Breckenridge: Re-envisioning the Riverwalk (but don’t touch the tree)
January 24, 2013
BRECKENRIDGE – Residents and visitors may see the area between the Riverwalk Center and the arts district begin to transform in the coming years, as the town council explores a new vision for the cultural core of Breckenridge.
A consultant hired to draft a redesign of Breckenridge’s artistic center, including the Riverwalk and the Blue River Plaza presented a series of proposals to town leaders Tuesday that would bring a new look to the area.
The project, dubbed the arts district renaissance by town staffers, would aim to connect the Riverwalk Center on the west side of Main Street with the arts district campus on the east side via the Blue River Plaza, transforming the area into a walkable corridor dedicated to arts and culture.
“We want it to develop into a really special place that would preserve open space and the art and the soul of Breckenridge,” town spokeswoman Kim Dykstra-DiLallo said.
The vision the consultant proposed Tuesday pitch, first and foremost, a makeover of the Blue River Plaza, which would relocate many of the mature evergreens that are beginning to obscure views of the Tenmile Range.
One of the options proposes enhancements to the Riverwalk Center lawn, adding a play area for children with a climbing wall located on a retaining wall, a boulder maze and other features alongside the river. The nearby parking lot would be transformed into a parking plaza, which could be cleared of cars when needed and used instead for events.
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The consultant’s vision for the Blue River Plaza involves moving existing evergreens, including the town Christmas tree, to make space for more aspen and cottonwoods and removing picnic tables in favor of cafe-style tables and chairs.
Council members at Tuesday’s meeting were open to the ideas presented, though some expressed reservations about potential costs and most weren’t interested in relocating the town Christmas tree.
“Some things just happen to create their own reason for being and that Christmas tree has done that in this town,” Councilwoman Wendy Wolfe told consultants.
The renaissance project coincides with a redesign of the town arts district, which includes a campus of historic buildings, such at the Tin Shop where various arts classes and workshops are hosted. Town officials are also contemplating improvements to the Riverwalk Center to allow its uses and programming to be expanded in the future.