment by widening existing streets, changing paving material, or by introducing inapproprlately located new streets and parking lots incompatible with the character of the neighborhood.
Using new plant materials, fencing, walkways, street lights, signs, and benches which are compatible with the character of the neighborhood in size, scale, material and color. Introducing signs, street lighting, benches, new plant materials, fencing, walkways, and paving materials which are out of scale or inappropriate to the neighborhood.
BUILDING SITU
A. 'T*V nded Not Recommended
Identifying plants, trees, fencing, walkways, outbuildings, and other elements which might he an important part of the property's history and development.
Retaining plants, trees, fencing, walkwavs, street lights, signs, and benches which reflect the property's history and development. Making changes to the appearance of the site by removing old plants, trees, fencing, walkways, outbuildings, and other elements before evaluating their importance in the property's history and development .
Basing decisions for new site work on actual knowledge of the past appearance of the property found in photographs, drawings, newspapers, and tax records. If changes are made they should be carefully evaluated in light of the past appearance of the site. Leaving plant materials and trees in close proximity to the building that may he causing deterioration of the historic fabric.
Providing proper site and roof drainage to assure that water does not splash against building or foundation walls, nor drain toward the building.
Archeological features
Recommended Not Recommended
Leaving known archeological resources intact. Installing underground utilities, pavements, and other modern features that disturb archeological resources.
Minimizing disturbance of terrain around the structure, thus reducing the possibility of destroying unknown archeological resources. Arranging for archeological survey by a professional archeologist of all terrain that must be disturbed during the rehabilitation program. Introducing heavy machinery or equipment into areas where their presence may disturb archeological resources.
BUILDING: STRUCTURAL SYSTEMS
Recommended Net Recommended
Recognizing the special problems Inherent in the structural systems of historic buildings, especially where there are visible signs of cracking, deflection, or failure. Disturbing existing foundations with new excavations that undermine the structural stability of the building.
Undertaking stabilization and repair of weakened structural members and systems. Replacing historically important structural members only when necessary. Supplementing existing structural systems when damaged or Inadequate. Leaving known structural problems untreated which will cause continuing deterioration and will shorten the life of the structure.


BUILDING: EXTERIOR FEATURES
Masonry: Adobe, brick, stone, terra cotta, concrete, stucco and mortar
Recommended* Not Recommended
Retaining original masonry and mortar, whenever possible, without the application of any surface treatment.
Kepointlng only those mortar joints where there is evidence of moisture problems or when ufficlent mortar is missing to allow water lo f.cani in the mortar joint.
Duplicating old mortar in composition, color and texture.
Duplicating old mortar in joint size, method of application, and joint profile.
Repairing stucco with a stucco mixture duplicating the original as closely as possible in appearance and texture.
Cleaning masonry only when necessary to halt deterioration or to remove graffiti and stains and always with the gentlest method possible, such as low pressure water and soft natural bristle brushes.
Applying waterproof or water repellant coatings or surface consolidation treatments unless required to solve a specific technical problem that has been studied and identified. Coatings are frequently unnecessary, expensive, and can accelerate deterioration of the masonry.
Repolnting mortar joints that do not need repolnting. Using electric saws and hammers to remove mortar can seriously damage the adjacent brick.
Repolnting with mortar of high Portland cement content can create a bond that is often stronger than the building material. This can cause deterioration as a result of the differing coefficient of expansion and the differing porosity of the material and the mortar.
Repolnting with mortar joints of a differing size or joint profile texture or color.
Sandblasting, including dry and wet grit and other abrasives, brick or stone surfaces; this method of cleaning erodes Che surface of the material and accelerates deterioration.
Using chemical cleaning products
*For more information consult Preservation Briefs: 1: "The Cleaning and Waterproof Coating of Masonry Buildings" and Preservation Briefs: 2: "Repointing Mortar Joints in Historic Brick Buildings." Both are available from Technical Preservation Services Division, National Park Service, Washington, D.C. 20240.
which would have an adverse chemical reaction with the masonry materials, i.e., acid on limestone or marble.
Repairing or replacing, where necessary, deteriorated material with new material that duplicates the old as closely as possible. Applying new material which is Inappropriate or was unavailable when the building was constructed, such as artificial brick siding, artificial cast stone or brick veneer.
Replacing missing significant architectural features, such as cornices, brackets, railings, and shutters. Removing architectural features such as cornices, brackets, railings, shutters, window architraves and doorway pediments.
Retaining the original or early color and texture of masonry surfaces, Including early signage wherever possible. Brick or stone surfaces may have been painted or whitewashed for practical and aesthetic reasons. Indiscriminate removal of paint from masonry surfaces. This may subject the building to harmful damage and may give it an appearance it never had.
Wood: Clapboard, weatherboard, shingles and other wooden siding
Recome nded No t Recorrmerdcd
Retaining and preserving significant architectural features, whenever possible. Removing architectural features such as siding, cornices, brackets, window architraves, and doorway pediments. These are, in roost cases, an essential part of a building's character and appearance, illustrating the continuity of growth and change.
Repairing or replacing, whore necessary, deteriorated material that duplicates in size, shape and texture the old as closely as possible. Resurfacing frame buildings with new material which is inappropriate or was unavailable when the building was constructed such as artificial stone, brick veneer, asbestos or asphalt shingles, plastic or aluminum siding. Such material also can contribute to the deterioration of the structure from moisture and insect attack.


Architectural Metals: Cast Iron, steel, pressed tin, aluminum, zinc
Recommended Not Recommended
Retaining original material, whenever possible. Removing architectural features that are an essential part of a building's character and appearance, illustrating the continuity of growth and change.
Cleaning when necessary with the appropriate method. Metals should be cleaned by methods that do not abrade the surface. Roofs and Roofing Exposing metals which were intended to be protected from the environment. Do not use cleaning methods which alter the color, texture, and tone of the metal.
Reconmended Not Recormended
Preserving the original roof shape. Changing the essential character of the roof by adding inappropriate features such as dormer windows, vents, or skylights.
Retaining the original roofing material, whenever possible. Providing adequate roof drainage and insuring that the roofing materials are providing a weathertight covering for the structure. Applying new roofing material that is inappropriate to the style and period of the building and neighborhood.
Replacing deteriorated roof coverings with new material that matches the old in composition, size, shape, color, and texture. Replacing deteriorated roof coverings with new materials which differ to such an extent from the old in composition, size, shape, color, and texture that the appearance of the building is altered.
Preserving or replacing, where necessary, all architectural features which give the roof its essential character, such as dormer windows, cupolas, cornices, brackets, chimneys, cresting, and weather vanes. Stripping the roof of architectural features important to Its character.
Windows and Doors
Recommended
Retaining and repairing existing window and door openings including window sash, glass, lintels, sills, architraves, shutters, steps, and all hardware.
Duplicating the material, design, and the hardware of the older window sash and doors if new sash and doors are used.
Using original doors and door hardware when they can be repaired and reused in place.
Entrances, porches, and steps
Recommended
Retaining porches and steps which are appropriate to the building and its development. Porches or additions reflecting later architectural styles are often important to the building's historical integrity and, wherever possible, should be retained.
Repairing or replacing, where necessary, deteriorated architectural features of wood, iron, cast iron, terra cotta, tile and brick.
Not Recommerded
Introducing new window and door openings into the principal elevations, or enlarging or reducing window or door openings to fit new stock window sash or new stock door sizes.
Altering the size of window panes or sash. Such changes destroy the scale and proportion of the building.
Installing Inappropriate new window or door features such as aluminum storm and screen window insulating glass combinations that require the removal of original windows and doors or the installation of plastic, canvas, or metal strip awnings or fake shutters that detract from the character and appearance of the building.
Discarding original doors and door hardware when they can be repaired and reused in place.
No z Recorwr,ended
Removing or altering porches and steps which are appropriate to the building and its development and the style it represents
Stripping porches and steps of original material and architectural features, such as hand rails, balusters, columns, brackets, and roof decoration


of wood, iron, cast iron, terra cotta, tile, and brick.
Enclosing porches and steps in a manner that destroys their intended appearance.
Exterlor Finishes
Fecofrre>ided
Not Recommended
Discovering the historic paint colors and finishes of the structure and repainting with those colors to illustrate the distinctive character of the property.
Removing paint and finishes down to the bare surface; strong paint strippers whether chemical or mechanical can permanently damage the surface. Also, stripping obliterates evidence of the historical paint finishes.
Repainting with colors that cannot be documented through research and investigation to be appropriate to the building and neighborhood.
BUILDING: INTERIOR FEATURES
Fecomrerdei
Retaining original material, architectural features, and hardware, whenever possible, such as: stairs, elevators, hand rails, balusters, ornamental columns, cornices, baseboards, doors, doorways, windows, mantle pieces, paneling, lighting fixtures, parquet or mosaic flooring.
Repairing or replacing, where necessary, deteriorated material with new material that duplicates the old as closely as possible.
Not Recommended
Removing original material, architectural features, and hardware, except where essential for safety or efficiency.
Replacing interior doors and transoms without investigating alternative fire protection measures or possible code variances .
Installing new decorative material and panelling which destroys significant architectural features or was unavailable when the building was constructed, such as vinyl plastic or imitation wood wall and floor coverings, except in utility areas such as bathrooms and kitchens.
Retaining original plaster, whenever possible.
Discovering and retaining original paint colors, wallpapers and other decorative motifs or, where necessary, replacing them with colors, wallpapers or decorative motifs based on the original.
Where required by code, enclosing an important interior stairway in such a way as to retain its character. In many cases glazed fire rated walls may be used.
Retaining the basic plan of a building, the relationship and size of rooms, corridors, and other spaces.
Removing plaster to expose brick to give the wall an appearance it never had.
Removing paint from wooden architectural features by sandblasting and other abrasive techniques.
Removing paint from wooden architectural features that were never intended to be exposed.
Enclosing important stairways with ordinary fire rated construction which destroys the architectural character of the stair and the space.
Altering the basic plan of a building by demolishing principal walls, partitions, and stairways.
NEW CONSTRUCTION
Recornneoidcd
Not Fee portended
Keeping new additions and adjacent new construction to a minimum, making them compatible in scale, building materials, and texture.
Designing new work to be compatible in materials, size, scale, color, and texture with the earlier building and the neighborhood.
Using contemporary designs compatible with the character and mood of the building or the neighborhood.
Designing new work which is incompatible with the earlier building and the neighborhood in materials, size, scale, and texture.
Imitating an earlier style or period of architecture in new additions, except in rare cases where a contemporary design would detract from the architectural unity of an ensemble or group. Especially avoid imitating an earlier style of architecture in new additions that have completely contemporary function such as a drive-in bank or garage.


Adding new height to the building which changes the scale and character of the building. Addi tions in height should not be visible when viewing the principal facades.
Adding new floors or removing existing floors which destroy important architectural details, features and spaces of the build ing.
Protecting architectural details and features contributing to the character of the building.
Placing television antennae and mechanical equipment, such as air conditioners, in an inconspicuous location.
Placing television antennae and mechanical equipment, such as air conditioners, where they can be seen from the street.
MECHANICAL SERVICES: HEATING, AIR CONDITIONING, ELECTRICAL, PLUMBING,
FIRE PROTECTION
Recormerided Not Recommended
Installing necessary mechanical services in areas and spaces that will require the least possible alteration to the structural integrity and physical appearance of the building.
Utilizing early mechanical systems, including plumbing and early lighting fixtures, where possible.
Installing the vertical runs of ducts, pipes, and cables in closets, service rooms, and wall cavities.
Causing unnecessary damage to the plan, materials, and appearance of the building when installing mechanical services.
Having exterior electrical and telephone cables attached to the principal elevations of the build ing.
Installing the vertical runs of ducts, pipes, and cables in places where they will be a visual intrusion.
Concealing or "making invisible" mechanical equipment in historic walls or ceilings. Frequently this concealment requires the removal of historic fabric.
Installing "dropped" acoustical ceilings to hide mechanical systems. This destroys the proportions and character of the rooms
Insuring adequate ventilation of attics, crawlspaces, and cellars to prevent moisture problems.
Installing thermal insulation in attics and in unheated cellars and crawlspaces to conserve energy.
Installing foam, glass fiber, or cellulose insulation into wall cavities of either wooden or masonry construction. This has been found to cause moisture problems when there is no adequa moisture barrier.
SAFETY AND CODE REQUIREMENTS
Renonsnoided
Nor Ri corTr.erJ.ed
Complying with code requirements in such a maimer that the essential character of a building is preserved intact.
Working with local code officials to investigate alternative life safety measures which preserve the architectural integrity of the building.
Investigating variances for historic properties afforded under some local codes.
Installing adequate fire prevention equipment in a manner which does minimal damage to the appearance or fabric of a property.
Adding new stairways and elevators which do not alter existing facilities or other important architectural features and spaces of the building.
Adding new stairways and ele vators which alter existing exit facilities or important architectural features and spaces of cite building.
U.S. Department of the Interior National Park Service
Office of Archeology and Historic Preservation Washington, D.C. 20240 September 15, 1977




PRIVATE SIGNING GUIDELINES
Purposes of Private Signing Guidelines
Types of Signs
Sign Placement
Design Criteria
Materials, Finishes and Techniques
Approaches to Sign Solutions


PRIVATE SIGNING GUIDELINES
PURPOSES OF PRIVATE SIGNING GUIDELINES
The Private Development Signing Guidelines have been developed to encourage shopowners and merchants along Pearl Street and throughout the mall district to improve the quality of privately owned signs and graphics.
(a) TO CLEARLY INFORM
The first purpose for the Guideline is to create signs and graphics that simply and briefly inform the public about a business. Information overload created by too many words, symbols, abbreviations, planes or odd shapes should be avoided. The result will be the improved effectiveness of a sign identifying a business. Simply stated, signs that demand public attention should be discouraged in favor of signs that invite public attent i on.
(b) TO IDENTIFY
The second purpose is to help a shopowner or merchant to build their overall business identity. Signs shoulc say something about the nature of the character of the shop or the product sold. This happens in the way the sign is designed, in the typeface, the color (or lack of color), the logo, etc. The entire character or identity of a business can be conveyed in just the typeface if properly chosen.
(c) TO CREATE VISUAL HARMONY
A third purpose of the Signing Guidelines is to engender and support visual harmony. A sign should comfortably coexist with the architecture and color of its building and with those buildings surrounding it. Visual harmony produces the same net effect as audio harmony -- an overall melodious tone, with each element expressing itself in the proper volume at the proper time. So it should be with the signs along Pearl Street. The intimate pedestrian scale of the mall does not require large, dominating signs that are out of scale and do not harmonize with all other visual elements in Downtown Boulder. Furthermore, a sign that contributes to the neat, clean, orderly and attractive appearance of the city will be more effective and inviting.


If this Guideline is uniformly applied and accepted, an individual shopkeeper will no longer feel that in order to attract more business he must erect signs that are larger than those of this neighbors and competitors. Not only will this result in a great reduction in the cost of signs (because they generally will be simpler and smaller), it will also show shopowners that they can maintain their individual identity within the framework of cooperation and uniform controls. In addition, as this unified harmonious quality grows, the shops and businesses will become identified with the mall as a whole an entity that is larger and more memorable than any of the numerous businesses of which it is compri sed.
(d) TO SUPPLEMENT THE BOULDER SIGN CODE
The City of Boulder Sign Code is a legal regulatory document that controls amounts of sign square footage, defines performance criteria and outlines permit and approval procedures. This Guideline is intended to supplement that document by establishing positive criteria for we 11-designed, thoughtful signing. Unfortunately it is still possible to design and build an inappropriate, ugly sign that is by all standards, legal.
These Guidelines will strengthen the intent of the existing sign code by providing examples of what should be done and by supplementing the sign code's definition of what cannot legally be built and installed.
TYPES OF SIGNS
A sign is not necessarily composed of to communicate the nature of business given building. Listed below are the monly seen on Pearl Street.
letters. There are many ways being conducted within a various types of signs com-


(a) VERBAL SIGNS
The most common of all types of signs. This a panel with letter applied or free standing applied to a building's surface directly and appropriate when shop activity or displayed not visible.
is usuall letters is most goods are
y
(b) PICTOGRAPHIC SIGNS
Usually a photographic illustration of goods or services offered within.
(c) SYMBOLIC SIGNS
A sign that makes use of a drawn or three-dimensional symbol to communicate clearly and quickly what the business conducted within is, such as a logo or a barbershop pole.


I
(d) SHOP ACTIVITY AS "SIGNS"
This form of communication works as a sign and in fact greatly reduces the need for signing, because the functions or goods are clearly visible and self-explanatory. The activity is its own marquee.
(e) DISPLAYED GOODS AS "SIGNS"
Displayed goods are self-defining and again reduce the need for elaborate or excessive signing as supplementary information.
SIGN PLACEMENT
(a) PLACEMENT CRITERIA
The placement of signs influences their appearance, legibility, appropriateness and effectiveness. When attempting to determine the location of a proposed sign or graphic, the following considerations should be taken into account:
Will the sign be viewed by a pedestrian, a motorist or both?
If the sign is being placed on Pearl Street, it is most likely going to be a pedestrian-oriented sign. This sign will be most effective if placed above eye level, over the heads of other pedestrians. The Boulder Sign Code limits the extent to which a sign mounted perpendicular to a building front may project and what size it may be.
What does the sign identify?
If the sign is meant to identify an entire building, its placement must not inadvertantly relate to an adjacent entrance or individual storefront on the building. It should be placed above the individual shopfronts on a portion of the building above eye level in which the architecture reads as a whole, so that the sign identifies the whole building. If tne sign is intended to act as a directory, it should be placed in a common area that relates well to all referenced businesses and should include a diagram showing sign's placement relative to the various business entrances.


Given a particular location, how does the sign influence the overall appearance of the building?
The placement of a sign can radically alter the appearance of a building front. A sign's placement is influenced not only by its function but also by its design. This will be explained in the following sec tion of these Guidelines.
Summary Points
Signage should be considered within its setting and designed according to the scale, texture and proportions in which it will be ultimately viewed. Due to the pedestrian ization of Pearl Street, signs should remain as close to eye level as possible, while maintaining a relationship to the entrance of the shop it identifies. Businesses located in basement space or second floor space should work to have signs placed at street level, indicating the location of their entrance. This also keeps signs from the more historic portions of facades on the mall. If signing must be placed on the second story level, window signs using gold leaf or other traditional materials and designed with restraint are most appropriate. Signs that are placed at the second story level must also be carefully designed not to overpower or obliterate the architecture of the building front, but rather to work within the architectural framework of the facade. Signing for basement businesses should be placed adjacent to the point of entry to the business. This should be a small-scale, we 11 -crafted sign supplemented by additional signing on the basement storefront itself.
(b) RELATING SIGNS TO THEIR BUILDINGS
Signs are most offensive and inappropriate when they dominate the architecture of the buildings they are intended to identify. Ideally, to maximize the effective ness of signs and building architecture, every sign should be an integral, yet noticeable, part of its building, and each building should be a good neighbor within its block of buildings. As a result, the building and its sign become part of an overall image, each supporting the other and helping to draw customers.
This leads to a simple but vital point: a sign on a building should always be thought of as part of the building and not as an unrelated object attached to it.
The following examples demonstrate how signs can work to enhance existing architecture and the overall character of Downtown Boulder.



as high as it would be allowed in this particular instance just below the sills of second story windows. It is also as wide as is allowed -- the full width of the building's sign frontage. The result is a jarring relationship between the sign and the building's facade Nothing on -the sign seems to line up with anything that is part of the building itself; the window sills appear to rest on top of the sign, the lintel (the horizontal beam over the shopfront) is partly covered. The total effect is one of everything being slightly off-balance, out of scale and auto-oriented.
Figure B on the other hand shows how the same sign idea can be made to relate successfully to the rest of the building, with appropriate scale and alignment. The reduced scale now speaks in a more appropriate tone to the pedestrian.
In Figure B, the sign becomes part of the architecture of the building by being lowered and reduced slightly in depth so it appears as a facing to the lintel, which was half-covered in Figure A. This is 3 good solution, if there is enough depth to the lintel to permit the use of legible-size letters.


Figure C shows a building whose total number of signs creates a visual blur, because they compete with their architecture. Shown in Figure D is a simple solution to reduce the conflicting visual elements and approach harmony solely through signing.
A row of shops and their signs is most effective when the architecture and "rhythm" of the mall are preserved and even emphasized by the design of all the signs. The matter of signs becomes a concern for all neighboring businesses; a harmonious and uncluttered row of shops with legible, we 11-designed signs is much more attractive to shoppers than a hodge-podge of signs that confuse the shopper rather than draw him to the area of the individual shops.


One of the most common causes of this confusion is the tendency of shopfronts to burst out of their frames in an upward and outward direction until nothing of the original frontage is visible. Figure E illustrates the effect of this on a stretch of streetfront. The even rhythm of these basic elements (the shopfront "holes" and the windows in the lower floors of the buildings) can be almost completely obliterated by the
jumble of shop and heights'.
signs of widely-varying shapes, sizes


Figure F shows the basic framework or pattern of the buildings that form the streetfront as they were originally conceived in forms of solid and void, or wall and hole. Despite the fact that the window and door holes of the different buildings do not line up exactly (this provides variety and adds to the interest of the street), there is quite a strong feeling of continuity and unity in the row of structures, since they all have the same basic elements.
In Figure G, the basic pattern of the streetfront has been retained by the simple fact that the shopfronts and their signs have stayed within the frames provided by the buildings. Shopfronts, quite different in the character of their signs and entrances, can now be seen to form the ground floor of the same building, creating a feeling of continuity. Special thought should be given to maintaining this continuity of the streetfront, in addition to relating carefully the size and position of the sign to the building. This can be done by trying to relate the sign to its neighbors, but if the adjoining signs are oversized or badly positioned, the only solution is to do what is best for your building and wait for the neighbors to follow your lead.
CbhlZYtfWj
DESIGN CRI TER IA/WHAT MAKES A SIGN WORK?
What Makes A Sign Work?
There are many elements that determine whether or not a sign will be effective, attractive and harmonious. These elements are not delineated in the Boulder Sign Code, but may be appropriately


addressed in these Guidelines. An understanding and awareness of these elements will enable a business to obtain good looking and functional signing.
(a) LEGIBILITY results from all elements comprising a sign adding up to a message that is self-evident, clear and immediately understandable. If any of these elements are out of balance, the sign's ability to communicate will be constricted.
(b) PLACEMENT should be determined primarily by criteria established by the building's architecture, the relative size of the sign and its message. See Section 3.A.3 for discussions on placement of signs relative to a building's architecture. The size of the sign will naturally eliminate some placement options if it is large. its placement is then primarily constrained by the building's architecture, since it is a large new element that must be integrated into the building front If the sign is smaller, there are more opportunities for location. Smaller pedestrian-scale signs should
be placed in the cone of vision of the pedestrian, with out looking inappropriate or uncomp 1ementary to the architecture of the building.
(c) PROPORTION AND BALANCE provide letters enough surrounding space to read quickly. Consuming 95% of a sign panel with letters results in severe legibility problems. As a general rule, the letter forms should appear to occupy no more than a maximum of 75% of the total sign panel area.



BOOKS
Given a specific sign panel dimension, large letterforms are not necessarily more legible than the same size panel with smaller, more generously spaced letterforms.
Serif typefaces (see Section 3-^-^e) generally need more open space around them than do sans serif or block letter faces.
/?=--- = ~~~ =.......
WELCOME. ][
Please Come In. 11
Letterforms should look comfortable-within the sign's perimeter. If they appear to burst out or visually push against their host panel's edges, they are probably too large.
Avoid unnecessarily narrow or amorphous-shaped sign pane 1s.
Signs that are odd-shaped or excessively narrow can constrict or force distortion of the proportionally acceptable ratio or letterform to sign panel.
Maintain a sensible proportional relationship between sign size and storefront/business.
There are few marketing techniques that fail as badly as a small business attempting to make up for its size with a gigantic sign. Smaller, personal scale businesses are characteristic of the Downtown Boulder Mall. The signs along the mall should convey thi s qua 1i ty.


Avoid overscale, massive sign supports for small scale sign boards or panels.
Maintain well-balanced visual relationships between the support and the object being supported. Well thought-out and unobtrusive hangers (painted a dark color) enhance the panel as the information portion of the sign.
(d) NUMBER OF WORDS
If a sign's message is brief, it will communicate more quickly. Generally, the fewer the words, the more effective the sign. This results in a simpler design which usually looks "cleaner" and more attractive.
There are ways to communicate a shop's activities other than words (see Section 3,.k.2 a-e). Symbolism (one picture is worth one thousand words) is a very valuable communication option in signing.
Fewer signs with fewer words are possible and desirable when the shop's activities or goods are readily visible to the pedestrian.
Evaluate each word or image that would appear on the sign. If it does not contribute directly to the most important aspects of the sign's intended communication, it is detracting from it.
(e) TYPE STYLES
Words provide information. The type style with which words are rendered, colors the information. Type styles, more than any other single aspect of a sign, create mood and establish character. There are traditions for specific businesses to make use of certain typefaces.
This is acceptable, providing the use does not constitute a stereotype or cliche as in the case of "Pagoda"-style lettering on restaurants, or "cartoon"-style typefaces of any kind.


Hard to Read and Overly Ornate
....... C£maj<
tiunvs Ci-t> EM^u^h\
c^oe
^/6.A/ FAINTS LTT£F<-
S0M>
I MANX OWSRiS
L0O5E. NEW ROAVVW
Acceptable Serif Faces
SOUP wgr'
LAW Clarendon
FOOD GjOUDY
SALE TIFFANY BOOK Ameb/cana
TOYS PERPETUA
NUTS PLANT! N
MENU OPTIMA.
MANY CJThiP^S
Acceptable Sans Serif Faces
BEER
PARK
SHOES
CARDS
POOL
WOOD
EXIT
MANY OTHERS
HELVETICA
STANDARD
IM5Ef3AJ APCTESK P/TURA.
univers
Cable.
FOLIO EXTRA ECLD
When in doubt about a type style, look for a legible, we 11-proportioned serif typeface that is in keeping with the character of the mail.
Avoid hard-to-read, overly intricate letterforms. Remember that a sign's primary function is to communicate. If the sign is not successful in this function, none of its other characteristics can begin to take effect on the reader.
Avoid faddish or bizarre type styles. Mall signing should project the quality of permanence, quality and vitality. The use of trendy typefaces may look good for six months and then very rapidly go out of style, only to look passe and shop worn.
(f) COLOR
Color influences a sign's legibility, character and ar chitectural impact. Color should be selected to harmonize with the overall building's color scheme, to create a mood and to reinforce symbolically the sign's primary communication message. Basic building colors are usually simple or muted. A sign is an excellent


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opportunity to introduce a bit of bright color to set off the building's basic colors.
Care must be exercised not to introduce too many colors into a sign. Too many colors can overwhelm the sign's communication function, make it more difficult to maintain and create a distracting garish visual element rather than an integral part of the texture of the mall.
Earth colors used as basic "field" colors, with white characters set off with black or small amounts of deep brilliant colors, will usually yield a handsome sign panel or graphic.
Light, pastel colors connote freshness, openness, calm and delicacy. Dark colors represent dignity, quietude, elegance, stability and formality.
Signs directed toward the pedestrian can make use of more subtle color relationships, with shading, outlining, striping and borders because of the relatively long exposure the pedestrian has to the sign. These additional ornamental elements should enhance the legibility of the sign, rather than detract. Excessive color and ornament cannot be appreciated if the pedestrian is trying to determine what the sign is saying.
(g) LIGHTING
The lighting of signs in a pedestrian mall is less important than in any other context, because in the evening, the lit interiors of businesses actually become the signs. Activity within the space, when lit, is the very best kind of sign. It communicates immediately the quality, content and level of activity far more rapidly than reading a sign could ever do.
Given this factor, internally lit signs or brightly spot lit signs are not only inappropriate, they are unnecessary. Lighting of signs in controlled by the Boulder Sign Code, but the criteria set forth in the Code must apply to a variety of situations within the community. The Guidelines would consider maximum allowable conditions for sign illumination (Article IV, Section k8-L01.1 b, d, Section 48-A02 c and Section 48-^06 a~d) to be excessive for the smaller-scaled, pedestrian-oriented mall.
If lighting is applied to the sign, the fixture itself should be placed in such a way that the light globe is not visible to the pedestrian. The fixture should be a we 11-designed, durable and appropriate fixture that is consistent with traditions for sign panel lighting on buildings of the type presently on Pearl Street.


Porcelain>"scoop" style shades work well and are inexpensive. Bare flood lights without reflectors provide an intense glaring light that is not acceptable for il luminating signs on the mall.
Mounting hardware and electrical ducting for lighting must be integrated in the design.
CLASSIC X
-MENS WEAR -
(h) APPROPRIATENESS TO BUSINESS
Does the sign characterize, by its typeface, size, color and placement the nature of the business it is supposed to communicate? Does the sign project the personality of the business being transacted within? If the business is dignified, is the sign dignified? If festive, does the sign connote it? If the business is modern, so the sign should be. Personality does not necessarily require eccentric shapes and/or colors. Subtlety will insure a characterful, harmonious sign solution.
(i) SUPERGRAPHICS
Supergraphics can be defined as any large scale, decorative application of color and/or texture to an interior or exterior building surface. Any proposed supergraphics must conform with regulations put forth in the Boulder Sign Code.
Supergraphics are a contemporary "invention", and it is impossible to speculate regarding the longevity or continuing popularity of this technique.
The use of sugergraphics on the mall should be limited to special cases where a building facade possesses no


intrinsic architectural character, and other kinds of renovation cannot be afforded.
Generally speaking, however, the supergraphic treatment of an exterior building surface does not coincide with the small scale, historical character of the mall.
Proposed supergraphic designs should be evaluated by the Mall Permit Review Committee in terms of appro-priatness, location, color and image content (if any).
MATERIALS, FINISHES AND TECHNIQUES
Materials
When purchasing a sign, insist on high quality, durable materials that will continue to look good as years pass. Many times a sign executed on poorly prepared or inferior materials looks good when delivered, but very quickly deteriorates, causing the buyer to incur once again the most expensive part of his sign costs, namely labor to repair or replace the sign because the materials failed.
A 15% increase in the cost of materials can increase the life of the sign by as much as 50% or more. Good economics and on-going good looks are the result of quality sign materials.
Fabrication
High quality materials must be properly prepared to withstand the temperature extremes that characterize Boulder's climate.
Metal should be galvanized and primed with a rust inhibiting primer before finish coats are applied. All wood materials should receive at least one coat of a first-class resin-based wood sealer on all four surfaces before application of an adhesion bond paint primer. Top color coats may then be applied.
Plywood should receive a quality name brand water seal material on all exposed edges to retard delamination.
Latex-based materials generally do not withstand prolonged exterior use as well as alkyd or acrylic-based finishes.
(a) ACCEPTABLE SIGNING MATERIALS AND TECHNIQUES
Custom cut and applied wood letters.
Applied wood letters are a handsome traditional method of signing a building or business. The style should, however, tend toward elegant well-proportioned type styles, avoiding complicated or contrived hard-to-read letterforms. "Rustic" or primitive cut letters are unacceptable. Gold leaf is a recommended


finish for custom cut and applied letters.
Precast, epoxy letters.
Certain varieties of three-dimensional letters cast in a special resin material are extremely durable and take all finishes beautifully (see Resource Guide 3.3.1*0 .
Medium density overlay plywood (Duraply).
As the name implies, this is an extremely durable marine grade plywood that when correctly prepared and finished, gives high performance and good looks over long periods of time.
"Paint-Lok" or other brand galvanized sheet metal, made for painting.
Available in twenty-four or twenty-six gauge. Excellent for high finish sign panels.
Slate or marble, incised or gilded.
A classic, long-lived sign material, perfect for smaller, pedestrian-oriented signing.
Gold leaf.
One of the oldest sign materials in the world. Extreme brilliance, durability and beauty combine to make this material a continuing favorite of designers and architects. Applicable to pane! signs, three-dimensional letters, stone and glass.
Carved wood sign panels.
Solid lumber, carved wood signs are another traditional sign material. Many local woobcarvers are capable of executing these types of signs. Often, they are fine examples of the woodcarving craft, but totally inadequate as signs. If a carved wood sign is required, it should be designed and supervised by a design professional. "Rustic" signs, which are today's fad, will quickly become tomorrow's out-dated cliche. If we 11-executed and carefully designed, a carved wood sign panel can be a beautiful, timeless example of sign art.
Glass.
Gilded, painted or sandblasted, glass makes elegant, architecturally harmonious signing. Graphics applied to glass should not obscure overall visibility through the window.


Clear plexiglass or acrylic sheet.
This can be used as a substitute for glass for protection against breakage.
Neon.
Neon, a material that received a bad reputation from bad design and much overuse, is enjoying a comeback, because it is inherently a beautiful and durable sign material. it must be used in reasonably small quantities that co-ordinate with building architecture. Deeper intense colors are more acceptable than light, bright colors.
Stained glass.
An acceptable material if extreme care is used to insure that the technique does not interfere with functionality and legibility (see Section 3.k.ka). If lit, the sign should project a warm glow, no more intense than the storefront lighting of the shop or store it announces.
(b) LESS DESIRABLE MATERIALS
Internaliy lit, thermo-formed, plastic letters or signs and most viny1-trimmed, cut plastic letters.
Shop lighting and street lighting provide appropriate and warm illumination for the mall, and the colored light produced by brightly lit, thermoplastic signing enhances neither the color of natural planting materials nor the complexions of pedestrians on the mall.
Simulated "stained glass" using thermop1astic and epoxy glue joints.
"Rustic" style wood signs or letters.
Materials that are artificially aged or "antiqued" are inappropriate on the mall. See Sections 3-3-12 a and c in the Architectural Guidelines.
Imitation wood grain plastic laminates.
Formica, micarta and texolite plastic laminates that simulate wood grain cannot withstand exterior use.
Fluorescent color, whether plastic or paint.
Any fad-oriented material or process.
They connote temporary-transitory businesses rather than stable reputable commerce and service.


(c) APPLICATION OF LETTERING AND TYPE TO SIGN PANELS
There are two common methods for applying lettering to flat surfaces. One is hand painting, and the other is silkscreening. Silkscreening is a stencil-like printing process that uses thick inks to deposit an image on a flat or slightly curved surface. Hand painting, although initially less expensive then silkscreening, usually cannot reproduce exactly artwork that is to be applied to the sign. The skill of the sign painter determines the extent to which a particular typestyle will be rendered or logo reproduced. Hand painting also produces an uneven film of paint within the letters that fades at different rates. After a period of time, this results in a blotchy, uneven appearance on the sign panel.
Silkscreening, though more expensive, reproduces artwork and type exactly, because it is a photomechanical process not dependant upon an individual's artistic skill level. Silkscreening also lays down a perfectly uniform film of color, so fading occurs evenly, and never results in the blotchy sign panel that characterizes a partially faded hand painted sign. This gives the sign an effective increase of visually acceptable life. It simply will look better longer than a hand painted sign.
APPROACHES TO SIGN SOLUTIONS
(a) HOW TO GET A BETTER SIGN
By following these steps, a building owner or tenant has a much better chance of getting the most for money spent on signs, and the community benefits from better communications, a visually cleaner mall and a sense of visible harmony and character.
STEP 1: Read and understand the spirit of the Architectural and Signing Guidelines.
A thorough reading of this document will provide an overview of the mall as a concept, and how each component, no matter how remote, adds or detracts from this concept.
STEP 2: Get a grip on the problem.
Write down a critical evaluation of the perceived signing and identification needs. Try to conceive of an optimum solution for signs, rather than the largest square footage possible. How can one receive a maximum impact from a minimal signing solution?


STEP 3: Determine type of sign needed (verbal, pictographic, etc.; see Section 3.A.2).
STEP A: Determine optimum position necessary to communicate with user, to indicate entrances and to keep signs as simple as possible.
STEP S' Determine the message.
Remember, the shorter the message, the more effective the sign; the simpler the design, the faster the communication. Edit, edit, edit.
STEP 6: Take this list of criteria to a sign designer, or to someone whose name is listed in this Guideline under Resources and Contracts (Section 3.A.7) or to someone whose work you have seen and 1i ked.
Discuss your criteria, and be sure that your designer is aware of the Architectura1 and Signing Guidelines and understands them.
STEP 7: Ask questions to be sure that the solution you receive complies with the spirit of the Guideline.
STEP 8: Insist on an accurate color drawing of the proposed sign solution, showing it'in its proper position on or about the building.
STEP 9: Ask for the best materials you can afford.
Good materials and craftsmanship pay off over the years.
(b) WHO DOES WHAT IN THE SIGN BUSINESS?
It is important to understand what services are available to an individual who is in need of a sign. There are generally two or three options:
Retain a professional designer or architect to de sign the signing and contract the fabrication.
Allow a sign contractor to design and fabricate the signing.
Use a sign painter's services.
Design Professionals
The first option is to retain a professional designer or architect to study the criteria that is the result


of $.k.6a, How To Get A Better Sign, and produce a solution that matches that criteria. Since an architect or designer is not affiliated with a sign maker or contractor, the solution is usually more objective; the designer will not profit by designing a more elaborate or expensive sign than is required to solve the problem.
The design fees incurred by hiring a professional are often times offset by a less expensive, more efficient sign solution that costs less to fabricate. Consult listings in the telephone directory under "Architects" or "Graphic Designers."
Sign Contractors
The second option, with the sign contractor providing design and fabrication services, may not yield as thorough a design solution as could be expected from a professional designer or architect. Generally, sign contractors offer "free" design service in exchange for the fabrication contract. Because the service is free, the contractor cannot put as much time and attention into the design phase of the signing problem as may be necessary. Sign contractors will often buy sign materials in large quantities to realize a greater wholesale savings. The design solutions then generated might tempt to make use of these materials, rather than another material that is the best solution, given the design criteria and requirements.
It is important to note that some of the larger sign fabricators also provide a service that includes complete storefront design. This "package deal", although attractive to smaller businesses, is not recommended. These fronts generally make use of form and materials in a manner that is not in harmony with the historical character of Downtown Boulder or in keeping with design criteria outlined in these Guidelines.
The Guidelines strongly recommend the use of a design professional for architectural modifications to existing building fronts. As a general rule, architecture dictates signing; signs should not dictate architecture.
Sign Painters
The third option is the use of a sign painter's services. A sign painter is generally a craftsman who does not fabricate large or elaborate sign structures, but rather emphasizes lettering and brushwork applied to existing objects such as trucks, windows or simple sign pane 1s.


DEMAND OF HOUSING AND OFFICE SPACE IN DENVER AREA
Source : THK ASSOCIATES


Table 3: DENVER METROPOLITAN AREA POPULATION
TRENDS 1970-1978
Annual Percent
Jan. 1 Jan. 1 Numerical Rate of of Metro
County 1970 1978 Change Change Change
Adams 183,000 242,000 59,000 3.6% 15.6%
Arapahoe 161,000 260,600 99,600 6.2 26.4
Boulder 130,000 189,100 59,100 4.8 15.6
Clear Creek 4,800 7,100 2,300 5.5 0.6
Denver 514,000 522,500 8,500 0.2 2.2
Douglas 8,400 21,500 13,100 12.5 3.5
Gilpin 1,250 2,700 1,450 9.1 0.4
Jefferson 231,000 365,900 134,900 5.9 35.7
Total 1 ,233,450 1,611, 400 377,950 3.4% 100.0%
Source: Denver Regional Council of Governments.
As illustrated in table 3, the population of the Denver metropolitan area increased from 1,233,450 in 1970 to 1,611,400 in 1978 representing a total growth of 377,950, and an annual increase of 3.4%.
As a result of the projected expansion of the Denver area economy, the population of the area can be expected to grow substantially.
In 1960, .3799 of the population participated in employment, and by 1970, .4108 of the population were employed. As of January 1, 1978 the area had an estimated employment participation rate of .4621.
Trends in employment participation may be utilized to project the future population of the area. Table 4 projects the population of the Denver SMSA through 1989.


Table 4: ESTIMATES FOR DENVER AREA POPULATION, 1979-1988
Year Jan. 1 Resident Employment Employment Participation Rate \ Population Annual Change
1979 774,000 .4640 1,668,100
1980 799,500 .4659 1,716,000 47,900
1981 825,700 .4678 1,765,100 49,100
1982 952,900 .4697 1,815,800 50,700
1983 881,000 .4716 1,868,100 52,300
1984 909,900 .4735 1,921,600 53,500
1985 939,900 .4754 1,977,100 55,500
1986 970,800 .4773 2,033,900 56,800
1987 1,002,900 .4792 2,092,900 59,000
1988 1,035,600 .4811 .2,152,600 59,700
1989 1,069,700 .4830 2,214,700 62,100
As shown in Table 4, the population of metropolitan Denver is estimated to increase during the next decade at annual rates ranging from 47,900 to 62,100, with an average annual growth rate of-54,700.
Demand for new housing can be projected based on projected population growth. The growth of households can be estimated by using population per household as the conversion factor as shown in Table 5.


Table 5: DENVER AREA HOUSEHOLD GROWTH PROJECTIONS
Year Total Population Population per Household Households Housing Stock Annual Housing Inc reeise Change Adjusted for Demolitions
1960 1970 (Jan. 1) 1979 937,677 1,242,027 1,668,100 3.235 3.132 2.893 289,840 396,630 576,600 598,100
1980 1,716,000 2.883 595,200 617,400 19,300 20,200
1981 1,765,100 2.873 614,400 637,300 19,900 20,800
1982 1,815,800 2.863 634,200 657,900 20,600 21,500
1983 1,868,100 2.853 654,800 679,300 21,400 22,300
1984 1,921,600 2.843 675,900 701,1 00 21,800 22,700
1985 1,977,100 2.833 697,900 724,000 22,900 23,800
1986 2,033,900 2.823 720,500 747,400 23,400 24,300
1987 2,092,900 2.813 744,000 771 ,800 24,400 25,300
1988 2,152,600 2.803 768,000 796,700 24,900 25,800
1989 2,214,700 2.793 792,900 822,500 25,800 26,700


Distribution of residential demand by tenure and type of unit demonstrates market segmentation which is Important when determining the marked potentials of a specific property. Research indicates that ownership versus rental occupancy has undergone little change, with 60% of households preferring ownership units and 40% desiring rental units. Table 6 points out projected residential demand for the Denver metropolitan area, by tenure and type of unit.
Table 6: RESIDENTIAL DEMAND IN THE DENVER AREA BY TENURE AND TYPE OF UNIT, 1979-1988
Ownership
Units
Year Residential Demand T otal Mobile Homes Single-family and Condominiums Rental Units
1979 20,200 12,100 1 ,200 10,900 8,100
1980 20,800 12,500 1 ,200 11,300 8,300
1981 21,500 12,900 1 ,300 1 1,600 8,600
1982 22,300 13,400 1 ,300 12,100 8,900
1983 22,700 13,600 1 ,400 12,200 9,100
1984 23,800 14,300 1 ,400 12,900 9,500
1985 24,300 14,600 1 ,500 13,100 9,700
1986 25,300 15,200 1 ,500 13,700 10,100
1987 25,800 15,500 1 ,500 14,000 10,300
1988 26,700 16,000 1 ,600 14,400 10,700
Annual Average 23,300 14,000 1 ,400 12,600 9,300
The specific performance of metropolitan Denvers ownership market was distributed as follows during the last five years.
Single Family Condominiums
1974 5,200 (70%) 2,217 (30%)
1975 6,125 (76%) 1,943 (24%)
1976 10,475 (90%) 1,194 (10%)
1977 18,635 (93%) 1 ,402 ( 7%)
1978 18,255 (90%) 1 ,919 (10%)
5 yr.
Avg. 11,740 (84%) 1,733 (16%)
Total Ownership
7,417 8,068 11,669 20,037 20,174
13,473


Table 10r HOUSING PERMITS BV LOCATION, 1969-1970
Vfar
S irv; !e-fgm| ly
1903
1^70
971
1?72
1973
19^4
i97fy
17-77 1979 10 yr.
1r69-1970 5 yr. bv -nee 1974-1073
Adam* County No. (/ of Metro)
P69 (11 .0%)
1 ,565 (15 .5%)
1 ,403 ( 9,
1 C59 ( 0,
1 ,5.-0 (i?,
940 (12, .7%)
1 , 145 (1i .2%)
1 ,073 (1-1. ,r::)
1 ,153 ( 3, .r,o
1, ,372 ( 5. .0:;
1, ,3-2 (11. .2-.'.)
1, ,203 (10, .0;;)
ArapaHoa County No. (% of Metro)
1,305 (10.3%)
2,035 (20.1%)
4,153 (27.5%)
C>,1 CS (32.9%) 3,940 (?2.3%)
2,077 (20.0%)
2,451 (30.5%)
3,7 12 (31 .0%)
7,235 (30.1%)
7,634 (37.0%)
4,072 (29. C%)
5,439 (32.U%)
Boulder County No. (% of Metro)
969 (13.1%)
1,4 10 (13.9%)
1,935 (12.8%)
2,503 (13.9%)
1,034 (15.4%.)
1,467 (19.0%)
1,502 (18.5%)
2,023 (17.3%)
2,895 (14.5%)
2,255 (M.2%)
1,093 (15.1%)
2,031 (10.3%)
Denver County No. (% of Metro)
1 ,472 (19.9%)
1 ,570 (15.5%)
1 ,505 (10.0%)
1 ,394 ( 7.5%)
031 ( 7.3%)
451 ( 6.1%)
573 ( 7.1%)
497 ( 4.3%)
1 ,197 ( 6.0%)
1 ,290 c 0.4%)
1 , C05 ( 9.0%)
003 c 0.0%)
Douglas County No. (% of Metro)
219 ( 3.0%)
249 ( 2.5%)
64 ( 0.4%)
591 ( 3.2%)
750 (16.2%)
270 ( 3.6%)
337 ( 4.2%)
505 ( 4.3%)
049 ( 4.2%)
1,097 ( 5.4%)
384 ( 4.7%)
012 ( 4.3%)
Jefferson County No. (% of Metro)
2,490 (33.0%)
3.203 (32.6%)
5,950 (39.4%)
6,252 (33.0%)
3,322 (20.4%)
2,212 (29.0%) 2,049 (25.4%)
3.203 (2 7.7%)
0,077 (33.3%)
6,510 (32.3%)
4,192 (31.4%)
4,001 (29.7%)
Multi-family
1969 806 ( 9.1%) 1 ,367 (15.5%) 1,609 (11.4%) 4,623 (52.4%) 29 ( 0.2%) 903 (11.2%)
197C 1, 195 (11.%) 2,724 (25.0%) 050 ( 6.7%) 4,410 (40.5%) 12 ( 0.1%) 1,505 (14.7%)
1971 2,529 (12.5%) 4,779 (23.7%) 2,617 (13.0%) 6,7PO (33.6%) ( 0 ) 3,497 (17.3%)
1972 3,773 (14.0%) 0,925 (25.3%) 1,877 ( 6.9%) 0,072 (29.9%) 21 c 0.1%) 0,447 (23.9%)
19"3 3,152 (20.1%) 2,730 (17.4%.) 1,559 ( 9.0%) 3,652 (23.7%) 317 < 2.0%) 4,301 (27.4%)
134 922 (16.7%) 1 ,009 (22.6%) 506 (11.4%) 1,534 (34.5%.) 12 ( 0.3%) 359 (12.6%)
1??3 53 ( 4.0%) 215 (1C. 4%) 145 (11.0%) 536 (40.9%) 9 ( 0.6%) 354 (27.0%)
1975 52 ( 1.7%) 607 (22.0%) 619 (20.3%) 1,103 (39.2%) ( 0 ) 5eQ ( 19.2%)
977 54 ( 1.6%) 4-5 (12.6%) 902 (27.2)1) 1 1R7 (35.8%) c 0 ) 745 (22.5%)
19"S 59 ( 0.7%) 2,154 (27. c-;> 1 ,051 (13.6%) 3,524 (45.3%) 0 ( 0.1%) 962 (12.4%)
10 yr. average 1 = 59-^978 1 ,250 ( 9.3%) 2,292 (20.9%) 1 1B4 (13.3%) 3,542 (37.3%) 41 < 0.3%) 2,003 (10.8%)
5 yr. average 1*73-1978 210 ( 5.3%) SCO (20.4%) 647 (16.7%) 1,577 (38.5%) 0 c 0.2%) 041 (10.7%)
TnMl
1963 1,073 (10.3%) 2,733 (16.9%) 1,977 (12.2%) 6,095 (37.6%) 248 ( 1.6%) 3,493 (21.5%)
1973 2,751 (13.1%) 4,759 (22.7%) 2,360 (11.2%) 5.900 (29.5%) 201 ( 1.2%) 4,894 (23.3%)
197 1 4,021 (11.4%) 0,932 (25.3%) 4,552 (12.9%) 8,293 (23.5%) 64 ( 0.2%) 9,447 (26.9%)
1972 5,431 (11.9%) 12,931 (28.4%) 4,460 ( 9.8%) 9,466 (20.8%) 612 c 1.3%) 12,699 (27.8%)
1973 4,f572 (16.7%) 6,670 (23.9%) 3,443 (12.3%) 4,543 (16.3%) 1,075 ( 3.6%) 7,523 (26.9%) '
<074 1,772 (1.1 .9%) 3,095 (26.0%) 1,073 ('G.r.%) 1 ,0P5 (16.7%) 2 P2 c 2.4%) 2,771 723.3%)
1975 1 19? (12.8%) 2,676 (28.5%) 1 ,547 (17.6%) 1 109 (11.6%) 345 ( 3.7%) 2,400 (25.G%)
1975 1,725 (11.7%) 4,399 (29.9%) 2,642 (10.0%) 1 ,600 (10.9%) 505 ( 3.4%) 3,045 (28.1%)
1?T7 1 ,"37 ( 5.3%) 7,650 (32.6%) 3,793 (16.3%) 2,304 (10.2%) 049 ( 3.6%) 7 ,422 (31.0%)
1979 1 ,.120 ( 3 .1%) 9,7?0 ( 10.1%) 3,326 (11.9%) 4,020 (1 7.D%) 1,105 c 4.0%) 7,472 (2'.7%)
1? yr. average 9C9-1970 2.592 (11 .3%) 6,3C4 (27.0%) 3,018 (13.9%) 4,627 (19.4%) 535 ( 2.5%) 6, 195 (26.0%)
5 yr. average 1074-1070 1,473 (10.0'f.) 5. ^23 (or. r%) 2.077 (16.1%) ?,p.n f 13.4%) 017 ( 3.4%) 4,791 729.7%)
Source: Dczortment of Ccnn crcc C -40 Construction Reports and Denver Metropolitan Homebuilding


/ Table 10 shows that since 1969, the City of Denver has authorized for construction an average of 4,627 units, of which 23% have been single-family units. In the last five years, authorizations have decreased to an average annual rate of 2,380, of which 34% have been single-family. In the last three years, Denver has averaged 2,935 units per year, of which 34% have been single-family. In 1978, Denver achieved its greatest construction volume in the last six years with 4,820 housing permits being authorized, with 1,296 or 27% being single-family. Table 10 points
out that currently Denver is accounting for approximately 17% of metropolitan housing construction, where during the last five years, it only accounted for approximately 13%. Regarding Denver's capture of single-family units, during the last decade it accounted for 9%, but during the last five years, this percentage capture rate decreased to 6%, and in 1978 this rate is approximately 6%. Denver's capture of the multi-family rental market shows a much greater capture in recent years. During the last decade, Denver averaged 3,542 multifamily units per year, which represented 37% of metropolitan starts. In the last five years Denver has averaged 1,580 rental multi-family units or 39% of metropolitan starts, and in 1978, 3,524 rental units have been authorized, representing 45% of total metropolitan multifamily activity. Regarding the current vacancy rate of apartments in Denver, Capitol Federal Savings and Loan conducted a vacancy study in December, 1970 of central Denver in which 823 units were surveyed. They found 12 units or 1.4% vacant. This vacancy rate is very low and demonstrates that this market has an extreme shortage since a normal vacancy rate is 6%.


Realizing this historical performance of the Denver housing market, it is possible to estimate future residential markets for the City of Denver. These will function as the regional parameters for which', the subject site will compete. Only the metropolitan market for condominiums and rental apartments has been distinguished because it is this for which the subject site will compete. Table 11 is based upon the projection that the City of Denver will capture 30% of new condominium construction and 40% of new rental apartment construction.
Table 11: PROJECTED DEMAND FOR NEW CONSTRUCTION OF CONDOMINIUMS AND RENTAL APARTMENTS IN THE CITY OF DENVER
Condominium Demand* Rental Apartment Demand
Year Metro Market City of Denver Metro Market City of [
1979 2,180 650 8,100 3,240
1980 2,370 710 8,300 3,320
1981 2,550 770 8,600 3,440
1982 2,780 830 8,900 3,560
1983 2,930 880 9,100 3,640
1984 3,230 970 9,500 3,800
1985 3,410 1,020 9,700 3,880
1986 3,700 1,110 10,100 4,040
1987 3,920 1,180 10,300 4,120
1988 4,180 1,250 10,700 4,280
Annual Average 3,130 940 9,300 3,720
^Estimated at 20% of ownership unit construction in 1979 increasing to 30% by 1988.
Table 11 points out Inat the City of Denver is projected to average annually a demand for 940 condominium units during the next decade along with 3,720 rental apartment units. Regarding the price level distribution of this average annual demand, these are estimated as follows:


Average Annual Condominium Demand Average Annual Rental Apartment Demand
Number Number
Price Level of Units Rent Level of Units
Under $40,000 230 $ 0 250 1,120
$40,000 49,999 150 $250 310 820
$50,000 67,199 190 $310 350 930
$67,200 79,199 180 $350 420 530
$79,200 + 190 $420 + 320
T otal 940 T otal 3,720
As shown above, on an average annual basis during the next ten years condominium unit demand will average 940 units per year in the City of Denver. The bulk of condiminium demand (55%) will fall within the price range of $40,000 to $79,199. The City of Denver's rental apartment market will average annually the demand for 3,720 units during the next decade and approximately 48% of the rental apartment market will be for units priced above $310 per month.


Supply Characteristics of the Central Denver Housing Market
Having examined historic and projected demand levels of the local housing market, tt is important to review the characteristics of the supply of housing by the competition. The following presentation details the characteristics of condominium projects in central Denver Information was derived from a survey of sixteen existing and six proposed condominium developments, representing a combined total of 2,234 units. Characteristics of these projects are shown in Table 12. Of the six proposed developments, five are components of the Skyline Urban Renewal Project planned for lower downtown Denver. The Skyline Project is evidence of renewed interest in residential development in the downtown area. Convenience to work, and retail, cultural and recreational facilities are the primary attractions to downtown living.
Following this comprehensive study of operating features of condominiums is a brief review of the operating characteristics of rental apartment complexes in the central Denver region. A survey of sixteen typical apartment projects was completed, representing a total of 1,465 units.
Only one major multi-family housing project, in addition to the Skyline Project, is currently planned for the downtown area. This project, to be financed by an Urban Development Action Grant, will be located on six acres bordered by Speer Boulevard and 11th to 14th Avenues. The project, scheduled to be completed in four years will provide a total of 790 middle to upper income rental units in one seven-story building and numerous townhouse units.


ILLUSTRATION 3 CONDOMINIUM COMPETITIC


Characteristics of the Existing Rental Apartment Market in Central Denver
1 The rental apartment market in central Denver is currently a tight market, due partially to the unprecedented rate of condominium conversions in the region. There are over fifty major apartment projects in central Denver, most of which are located in Capitol Hill. A survey of sixteen representative projects, with a total of 1,465 units, was completed April 5, 1979, and found sixteen units vacant, indicating a low vacancy rate of 1.6%. A vacancy survey completed December, 1978 by Capitol Federal Savings found a slightly higher vacancy rate for the combined downtown and mid-town areas. Of 3,890 units surveyed, 89 were vacant, indicating a vacancy rate of £.3%.
2. Of the total units surveyed, 129 units or 8.8% were studio units. Studio units were all in the range of 395 to 400 square feet. Rental rates for studio units ranged from $160 to $185 per month, with an average rate of $163, or $0.41 per square foot.
3. Of the total units surveyed, 755 or 51.5% were one-bedroom units. One-bedroom units ranged from 625 to 900 square feet
with an average size of 808 square feet.
Range in Size Number of Units Percent
(sq.ft.)
600 699 97 vO O'- CD OJ t
700 799 257 34.0
800 899 341 45.2
900 + 60 0.0
755 100.0%
4. Rental rates for one-bedroom units ranged from $190 to $3^0 per month, with an average rate of $266, or $0.33 per square foot.
Rent Range Number of Units Percent
$190 219 1 10 14. O'
$220 249 124 16.4
$250 279 1 14 15.1
$280 + 407 53.9
755 1 00.0;


ILLUSTRATION 4 APARTMENT COMPETITION