More Deaccessioning Planned

March 19, 2019

10AM – Directors Storytime and Craft at the Railroad Museum
6PM – The Golden Library Tuesday Night Book Group will discuss Neverhome by Laird Hunt.

The Local Licensing Authority will meet on today at 2PM in City Council Chambers. Origin Red Rocks Hotel has requested to change the name for “Registered Manager.” The former Maki Sushi & Grill at 1301 Washington, which has changed its name to Okinawa is requesting approval to change the layout of the kitchen and restaurant. See the meeting packet online.

“Upper Washington Avenue Open Space”

The Parks, Recreation, and Museums Advisory Board will meet tonight at 7PM in City Council Chambers. North Neighborhoods resident Tom Schweich will present a survey of condition and plants on a piece of ground informally known as the “Upper Washington Avenue Open Space.” They will also hear an update on the Lubahn Trail and discuss fees and charges for Golden park facilities. See the meeting packet online.

They will also discuss the History Museum’s plan to “deaccession” (sell) 527 items from the City’s collection. (See the list of items slated to be sold.) The items include school desks from the Guy Hill Schoolhouse, furniture from the Astor House, and a diorama built by the WPA for the Museum. The supporting memo from Mark Dodge, Curator, says “with new, non-museum use planned for the AH, I see no strong rational to keep everything.” This might lead many of you to ask

Astor House Interior – Photo courtesy of Richard Gardner’s Historic Golden Colorado Facebook Page

What’s Happening with the Astor House?
The Astor House Museum was closed in 2015 for a structural rehabilitation. While it was closed, museum staff decided to repurpose the museum from serving as a reminder of Golden’s past to being a more general museum of boarding houses in America. They later explored the possibility of using it as a Beer Museum. While the building was closed for rehabilitation, most of the contents of the Astor House Museum were sold. This meant that we could never go back to operating the Museum-that-was.

The structural rehabilitation is done, so the building is now sturdy, but the inside remains gutted and unusable. The Museum staff doesn’t plan to operate it as a museum, and City Council and staff don’t want to pay to finish the building when they don’t know what they’re going to do with it.

Last year, the City released an RFP looking for ideas regarding how to use the Astor House. They received 5 proposals, and a small team has been reviewing them. The process has been conducted in secret; however, the Golden Transcript submitted a Freedom of Information request in February, and published the 5 proposals. The proposals include selling the Astor House to private businesses or leasing it. One proposal details plans for using the building as a museum.

I hadn’t realized that the city still owned any Astor House furniture, but since they now propose to sell it, apparently they do. If you have any thoughts about the deaccessioning plan, you can address the Parks board during public comment at the beginning of the meeting or email