The Daniels and Fisher Department Store, in downtown Denver, was demolished in 1970-1971 as part of the Skyline Urban Renewal Project. The tower portion was saved from destruction and is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

(Photo courtesy of Western History Collection, Denver Public Library)

Fifty years ago this month, Denver voters approved the Skyline Urban Renewal plan, which targeted 27 blocks of downtown for demolition, all in the name of progress. But many architectural gems were lost, and for years, downtown Denver was a sea of surface parking lots as redevelopment stalled. Even today, some of those parking lots remain.

Energy Plaza (now 1125 17th Street) under construction in downtown Denver, 1979.

(Photo courtesy of Western History Collection, Denver Public Library)

Urban planner Ken Schroeppel talks to Colorado Matters host Ryan Warner.