Is this downspout? If so not fully enclosed?

Saw the downspout in the picture at a 10 years old townhouse in Colorado. The front left open. Is this downspout? If it is, what one side is left open?

Where did the other end lead to?

It leads to a black pipe opening on the ground. Not far away is the concrete walkways and then street. I believe the water drains from there to the street in the pipe under the concrete.

For those of us in the frigid North… it is a Commercial grade downspout. The open side faces outwards away from the wall. The purpose is to allow water to drain WHEN the water in the pipe begins to freeze, preventing blockage from ice buildup, a very common problem during early Winter and freeze/thaw cycles.

Thanks for the info. Start making sense now.
But why residential properties don’t need it as they can freeze too? Secondly this four story building is high. When there is a lot of water coming down, water can go out the open face and get onto the ground instead of being fully drained into the pipe ?A valid concern?

Well, whad’ya know? Don’t see many o them around here.

Imagine a commercial roof (flat) when the scuppers and downspouts freeze up! I’m sure you’ve seen scuppers clogged with leaves and debris causing water to pool on the roof. Same thing only much worse.

(Keep in mind Yu’s photo is 90 degrees out of rotation).

I got that. it’s the concept of freezing that is foreign.