by David Miller
I was very fortunate to have spent a lot of time with local artist Deirdre Dyson Monday when the Wagner Building was brought to the ground. She spent much of Saturday and Sunday on the sidewalk making the last painting of the building. She seemed to best understand how important this piece of architecture was, not only to understanding how grand buildings used to be constructed and designed, but to our self-wellbeing as individuals and a community. As many pieces hit the ground, she commented on them and explained why they were the sizes and shapes they were.
I have predicted that when the economy improved after the “great recession” that Loveland would again face great development pressure like this. Odd, that when the economy improves it might seem that we could better afford to take care of what got us here. I also wonder now, how those who have been selling Loveland because of its “charm” and “quaintness” feel now that this particular building can no longer be in their repertoire. Huge apartment were developed and apartment leases signed based on the advantage of the amenity of having the Wagner Building in the neighborhood. I’m curious why Jim Cohen who developed Loveland Station has not been around lately pleading with City Hall to not let this happen. Or, better yet, where are the Cohen’s when push comes to shove; those who actually have the dollars it takes to preserve our charm and quaintness? And, to all the citizens who bemoan this destruction of our heritage, where have you been, besides on Facebook making snide remarks like, “Somebody needs to do something.”
During the Civil War, wounded Camp Denison soldiers were invited by local churches to come to weekly dances on the top floor of the Wagner Building.
Have you noticed that City Hall is selling the community’s soul – to the lowest bidders? The low bidders demolish, re-sell or lease our heritage, and take the profit home with them.
Brian Miller recently commented on Loveland Magazine’s Facebook page:
“Soooo very sad. I guess the master planners feel we can maintain our historic charm with pvc architectural detail and panel brick apartment buildings. Tragic. Truly is. I encourage everyone to pick up a copy of the Loveland Historical Society’s booklet, thumb through the images, and see for yourself how through fire, or even more tragic the decisions of city leaders, we’ve lost most of our architecturally and historically significant structures, and in nearly every case, replaced by boring nondescript apartment buildings and such. Remove a community’s heritage and we remove a bit of the character, the charm, and the uniqueness that feeds community pride. Sad day for Loveland and shame on those who quietly enabled this to take place.”
More than one-third of the exterior of the replacement condominiums for the property, which is supposed to replicate the look of the Wagner (to retain our town’s charm and quaintness) will be clad in plastic siding. There will be fake brick, fake stone, fake plastic wood, and fake tin/pvc architectural. elements.
When people comment saying, “This is so sad” we must take to heart that that is a heartfelt sentiment of emotion – real and meaningful in its simplest, honest terms. This did make many of us sad Monday, and it will be sad for many of us each time we pass that spot… for ever!
However, being sad will not prevent these loses. Maybe, passing that spot and getting mad – will.
David Miller is Publisher and Editor of Loveland Magazine
Photos © 2016 David Miller/Loveland Magazine