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Back to Denver

I was quite militant about the changes in downtown Denver starting in the late 70’s, namely the destruction of buildings in “upper” downtown (Glenarm to Arapahoe) to make way for the glass towers of the oil boom. When I worked at the Historical Society overseeing the photographic collection in the early 80’s, I regularly called the guy in Denver’s city bureaucracy who issued demolition permits. He would advise me about the buildings slated for the wrecking ball that week; often, as soon as a permit was granted, the wreckers went to work. I would grab our photographer, Myron Tannenbaum, and we would rush to the affected site, shlepping a 4×5 on a large tripod. It was a fruitless gesture, but it made me feel better. I don’t know what happened to the negatives ultimately.

I was influenced by Danny Lyon’s beautiful book, “The Destruction of Lower Manhattan.” Many of the buildings in this part of the New York City had been constructed in the 19th century and were used during the Civil War. In the thirties, my father used to shop for electronics along “Radio Row”on the Lower West Side.

Eventually the World Trade Center would arise on this site. Lyon’s book was re-published after 2001.

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