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Group withdraws application to make Tom’s Diner historic landmark

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DENVER -- A group has withdrawn its application requesting the city of Denver make Tom's Diner on East Colfax Avenue a historic landmark.

The decision means the city will issue a certificate of non-historic status on Friday, according to Laura Swartz with Denver Community Planning and Development. The certificate allows for the building to be demolished within the next five years.

Additionally, the owner of the property, Tom Messina, can sell the property to a developer who plans to build an apartment building on the site.

When the movement to make the building a historic landmark began, Messina expressed frustration.

"This is my retirement, I'm not a developer. I don't have any other assets," Messina said earlier this month.

The Tom's Diner building -- which has always been a diner -- has been a pillar of the Capitol Hill area for more than 50 years.

Tom’s Diner first opened as the White Spot Restaurant in 1967. At one point, the Colorado chain had 25 locations. Today, only three of the original White Spot buildings remain.

It is also an example of Googie-style architecture, which is rare in the Denver area.

Those leading the effort for landmark designation sent a statement to FOX31 and Channel 2 Thursday afternoon.

In part, the statement said:

"It is our firm belief that the future of the building is in good hands and think that interested parties can come to a conclusion as soon as possible. We hope that new parties coming to the table can use creative strategies to include the preservation of the iconic Googie-style building in a development that enhances the Colfax corridor. This was no small effort. Thank you to everyone who has donated their time, effort, personal stories, architectural expertise and patience to this cause over the last few weeks."

The group also thanked Messina for listening to the group's concerns.

City Council was set to make its final decision regarding the matter later this month.

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