Art Hunt and Astor House

June 15, 2022

Golden Eye Candy – Chris Davell – See if you can find this tiny artwork near 11th and Washington! – enlarge

Virtual Events

6-6:55AM Cardio Lift Interval
8-8:55AM Tai Chi
10-10:55AM All Levels Yoga Virtual
11-11:55AM Find Your Balance
3-5PM Hard Times Writing Workshop
5-6PM Arte de mi Corazón

Real World Events

7:30-9AM Citizen Budget Advisory Committee Meeting @ City Hall
No agenda has been posted, so I’m not sure there will be a meeting.

9AM Golden Walks – Wednesday Morning Celebrating Life @ Golden Library
6PM Pong Night @ Coda Brewing

6:30PM Planning Commission Study Session @ City Hall
Planning Commission will go through some training tonight.

7PM Trivia Night @ Trailhead Taphouse

Live Music

6-9PM Whipkey @ Buffalo Rose (Sky Bar Stage)
6:30PM Open Jam/Mic at Over Yonder Brewing

Golden History Moment

Golden Daily Transcript – June 14, 1972

This week marks 50 years since the citizens of Golden voted to save the Astor House. 654 Golden citizens voted to save it and 301 voted to demolish it.

Downtown buildings destroyed after World War II: The South School, the Courthouse, the North School, the Methodist Church, the Baptist Church, and the Catholic Church – enlarge

In the decades after World War II, Golden was on a “modernization” binge. By 1972, we had lost many of our Victorian-era buildings. Historic architecture wasn’t widely valued in that era, but modern conveniences were. The need for parking lots drove many of the demolitions. The town was spreading and residents were no longer walking distance to downtown, so they needed somewhere to park.

The downtown merchants were desperate to find space for parking lots, and the old boarding house seemed like a logical candidate for demolition. The space it occupied would have provided 8 new parking spaces.

Having lost so many buildings already, the prospect of losing one of the oldest buildings in town was the last straw for many citizens. They formed a new group called the Golden Landmarks Association (GLA). They persuaded City Council to give them some time to prove the value of the building. Volunteers peeled wallpaper, painted, made repairs, and shored up the foundation. They organized community events in the building and persuaded Golden’s voters of the value of preserving one of our oldest buildings. In the end, Council agreed to bring it to a vote, and Golden’s citizens voted to purchase and preserve the building.

Golden Landmarks Association volunteers, working on the Astor House 50 years ago – enlarge

The Golden Landmarks Association ran the Astor House as a museum for about 40 years. To learn more about this monumental grassroots effort, read Arlone Child’s book, Golden Landmarks Association, Inc. the First Twenty Years, 1972-1992.

Astor House Back Yard – enlarge

Now the old building is ready for its next incarnation. Foothills Art Center has done some impressive fund raising (and they still need a bit more). They plan to preserve the old building and build a significant addition on the back. We will lose the wooden addition that was added to the back of the building in the late 1950s or early 1960s. It will be replaced with an elevator. We will lose the brick wash house in the back yard, but the bricks will be re-used or sold as a fund-raiser. We will lose a lovely tree in the back yard that was dedicated to the memory of Arlone Child (who wrote the book mentioned above), but Foothills will plant a new tree of the same species and dedicate it both Arlone Child and her husband Gene.

The boulder and plaque placed in the backyard of the Astor House in 1976 will remain – enlarge

Hassan Najjar, Executive Director of Foothills Art Center, asked me to add the following:

  • The rock and plaque commemorating Astor House as a territorial park will remain and the Yard will remain open to the public the majority of the time except for private FAC events 
  • Foothills Art Center at Astor House will be majority gallery space that we anticipate opening to the public in August 2023. 
  • Foothills Art Center Creative Campus will be the name of our existing home at 809 15th Street. This will contain 3 classrooms, a new ceramics studio, and over a dozen artists studio spaces. We anticipate opening early summer 2023.  
  • Our capital campaign goal is $4.2 million. As of today we’ve raised $3,924,200. Ten donors giving at least 6-figures each account for $3.85 M of support. All funds received have been donations. There are no loans involved. We are counting on our community to raise the remaining $275k. 
  • Participating in the campaign is easy, just visit our homepage at to see our vision for Foothills Art Center including ways to contribute to the campaign. 

Thanks to the Golden History Museum for providing the online cache of historic Transcripts, and to the Golden Transcript for documenting our history since 1866!

Locations for Marijuana Stores, Raises for City Employees, and Coal at the Astor House

June 14, 2022

Golden Eye Candy – Nancy Torpey – June Sunset – enlarge

Virtual Events

TriceraTOTs – Jurassic Poop Cookies!
6-6:55AM Cycling
9-9:55AM Silver Sneakers Classic
11-11:55AM HIIT & Sculpt
12-12:55PM All Levels Yoga Virtual

5:30-6:30PM Cryptocurrency Explained (By a Comedian)
Learn the basics of digital money and everything it touches in this interactive learning experience hosted by Mark Masters, Colorado’s 2nd Cleanest Comedian. From million-dollar pictures of cartoon animals to the Byzantine general’s problem, there’s a lot that can be confusing about crypto. Masters’ funny stories will demystify crypto and help bring what some say is the future of money into clearer focus. Save your spot for this Zoom program.

Log-in instructions will be emailed out approximately 30 minutes before the start of the program. For your security, please do not include your last name or only use your last initial when you register. If you are 13 years old or younger, please be sure you have a guardian’s permission to participate in this online program.

Real World Events

The moon will set at 5:21AM – Frank Hanou – enlarge

5:52AM Full Moon
9:15-9:45AM Baby Time @ Golden Library
10:15-10:45AM Preschool Time @ Golden Library

5PM VIBE@Five @ Basic Kneads Pizza (map)
VIBE@FIVE is Golden’s Happy Hour! Come join other members of the Golden Chamber of Commerce for this “Very Important Business Event” – VIBE! Stop in for a quick hello and a refreshment right after work and a chance to get to know fellow members of the Golden Chamber of Commerce and Golden Young Professionals. This is a great networking and socializing event. This event is for members of the Golden Chamber of Commerce and their guests as well as for members of the Golden Young Professionals.

6:30PM City Council Regular Business Meeting @ City Hall
Tonight’s consent agenda includes the first reading of several ordinances. The public hearings and the vote will occur at future council meetings. They are: marijuana 6% excise tax (vote on July 12th); updated model traffic code (July 12th); updated fire code (July 26th); updated water & sewer development fees (July 12th); and updated building codes (July 26th). Consent agenda also includes authorization to apply for gaming grants and an amendment to the Golden Volunteer Firefighter pension plan.

They will read a proclamation for Independence Day, July 4th.

Map showing potential locations of recreational marijuana stores, with dots added showing locations of schools (red) and parks (green) – enlarge

The first public hearing repeals and replaces our recreational marijuana licensing code. The City plans to permit up to four retail marijuana stores. The map above shows the locations where they might be allowed. I have added red dots to show locations of schools and green dots to show locations of parks. This is your last chance to submit public comment on the City’s plans. You can provide public comment in person, at the meeting, or send email to You can also contact individual Councilors using contact information shown on this page.

The second public hearing authorizes conveyance of city property to an adjacent landowner.

They will then establish fees for the new marijuana stores.

They will discuss grant applications to the Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG) to request funding for the Heritage Road interchange and West Colfax, which the City hopes to turn into a “complete street” (bike lanes and sidewalks as well as vehicular lanes).

They will consider a 3% mid-year salary increase for all City employees.

The business meeting will be followed by a study session, in which they’ll discuss fire department staffing, the Heart of Golden project, and the 2023/2024 budget.

The study session will be followed by an executive session (no public, no cameras) to discuss hiring the new City Manager.

Live Music

6PM Karaoke with Linda @ Dirty Dogs Roadhouse
6PM Rob Wivchar @ Nomad Taqueria
6PM Open Pick Night @ Over Yonder Brewing


6:30-8:30PM Team Trivia Tuesdays @ Buffalo Rose

6:30-8:30PM Trivia Tuesdays @ Golden Mill

6-8PM Toad Trivia Tuesdays @ Mountain Toad Brewing
7PM Trivia Night @ the Ace
7-9PM Team Trivia Night @ Tributary Food Hall

Golden History Moment

Astor House in the 1940s (center) – Golden History Museum Collection – enlarge

The Astor House currently holds several stacks of lumber, which will be used in the renovation. In my tour last week, I studied this collection of nailed-together boards (a sign? a trapdoor?):

Of particular interest was a set of notations on one of the boards, dated 1932-1935. Apparently, Mrs. Goetze, the owner at the time, was recording her coal purchases.

The years ’34 and ’35 included an extra bit of information. They’re a little hard to read, but I think she was indicating who supplied the coal. This is reinforced by ads that ran in the Transcript in 1934 and 1935, which name some of the local coal sellers.

Coal ads for Guy Buckman, Ed Baldwin (North Side Fuel), and Duvall-Davison Lumber Yard – Colorado Transcript, 1934 and 1935 – enlarge

So now we know that the Astor House purchased 14 tons of coal during the winter of 1934-1935–and where they bought it!

Thanks to the Golden History Museum for providing the online cache of historic Transcripts, and to the Golden Transcript for documenting our history since 1866!

Mayoral Monday, LIT, GURA, and More Random Astor House Observations

June 13, 2022

Golden Eye Candy – Pete Horneck – Sunset on 9th Street – enlarge

Virtual Events

6-6:55AM Virtual Dynamic Circuit
8:30-9:30AM Virtual Power Training
10-10:55AM All Levels Yoga Virtual
11-11:55AM Find Your Balance
12-12:30PM Mondays with Mayor Weinberg
2-3PM Virtual: Active Minds Monday (most Mondays)
4-4:30PM Kids Martial Arts Class
6-7:30PM Teen Short Story Writing Camp

Real World Events

9:15-9:45AM Toddler Time @ Golden Library
10:15-10:45AM Let’s Dance @ Golden Library
12-4PM Stich’n B*tch @ Golden Quilt Company

5:30-8:30PM LIT: Let’s Ignite Together @ Foothills Art Center
Where local artists meet up monthly in a safe space to unlock and ignite their creativity: creating for the joy of creation, celebrating each others’ unique style, and delighting in their incredible infusion of synergy that happens when a group of creative minds get together.  

$10 cash at the door – (one beer or wine is included in the price of admission) / Free to Open Studio Members This is a 21+ event Register

6-9PM Golden Game Guild Meet-Up Mondays @ Golden Game Guild

6:30PM GURA Board Meeting @ City Hall
The GURA board will discuss a proposed change to their intergovernmental agreement with the City. GURA is a somewhat independent organization. They used to employ their own Executive Director. For about the last ten years, they have relied on a part-time city employee to function in that role. Steve Glueck actually retired from the City, but has continued to work for them on a part time, hourly basis. The assumption is that he will eventually phase out of his many roles with the City. The GURA board was very pleased to have Mr. Glueck as their Executive Director, but they were not as sure that they would necessarily choose to work with some unnamed replacement. They now have a name. Robin Fleischmann, who has assisted Steve with economic development activities, has been promoted and is now the City’s candidate for managing GURA activities. The board will discuss Ms. Fleischmann’s proposed role tonight, as well as the City’s proposal to hire an assistant for Ms. Fleischmann.

They will also discuss the City’s proposal that GURA pay for reducing the number of lanes on West Colfax from two each way to one each way. This is considered to be a precursor to making West Colfax a “complete street,” which means it would offer bike lanes and sidewalks as well as car lanes.

Golden History Moment

The Astor House Over Time, with Architectural Features Coming and Going – Golden History Museum collection – enlarge

Continuing yesterday’s discussion of the Astor House, past, present, and future….

The Astor House has gone through many changes in its 155 year history. As the photos above show, the balcony has come and gone over time. Balcony fans will be glad to hear that it will stay in the upcoming renovation.

Attentive viewers will notice that the roofline changed after the turn of the (19th to 20th) century. Originally, the third floor was a windowless attic. After a 1908 fire burned the roof, the owner used the insurance money to add dormers so she could rent rooms on that third floor. In the next rendition of the building, the third floor will return to its original status as an attic–unused space–because modern building codes would require an elevator if that space were to be used. (There will be an elevator in the new configuration, but it will only go to the second floor.)

Astor House in 1881, with original unpainted stone visible – Golden History Museum Collection – enlarge

I spotted something interesting when I toured the building last week. As you can see in the photo above, the Astor House was built of multi-colored local stone. The stone has been covered by paint for many years, but right now, with much of the plaster removed, some of that colorful stone is visible on interior walls. The original appearance would have been quite different from the pale, monochrome building that we’ve known for many decades.

Original stonework revealed – enlarge

Tomorrow, I’ll share one last quirky little discovery that I made during my tour, and tell you I think it means.