Golden in 2018: History, sidewalks and schools

Posted 12/31/18

The year 2018 ended up being an interesting one in Golden. The Golden Lions celebrated of 75 years doing good in the community. Affordable housing and short-term rentals were of prominent discussion …

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Golden in 2018: History, sidewalks and schools


The year 2018 ended up being an interesting one in Golden.

The Golden Lions celebrated of 75 years doing good in the community. Affordable housing and short-term rentals were of prominent discussion at city council. Golden residents voted not to lower the voting age to 16 on a ballot measure in November.

Here is a summary of some of the biggest Golden stories of 2018.

Community member losses

From community do-gooders to the movers-and-shakers of their day, Golden lost some prominent people in 2018.

Charles “Chuck” Baroch, former Golden mayor and the first executive director of the Golden Civic Foundation, died on June 22 in Ohio where he was residing, three days before his 86th birthday. He had been ill since March.

Just nine days shy of her 86th birthday, JoAnn Thistlewood, a longtime Golden resident, member of St. Joseph Catholic Parish, author and former volunteer director of the Christian Action Guild, died on Dec. 6.

Gwyn Green, 79, died on Sept. 12 following a five-year battle with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. She served as a Golden city councilor for three years in the early 2000s, which preceded the two-and-a-half terms she served in the Colorado House of Representatives.

William “Bill” Coors, the man known for pioneering the aluminum can and former chairman of the board of Adolph Coors Company, died peacefully in his home at age 102 on Oct. 13.

Golden history

The Golden History Museum, 923 10th St., hosted its grand reopening event on June 23 with five galleries. The event followed a nearly six-month closure to make way for its Discovery Awaits campaign — another term for the museum’s master plan. The $350,000 campaign took about three years of planning and included an interior renovation of a nearly 50-year-old building.

Fast forward about five months, and the museum hosted a grand event on Nov. 11, Veteran’s Day, during which hundreds gathered to celebrate the 100th-year anniversary of World War I Armistice and to see the contents of a time capsule that was buried 50 years ago.

The time capsule tradition began in 1918, when Golden residents buried a 50-year time capsule in honor of the ending of WWI. The people of 1968 buried one to be opened in 2018, and yet another one is going in the ground for the people of 2068.

Golden Mill and Astor House

The Golden Mill, 1012 Ford St., has a long history in the Golden community. It closed in April after operating as a family-owned feed store since 1951.

However, three couples purchased it in May and propose to turn it into a food hall, market place and event space with an anticipated open date sometime in 2019. The vision is to turn the Golden Mill into a hub of activity featuring food vendors, a rooftop and a multifunction plaza for families and arts and entertainment events.

While the historic Astor House’s fate is less uncertain, plans are in the works. The house, 822 12th St., is owned by the city and operated by the Golden History Museums. It has been closed since September 2015 to undergo a major rehabilitation and preservation project. The city currently has five business proposals to use the site, which the city council will consider in February.

Streets and sidewalks

By July 2019, a portion of Washington Avenue will have received its complete makeover.

Construction on North Washington Avenue — improving intersections and lanes, while accommodating pedestrians and cyclists — began in September. Phases 1 and 2 — Highway 93 to Second Street — happened concurrently. On Dec. 21, the roadway opened to through traffic, leaving the only work to be done on this portion is pouring the sidewalks and some landscape restoration. Crews will resume construction work on the road for Phase 3 — Second Street to Sixth Street — on Jan. 7.

Another topic that received some attention in 2018 was the concepts of singletrack sidewalks — a natural surface trail built next to, or in close proximity of, an existing paved multiuse trail or bike path.

In January, the Golden Giddyup Trail Team submitted a revised, formal proposal to the city for a singletrack sidewalk pilot project to be located in south Golden. The proposed six singletrack sidewalk segments would vary in length, but total a little less than one mile. They would stretching from Apex Park to Sixth Avenue, constructed alongside the existing multiuse trail on city property.

It has been a topic of discussion for Golden’s Parks, Recreation & Museums Advisory Board.

Mines growth

Colorado School of Mines experienced a lot of growth, and ambition for more, in 2018.

Three major projects are of note: a parking garage and two student housing projects.

Construction has begun on Mines’ first parking garage — a four-level, 650 parking space structure located at 13th and Maple streets. A groundbreaking ceremony for Jackson Hall, 1750 Jackson St., took place on Sept. 4. The other housing project is Welch Hall, which will be located at 18th and Illinois streets. This residence hall will be traditional dorm-style living for freshmen students.

The school is currently in the process of updating its master plan, laying out the next 10 years of facility planning.

Free Horizon Montessori

In August, Free Horizon Montessori school moved from its former location at 581 Conference Place in Golden into the former Pleasant View Elementary building, 15920 W. 10th Ave. in Golden. Students’ first day was Aug. 20.

Pleasant View Elementary closed at the end of the 2016-17 school year. The Jeffco Board of Education cited low enrollment and aging building conditions among reasons for the closure. An agreement was made between Jeffco Public Schools and Free Horizon to have the latter move into the former Pleasant View building. The agreement included Jeffco Public Schools acquiring Free Horizon’s former building.

The Colorado Department of Education unanimously approved Free Horizon Montessori shifting from a charter school to the district's first option school with innovation status on June 14.

The innovation status allows Free Horizon to continue operating as a Montessori school. Jeffco Public Schools has a number of option schools but Free Horizon is its first innovation school.


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