A Brief History of the Golden Chamber

The Golden Chamber was founded in 1920. They spent much of their first 40 years lobbying the government for infrastructure improvements. Their first focus was extending “the cement road” from Denver (Colfax) into downtown Golden. Next, they pushed to get the other main roads into Golden paved (29th and 44th). They also worked with the city and property owners to pave the streets of Golden.

Central School on 12th St. – later called Mitchell Elementary
Built in 1936

With the start of the Roosevelt administration and its Works Progress Administration, the Chamber began lobbying to get public buildings, including Mitchell School on 12th Street, the downtown post office, and Berthoud Hall and Steinhauer Field House on the Mines campus. They also pressured the WPA and CDOT to build a road through Clear Creek Canyon (Highway 6).

Covered walkways on Washington Avenue, to make shopping more comfortable.

Beginning in the 1950s, our commercial downtown began to suffer as suburban shopping centers were developed. The Chamber then focused on making our shopping district more competitive. They rolled out co-marketing programs, persuaded store owners to build “canopies” over the sidewalks (to shelter shoppers from the weather) and developed an obsessive interest in parking availability.

In the late 1950s, the Chamber spearheaded the drive to build Golden’s new municipal center in the 900 block of 10th Street.

First Friday Street Fair in 2010

In the 1990s, the City and Chamber determined that much of our economic future lay in tourism, and the Chamber became a producer of public events, including the Golden Farmers Market, First Friday Street Fairs, the Beer Tasting and Chili Cook-Off, Fine Arts Festival, and Olde Golden Christmas.

This history was compiled by reading historic Colorado Transcripts and Golden Transcripts. Many thanks to the Golden History Museum for putting the Transcripts online, and many thanks to the Golden Transcript for documenting our history since 1866!

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