At sunrise Sunday, the sun set on the iconic building that had served as the headquarters of Jones International and Jones Intercable, the MSO founded by Glenn R. Jones, the cable pioneer and entrepreneur, who died on July 7, 2015, at age 85.
The building, located just south of Denver along 1-25 at 9697 East Mineral Ave. in Englewood, was completed in 1984 and served as the corporate headquarters of Jones Intercable, a major U.S. MSO that was sold to Comcast in April 1999. It also was home to several other Jones-run businesses through the years, including education network Mind Extension University (ME/U) (later renamed Knowledge TV), Jones Cyber Solutions, Jones International University (a distance education school founded by Jones in 1993 and shut down in April 2015), and Jones/NCTI, a cable training company that was acquired by Stacey Slaughter in late 2015 and rebranded as NCTI in June 2016. The building came down as The Opus Group prepares to start the next phase of a new mixed-use, master-planned project called The Jones District.
South Metro Fire Rescue conducted the implosion early Sunday morning, according to 9News/KUSA-TV, which has also posted a video of the demolition.
South Metro Fire Rescue also tweeted videos of the demolition, including this alternate view:
Another impressive view of the Jones implosion from 06:45 a.m. today. pic.twitter.com/2SocqkT8V6
— SouthMetroFireRescue (@SouthMetroPIO) October 8, 2017
A group of former Jones “associates” (Glenn Jones preferred that term over “employees”) gathered Saturday (October 7) afternoon to bid good-bye to the building, reminisce, and to raise a toast to the late cable executive and pioneer, who was also referred to as the “The Poet of Technology,” as he composed several volumes of poetry under the pen name of Yankee Jones, and wrote numerous books about his visions, including Cyberschools: An Education Renaissance, Free Market Fusion, and Make All America a School, among others.
Another, smaller group gathered Sunday (October 8) morning, soon after the building was reduced to rubble.
Jim Honiotes, a former Jones associate who is now executive director of Prosonta Associates, has been using Facebook to post information about the demolition and to offer a place on social media for others to contribute their remembrances.
“There were a few who enjoyed the building's very first (leaky) days in July 1985 and many who came later or stayed longer,” Honiotes wrote. “But don't think for a minute that this was ‘just a building’ or a place to work. It was a feeling of belonging, of pride in your work, in enjoying your co-workers, giving your best and being appreciated. This futuristic space-ship-inspired building launched many successful careers and taught thousands of people that being FOR something would always be better than being AGAINST something.”
Honiotes also confirmed that a former Jones associate is now in possession of the "JONES" letters that comprised a sign that was emblazoned on the northeast corner of the building, facing the highway.
Despite the razing of the building, the Jones name will live on in the area. The Jones District, located west of I-25, is a multi-use, master planned development by Opus Development Company, and named for Glenn Jones.
Opus has already started a 306-unit apartment building to be called “The Glenn at The Jones District,” with completion slated for February 2018. There’s also a proposal for an eight-story mixed use project that will consist of two office buildings as well as a mix of “street-oriented retail” to be located adjacent to the District’s central park.
The Jones organization sold the remainder of The Jones District on June 17 to Opus, according to an official, who added that there is no immediate plan for the land that contained the original Jones HQ building, but that conversations are underway.
[Editor's Note: The author of this article was an employee of Jones Education Networks and ME/U from 1994 to 1998.]