Future of Astor House will remain unknown for another year

By Christy Steadman

The future of the historic Astor House in downtown Golden will remain undetermined for the time being… Read more…

Tuesday Events

The Railroad Museum is holding their Storytime and Craft this morning from 10-11. Today’s story is Iron Horses by Vera Kay. This event is good for kids aged 4-6. This is free for Museum Members and $2 for nonmembers with general admission.

PranaTonic is offering Teen Yoga at 3PM today, open to teens aged 13-18. New Terrain Brewing Company will host Yoga on Tap from 6-7.

The Golden Library has their Tuesday night book group tonight from 6-7. They’ll be discussing The Glass Universe: How the Ladies of the Harvard Observatory Took the Measure of the Stars by Dava Sobel.

Astor House Hotel Museum - Golden Colorado

City Staff thought yesterday’s description of the Astor House’s status was inflammatory, so here’s the exact wording from last month’s meeting minutes.

In summary Rod explained that there would not be money budgeted for Astor House in the CIP process. Furthermore, there was not support for a beer museum. He stated that as of now it would remain in the City’s portfolio of assets. He indicated that staff needs to show what is required to bring the property to a minimum level of integrity. Per the consultants, it would be approximately $500,000 – $1,000,000. Currently, there are funds in municipal facilities budgets to reroof. Amirah asked if there were funds available for studies to determine what to do with it. Rod confirmed that there are not funds set aside for studies at this time.

Results of the Astor House Beer Museum Study

The Jefferson County Fair starts today at the Fairgrounds (map). The 4H horse shows will be going from 8:30-5. This evening, they’ll be celebrating “Jeffco Homecoming.” You’re encouraged to dress for your favorite era–zoot suits, poodle skirts, neon, grunge… The Opening Ceremonies will start on the main stage at 5:30. Afterwards, they’ll have a magician, a science show, a reptile adventure show, and an eighties tribute band. They’ll also have mutton bustin’, pony rides, a petting farm, an outdoor adventure zone, and much more! The Fair runs through Sunday.

Foothills Art Center - Golden Colorado

Foothills Art Center is having a member preview tonight at 6 for their new show, Street Fonts and Funk. If you’re not a member, this is the perfect reason to join. An individual membership is only $35.

Head to City Hall at 5:30 to help City Council & staff celebrate Golden’s commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement. They’ll have ice cream!

The City Council meeting will start at 6:30. After the business meeting, they’ll have a study session. The History Museum has submitted the results of the study about whether to turn the Astor House into a beer museum. The study concluded that a beer museum would be a big attraction, but the Astor House is too small to house it. City staff does not think the Astor House should be re-opened as a museum–in fact, it can’t be, since the contents of the Astor House Museum have been sold.  So for the present, the future of the Astor House is unknown.  For more information, refer to the meeting packet.

What’s The City Up To?

For more information on any of these meetings, visit the City’s Agenda Page and click on the meeting packet.

The Parks & Recreation Board will meet tonight at 7PM at the Community Center.  The City is looking for a new company to run the restaurant at Fossil Trace.  The former operator, Three Tomatoes, ended their relationship (by mutual decision) on December 31st.  The board will discuss the options, as well as the 2017 work plan.  Parks Director Turullo will report on the status of the new Ulysses Skatepark, outdoor fitness equipment, the new park rules, and the Parks Master Plan, which was adopted last week by City Council.

The Planning Commission will have a study session (no public comment) tomorrow night at 6:30 in City Council Chambers.  They will discuss ways that the City could subsidize, provide land for, buy buildings for, or otherwise facilitate affordable housing.  They will also consider “Enhanced Transit Options,” designed to provide alternatives to driving private cars.  Options include adding another green circulator bus and facilitating ride sharing.

The Public Art Commission will meet Thursday morning at 9AM in City Council Chambers.  1) There has been a proposal from a community group that hoped to incorporate some children’s artwork in the new park/lid at 6 and 19th.  That group has talked with Public Works and concluded that the lid location won’t work.  They’re going to look for other locations within Golden.  2) A different project may be incorporated into the upcoming redesign of Washington Avenue, north of downtown.  It would likely be installed on a retaining wall.  3) The committee will hear an update on the status of the giant hummingbird that will go in the roundabout by King Soopers.  4) Fund-raising is going well for the proposed elk statues that will go in one of the roundabouts on Heritage Road.  5) Some artwork was donated by a citizen for use in Ulysses Park.  The Parks department is struggling to find an appropriate and safe place to put it.

City Council will hold a study session (no public comment) on Thursday night at 6:30 in City Council Chambers.  They will consider having Comcast collect an additional 50 cents per subscriber per month to be used to improve the City’s communication equipment.  The Finance Director will discuss possible new revenue sources, such as adding a lodging tax or increasing our sale tax.  The Parks and Rec Director will discuss the new version of the Museum Collections Policy.  This policy was scrutinized after museum staff sold off many of the Astor House artifacts through an auction house in Littleton.  The updated policy requires that the community be told ahead of time before artifacts are sold, so residents have the opportunity to buy them.  The Parks Director will also recommend a Los Angeles-based consultant who will conduct an $86K feasibility study regarding turning the Astor House into a Beer Museum.

New Developments and Selling Artifacts

There will be two city meetings this week.  The GURA board will meet tonight at 6:30 in City Council Chambers.  They will discuss the planned development at 2400 Ford Street.  The board will have an executive session to discuss possible tax incentive agreements for the property.

The Parks & Recreation Board will meet Tuesday night at 7PM in the Community Center.  They will discuss changes to the Museum Collections Policy.  Golden citizens were taken aback when the contents of the Astor House were sold.  In an effort to prevent this from happening again, the museum proposes to notify the community of future artifact sales.

A piece of news from the last Parks & Rec meeting:  Museum staff came to the Board in November to discuss the Golden Music Festival.  This has happened in June for many years.  It was originally called Summer Solstice and was started by the owners of the Golden City Brewery.  The Museum staff pointed out that the festival has netted them about $15,000/year as a fund-raiser (after accounting for staff time).  They feel that the benefit to the museums doesn’t justify the time and effort involved.  The Board approved allowing the museum to discontinue the festival.  The Museum will see if anyone else wants to continue it in a different location.

And here’s some follow-up from last week’s Planning Commission: the site plan for the 12 townhouse development on the northwest corner of 19th and Ford was approved.  A site plan was also approved for a hotel on Highway 40 where it parallels I-70.

What’s the City up to?


Here’s a summary of this week’s board and commission meetings.  For more details, see the Agenda, Minutes, Web Casts, Schedule page on the City website.

Tonight – The Downtown Development Authority (DDA) will meet in City Council Chambers at 6:30PM.  They will consider a grant request for $2500 to help Table Mountain Vision defray the cost of correcting drainage issues in their back parking lot.  They will also consider a request from Golden Liquors to purchase some quarter-and-key operated lockers.  A year ago, Coors instituted a policy of prohibiting purses and backpacks on their tours.  Golden Liquors (which is across the street from the Coors visitor lot) installed some lockers, so the Coors tourists would have a place to stash their stuff.  The lockers have been popular, and the store would like to install a few more.  Staff will brief the board on a project to upgrade the Parfet Park bus stop/transportation center.  They will also discuss last week’s DDA outreach meeting, to see what they learned.

Tuesday – The Parks & Recreation Board will meet at 6PM at Fossil Trace.  They will receive a 1-hour tour of Fossil Trace, and start their regular meeting at the Clubhouse at 7PM.  They will review how we did at managing Clear Creek this past summer.  They will discuss updates to the Parks Master Plan.  They may pursue business sponsorships for some facilities.  The plan update is organized into two parts–“Recommendations with Goals and Objectives” and “Action Plan, Cost Estimates, and Prioritization.”  Each Objective has an Action Plan, except “Focus on Planning for Museums.”  They will also discuss the Parfet Park bus stop/”Mobility Center.”

Wednesday – The Planning Commission will have a study session (no public comment) at 6:30PM in City Council Chambers.  They will meet with members of the Sustainability Board to discuss the Sustainability Menu, which is is part of Site Development regulations.  They will also work with Cindy Pieropan, the City’s expert on Affordable Housing. to discuss potential regulatory barriers that could be preventing the construction of new affordable housing units in Golden and evaluate options for any recommended code changes.

ThursdayCity Council will have a study session (no public comment) at 6:30PM in City Council Chambers.  Museum Director Nathan Richie will discuss community feedback on his plan for turning the Astor House into a beer museum.  Council may tell him to proceed to a feasibility study, or they may ask him to present the public with other options.

This Week’s Meetings

For more details about the meetings below, see the meeting packets on the City’s Agendas page.

The Historic Preservation Board meets tonight at 6:30 in City Council Chambers.  They will be asked to provide certificates of appropriateness for two planned additions to homes in the 8th and 9th Street Historic District.  808 Arapahoe Street will have a 1400 square foot addition, and 700 Cheyenne St. will have a 2070 square foot addition and a covered patio.  Both homes will be more than doubled in size.  This board will then have a study session, but the agenda does not specify the topic.

Beer MuseumThe Golden History Museum will host a meeting starting at 6 on Tuesday.  The topic will be the Beer Museum that they want to build in the Astor House.

The Planning Commission will meet Wednesday night at 6:30 in City Council Chambers.  They will conduct a public hearing regarding a site plan and special use permit for a retail automotive sales business (Carmax) with outdoor lighting.  The new dealership will be in the big open lot east of Kohl’s.


The Public Art Commission will meet Thursday morning at 9AM in City Council Chambers.  They will continue their discussion of the 6 bronze sculptures that may be removed.  They have heard from three consultants now.  The first (an art conservator) said that the pieces were Chinese copies, which could leave us open to claims of copyright infringement.  The second opinion opinion came from an attorney, who reinforced that point of view.  The third opinion (another art conservator) said that the Chinese sculpture “factories” sometimes had their own in-house sculptors, and while the pieces weren’t particularly original, they might not be copies–making it safer to keep them on display.  The public art commission may vote as to whether to keep each piece…or they may pass it on the City Council, to let them decide.  The City Attorney will attend the meeting to advise them as needed.

The second order of business will be discussion of the giant hummingbird to be installed in the roundabout by King Soopers.  The Commission is currently running a survey to see whether the public prefers to have the bird constructed of sheets of steel (which would be a uniform color) or to use car hoods, which would result in a multi-colored piece.  Your input is welcome.

Finally, the Commission will discuss the contractual relationship with the neighborhood group that plans to install an elk statue in the roundabout at the gateway to Heritage Dells.

Beer, Beer, and Bikes (and Beer)

Golden Chamber Beer Tasting and Chili Cook-Off

The Golden Chamber is looking for volunteers for the October 15th Chili Cook-Off and Beer Tasting.  They need ID Checks, Ticket Checkers, Ticket Sellers, Beer Pourers, people to distribute cups and ballots, and people to check in the volunteers and cooks.  They also need someone to drive a moving truck at the beginning and end of the event.  A good time is GUARANTEED!  (Or at least highly probable.)  Funds raised at this event go towards Golden Chamber Community Projects, including the Golden High School Scholarship Fund, and to support St. Jude Children’s Hospital.  Sign up to Volunteer!

Beer Museum

The Golden History Museums will hold an informational meeting about the Astor House Rehabilitation and the proposed Beer Museum on October 4th at 6PM at the History Center (923 10th St.).  Attendees will view a presentation about the projects, learn about the process and progress, and offer questions and comments to museum staff.  Learn more….

They are also running an online survey to gauge public opinion regarding the Beer Museum.  It closes on October 1st, so if you haven’t taken it yet, please do.

Tonight’s Golden Bike Cruise will be the second-to-last for the year.  The costume theme is “the 70’s.”  Next month will be the popular, but often cold, Zombie Cruise!  Food and beer available at 6PM and the ride starts at 7.

Do you want a beer museum?


The Golden History Museum is seeking public opinion on their plan to turn the Astor House into a “beer museum.”

They plan to serve tasting flights to visitors, to educate them about different beer styles over time.  They point out that Golden has been brewing beer since the 1870s, and that the craft beer movement is popular, not only in Golden but throughout the state.  They anticipate that such a museum would be a major attraction in the state.

The Museum brought the idea to City Council.  Council told them to gauge public opinion and come back in October.  So the Museum is now seeking public opinion.

Those who are in favor of the beer museum stress these points:

• It will be a regional attraction, and will draw many visitors.
• It will bring revenue to the city
• Beer is part of Golden’s culture
• Beer is topical right now

Those who are opposed to the idea have this to say:

• We don’t need more crowds downtown.
• Where would all those visitors park? We’re already planning to charge for parking starting in January.
• The City shouldn’t be serving liquor.
• The City shouldn’t be competing with our craft breweries and bars.
• Craft beer is stylish now and may be outmoded in two years.  The City shouldn’t spend money developing a museum about a passing fancy.
• Golden is a family-oriented small town. This doesn’t seem family-oriented, nor supportive of a small town.
• We should be considering many ideas for how to use the Astor House…why have we only been given one idea for discussion?

What do you think?  The Museum wants to hear from you.  Please take this opportunity to complete their online survey.

Tonight’s Golden Cruise
Yesterday we mentioned that the Golden Bike Library planned to stay open during the Golden Cruise, so people could borrow bikes.  They’ve since realized that the bikes in the library aren’t equipped with lights for night riding.  They might be able to add lights to a few bikes by tonight, but to be safe, you should call them (303-597-3600) to confirm whether you’ll be able to borrow a bike.

The Astor House is a hot topic this week.


Here’s the rundown on this week’s city meetings.  The meeting packets are all available on the city’s agenda page.  All meetings will be held in City Council Chambers and broadcast live with the exception of Parks & Rec.  That meeting will be recorded (audio only) and posted later.

The Downtown Development Authority (DDA) meets tonight at 6:30 in City Council Chambers.  The History Museum Director, Nathan Richie, will report on the status of the Astor House and future plans for the building.  Pat Foss of the Mesa Meadows company will discuss a plan to build condos at 8th and Arapahoe.  The storm drain for Arapahoe Gulch goes through that property, and will need to be moved to the alley.  The DDA board will discuss the possibility of a tax incentive agreement to defray that expense.  The board will also discuss the planned “Mobility Hub” in Parfet Park.  The hub is intended to account for future transit needs, including ride sharing, bike share, and other innovations as well as buses.  They will consider hiring a consultant to help them with this project.

The Parks & Rec Board will meet tomorrow night (Tuesday 8/16) at 7PM.  Nathan Richie will also appear before that board, to present his idea of putting a beer museum in the Astor House.  GreenPlay consultants will provide an update on the Parks Master Plan, and the Parks Director, Rod Tarullo, will provide an update on the Parks Rules.

The Citizens Budget Advisory Committee meets Wednesday morning at 7:30 in City Council Chambers.  Nathan Richie will also talk to this board about future plans for the Astor House.  They will discuss the project revenue for the city’s budget for the next two years.

The Planning Commission will have a study session in City Council Chambers at 6:30PM Wednesday.   They will be reviewing the North Clear Creek neighborhood plan and the budget requests submitted by the other boards and commissions.