The committee made the decision because of the undeniable overcrowding in the courts and because of the perceived shortcomings of the Colorado History Museum portion of the CHS headquarters. Then, for no good reason, the committee said the block should be used to construct a proper courthouse while the CHS should look elsewhere for a site.
So, the CHS began scouting for alternative sites. But before I discuss the spots being considered, I need to say that the best place for it is right where it is. It's the Supreme Court that should look elsewhere. After all, the CHS actually attracts the public at large and has a crossover audience with the library and the art museum, while the courts only attract people involved in cases there.
Sadly, that won't happen, and more than a half-dozen alternate sites have been considered for the CHS, with only three still in contention: a parking lot at Colfax and Lincoln, a dark horse that I won't even discuss; the former Denver permit center, which I will address in a moment; and the park, which is currently the front-runner.
Paglia is right. There is no compelling reason whatsoever for the appellate courts or administrative offices of the Colorado court system to continue to hold onto the prime real estate they have today. The state capital has few day to day dealings with it, by design, as a result of the separation of powers. Any place within bike messenger distance of 17th Street will do, and quite frankly, a more remote location might even convince the appellate courts to adopt the e-filing system that most of the state's trial courts use, something it should have done years ago. There is no reason for a state as physically large as Colorado to do otherwise in the only state courts that routinely do business with attorneys all over the state.
Leave the Colorado History Museum where it is (with a new and improved building), move the state's appellate courts elsewhere, and leave Civic Center alone.
Everybody close to the issue knows why Civic Center is the repeated target of assaults on its integrity. It is a gathering place for Denver's vagrants and outcasts. But, the solution to those problems is not to build new buildings there. The solutions are to deal with homelessness (which on other fronts the Hickenlooper administration has done a passable job of trying to do) and to inhabit the park.