Your BREAK THROUGH, Vol. 1, Post 31

Denver is an incredible city … developing, on the move, transitioning, transforming … the change adjectives and verbs abound. In these great urban revolutions though, it seems that we sometimes abandon our past: painting over old old murals, forgetting who laid down the brick walkways, or bulldozing landmark buildings.

But as we discussed last month, the wisdom for innovation already exists, and in a variety of places: Saul Alinsky’s approaches to social change and community action continue to resonate with us today. He’s a historical thinker and visionary that we should ideally remember. And in such remembering, we have the opportunity to utilize what came before, not just with people and ideas, but with physical manifestations as well.

While I’ve seen destruction in the name of urban progress and development in my own residential-business neighborhood, I also keep in mind that there are businesses like these two restaurants that have┬árenovated and reused an old building. Instead of tearing it down and starting over, they actually used┬ásome of the original construction features and historical design elements to help create their new restaurants’ atmospheres.

To me, this is a sign post of innovation: remembering what came before, adapting, expanding and utilizing this history, and then building wisely on the rich foundation that has already been set down for our most break through ideas. Innovation might lead us to a brighter and better future, but we must remember and utilize where we came from to fully illuminate that next step.

Check out this story of reuse in the North Denver Tribune.