Freshly brewed history: Changing landscape of Golden

Walking through Golden, it is clear from the store fronts and buildings that a lot of history is preserved in the town. Golden is proud of the historic landmarks protected within the city limits. In celebration of the past, the Astor House Museum often hosts discussions and speakers which connect the history of Golden to the present. Tom Noel, “Dr. Colorado,” and Rick Muriby, city planner, discussed the historical and future landscape of Golden.

The landscape of historic Golden resembles the Golden of today. Many historical landmarks can still be seen. Golden was a railroad hub, and while the roundhouse is no longer around, Coors Brewery still uses some of the original rail systems. There used to be a tram to the top of Castle Rock, on South Table Mountain. The café on top of the mountain burned to the ground in 1921. While the tram and café are no longer around, the steps which were built in 1921 are still on top of South Table. Residents have preserved many other historic buildings in Golden as well. The American Mountaineering Museum building, for example, was originally Golden High School.

However, some of the landscape of Golden has changed dramatically. In the 1870s, there were five smelters in Golden. Nowadays, only the building from one of the smelters still remains. Coors Brewery has also grown substantially. Ironically, in the 1900s Golden moved away from the railroad system but with the new light rail station at the Jefferson County Justice Center scheduled to open in the spring of 2013, Golden is finally coming back to the rails that founded the city.

The future of the city of Golden focuses on the community and will take into account the historical integrity of the town. The plans for the city of Golden are known as Golden Vision 2030. They involve redeveloping areas of Golden rather than expanding the city. The plans include making the areas outside of historic downtown more community friendly. The city planners plan to do this by adding more sidewalks and gathering areas to the edges of the city.

Golden holds a lot of history, and the many protected buildings have preserved the landscape of the city. While the city will inevitably change, the city plans will preserve the integrity of historic downtown and a sense of community.

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