With its more than 150 years of history in Golden, the Astor House's story has been one of change. Now, with proposals ranging from selling it to turning it into a community gathering place, the city …
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The public may comment on the Astor House through the city's public engagement website, at www.guidinggolden.com/astor-house-future
1867 — The Astor House opens as a hotel, owned and operated by Seth Lake.
1892— Ida Goetz purchased the Astor House and operated it as a boardinghouse.
1971 — The Golden Landmarks Association formed primarily to save the Astor House from being destroyed as part of urban renewal efforts.
1972 — Golden residents vote to save the Astor House. The city purchased it for $31,488.55, restored it and opened it to the public as an historic house museum. It is added to the National Register of Historic Places.
2015 — The Astor House closed to undergo a major rehabilitation and preservation project, which cost approximately a half-million dollars.
2017— A feasibility study looks into the potential of turning the Astor House into a beer museum. It was determined that a beer museum was not the right fit for the Astor House: It would be too small, and an estimated $5 million would have been needed to enlarge it.
2018 — The city asks for proposals to determine the future of the Astor House on Sept. 24.
With its more than 150 years of history in Golden, the Astor House's story has been one of change.
Now, with proposals ranging from selling it to turning it into a community gathering place, the city of Golden seems poised to choose the next kind of change to affect the historic building on 12th Street.
The Astor House, 822 12th St., is owned by the city and operated by the Golden History Museums. It has been empty since September 2015, when the property underwent an approximate half -million dollar rehabilitation and preservation project.
On Sept. 24, 2018, the city issued a public Request For Proposals, which is a formal solicitation for ideas, to help determine the future use of the Astor House.
Five such propsals were received by the deadline of Nov. 12, 2018. The city formed a review committee consisting of three city council members — Saoirse Charis-Graves, Laura Weinberg and Paul Haseman — and three community members.
"The committee is serving as the first review" to "narrow it down to feasible ideas that could be a good fit for Golden," Deputy City Manager Carly Lorentz said by email. She added that "in the future, there will be many steps before a decision is made by city council."
The proposals were presented to the review committee on Feb. 11.
The committee is tentatively scheduled to discuss the proposals with city council at the March 21 study session. There is no public comment period at study session meetings. However, the public may provide comments on the Astor House's page on the www.guidinggolden.com site.
Lorentz added that should any one or more of the proposals move forward, the process could include getting additional input from the city's boards and commissions, as well as opening up the discussion for community-wide input.
The proposal documents were not made public between the Nov. 12 Request For Proposals submission deadline and the review committee's initial meeting on Feb. 11. The Golden Transcript requested the proposals via a Colorado Open Records Act (CORA) last week.
Here is a brief summary of the five proposals:
Team: Amirah Shahid, Craig Vickers, Kaycee Vickers
The Astor Yard team proposes to create a public space with indoor/outdoor elements.
Some ideas in the proposal include a fully functioning 200-square foot food vendor space with kitchen and prep areas; a walk-up window on Arapahoe Street for food vending as well as an indoor dining space; an events deck that is adaptable to programming and inclement weather; and lawn spaces with event lighting, furniture and gardens.
This proposal requires a new building construction, paid for by the Astor Yard team.
The team proposes a long-term grounds lease with the city; with the possibility of short term, renewable building leases from the Astor Yard team for a vendor or other food-related enterprise. Click on the title of each proposal to see the full document.
Team: Scott Crosbie, Corydon J. Gilchrist, Sean Lynch
This proposal imagines a mixed-use concept for the Astor House.
The team proposes constructing 12-14 small, private technology-focused office suites — offered as a for-rent basis — on the first and second floors and a common conference room on the third floor. The proposal also includes a 1,000 square-foot detached, exterior beer garden featuring local breweries in the rear yard of the property.
This proposal includes the intent to purchase the Astor House from the city.
Team: Gage Fellows, Sean Baker, Jamie Sheridan
The Astor House LLC group proposes to purchase the Astor House from the city for use as office space.
The team members' plan includes using the building to house their three law firms which currently serve the Golden community. Community benefits in the proposal include using the space and the team members' expertise to mentor and provide legal guidance to a Golden start-up or early stage business and creating an outdoor space that could be used by organizations and businesses for events in the downtown area.
This proposal includes a permanently placed marker with information and historic pictures of the Astor House.
Team: Libby and Regan Foster
The Foster Proposal wants to buy the Astor House and envisions a three-tiered business approach.
This proposal includes a unique plan for the two floors of the building. An open-to-the-public juice bar with locally sourced snack options, as well as a state-of-the-art renewal/biohacking facility, would be located on the first floor. The second floor would serve as a micro hotel/modern hostel with soundproof bunks for one-to-two people that offer secure storage, TVs and desks; private showers and bathrooms for guests; two or more traditional hotel rooms; and one large suite. An outdoor space for private gatherings, or, when not rented, open to the public, with a gazebo is also in the proposal.
Team: Abigail Lahnert, Sarah Labosky, M.L. Richardson, Pat Madison, Angela Schwab
This proposal intends to keep the Astor House as a public gathering space.
The Museum of Reinterpretation proposal envisions providing an arts/educational/entertainment/cultural center in the downtown area, with the ability to attract all ages and demographics of community members. The proposal team expects the concept to be highly flexible with changing or rotating exhibits, activities and programs — all with a broad range of subject matter.
Possible revenue includes admission, sponsorship opportunities, private event rentals and a museum shop.
The Museum of Reinterpretation proposal intends to lease the Astor House from the city, and avoids major remodeling.
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