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Why The Gazette moved downtown: 'Poised to move forward but also back to our roots'

February 16, 2014 Updated: February 20, 2014 at 12:03 pm
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In December, The Gazette moved from its longtime home at 30 S. Prospect St. to new offices at 30 E. Pikes Peak Ave., coincidentally the same address it occupied 90 years ago.

"Being at the heart of downtown puts us closer to the pulse of the city," Gazette Publisher Dan Steever said. "We are where a modern media company should be: poised to move forward but also back to our roots."

Several factors triggered the move, such as the 2012 sale to Clarity Media, which purchased the business but not the Prospect Street building, as well as the decision to contract with The Denver Post presses for The Gazette's printing needs.

The Gazette has occupied five buildings during its 141-year history. The move to the Prospect Street address in 1957 delivered a mid-century modern building. The Gazette declared the building to be "spacious and modern" with "ample parking" and "the best asbestos flooring."

"Our new location is indicative of our expectations for the future," wrote then-publisher Harry Hoiles.

Since 1872, he said, The Gazette "has paced and reported the stirring human story as it was written and enacted by the men who built the west. The new Gazette stands as a living memorial to our faith in tomorrows."

As the paper grew, the building was expanded several times.

In 1994, a novelty called Gazette.com was launched to connect users with something called "The Internet."

The Internet has played an increasingly important role in The Gazette's operations every year since. In fact, the paper now reaches far more people online than on their front steps.

Throughout the changes, the fundamental role of The Gazette remains the same. Today's newsroom of nearly 70 employees still engages in the same daily chase, gathering and distilling facts, then putting them in print and online.

Few Gazette workers miss the building on Prospect Street. It was dreary and laid out like an asylum. It had a great view of downtown and the mountains to the west but almost no windows on that side. The climate control system all but required sweaters in the summer and shorts in the winter.

The new offices are open and airy, with high ceilings and glass walls.

The newsroom will have a video studio and other features to maximize The Gazette's growing multimedia offerings.

"It's open, it's transparent, it shows our newspaper's values," Steever said.

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