The changing face of Golden

The changing face of Golden

David McCullough said, History is a spacious realm encompassing the full sweep of human experiences, and I agree. At the core it’s all about change. The seasons, relationships, people, places and things. Embracing it, resisting it, and understanding it. Change is a constant in our personal lives and in the communities we call home.

Washington Avenue has changed drastically over the past 150-plus years. The avenue and arch, about 1975. Golden History Museum & Park, City of Golden Collection.

This is a simple idea and may sound obvious. We all know it, yet many of us resist. We find something we like and then we don’t want it to change. And for good reason. A the museum I regularly hear folks comment about the rapid pace of change occurring, whether perceived as good or bad. One of my jobs is to watch, listen, record and ultimately collect evidence of this change. As a result, you might say that the past lives at the museum, since we’re gathering up the old things that all the change leaves behind.

Here are a few observations over the past year. What do you think I’m missing?

  • The legacy of a jewelry shop or not- we acquired the safe from Creekside Jewelers recently (see July Informer)
  • The legacy of a hardware store- Steve Schaefer announced he was retiring and closing the Meyer family hardware after 45 years
  • Retirement of Dave Williamson, longtime City Attorney
  • Demolition of the Coors North Office Building-soon the City will have a clean slate to reimagine the northeast edge of city limits via the Heart of Golden project
  • Evolution of the Astor House into the new home for Foothills Art Center, and concerns about what will come of their old home, the First Presbyterian Church
  • Plans to redevelop the old Eighth Street Coors Porcelain plant into mixed use housing and more entertainment venues
  • Redevelopment of the Golden Mill into a food hall
  • Redevelopment of the Briarwood Restaurant into housing, and boutique hotel

What do you do to cope with change – take a deep breath, relax and release. Community is about shared interests and ultimately it’s about us, the people. Everyone who calls it home, whether you’re a native or new local. Take it from a student of history, change is nothing new and it’s not necessarily bad.

We sell a book in the museum gift shop titled, “The Changing Face of Golden”, published in 2004. Things were changing then too. Find ways to help shape and embrace it. I’d love to hear how you’re coping, and what the museum can do.  

Mark Dodge, Curator