Art or Business? The Future of Prospect

My neighborhood, Prospect New Town, in Longmont, Colorado was founded and created by an artist, Kiki Wallace in the early 1990s.  Kiki found contractors and architects who had artistic vision and they built out half of the lots in our neighborhood one house at a time, with Kiki complaining, arguing, and firing every step of the way.  Kiki had a very strong vision and was fierce in his pursuit of it, even if others were offended (or banished) by his seemingly capricious ways.  It was a slow process and 15 years into it the economy upended the construction business and building in Prospect came to a stand still. It also deprived Kiki of his ability to finish his vision on his own.

In the last year, Kiki brought in a developer to help finish building out Prospect.  They started with the developer purchasing a few lots with option to buy others.  The developer has now constructed 3 houses and it is apparent that he does not have an artist’s eye.  He builds fine houses.  They are well constructed.  But he does not build art.  Prospect houses were built with a firey disposition that makes you stop and look.  Our houses produce a visceral response. The result of Kiki’s work is a community that is a piece of living and vibrant art, that does not exist any where else in the world.  I moved here 11 years ago to be a part of this amazing artistic experiment and am thankful every day for the experience.

We are now at a cross roads.  The developer has an option to buy and build out the 2 remaining parcels in Prospect.  He has unveiled his plans for the first parcel and they are lackluster.  He has thought through what it will take to be economically viable but it guts the artistic vision that formed this community.  It creates structures that belong in a subdivision not an art installation. It lacks blood and guts and drama.  I can only pray that Kiki doesn’t sell.

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2 thoughts on “Art or Business? The Future of Prospect

  1. Did you say this photo is of apartments? Are you certain it’s not a medical office building? I suppose it’s better than a faux stone fence along the highway. At least functionally better in that it’s not a fence.

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