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Crowd of people with a ribbon and scissors standing on a paved surface
Golden Chamber Glitterati Celebrate the Newly-Landscaped Parking Lot on Jackson St. – May 25, 1979

45 Years Ago

The May 25, 1979 Golden Transcript was celebrating our newly-glamorized parking lot on Jackson Street, between 12th and 13th Streets. Members of the Chamber, the Mayor, the City Manager, and the Golden Civic Foundation were on hand to help cut the ribbon.

Landscaping design printed in the September 18, 1978 Golden Transcript

The property had been serving as a parking lot since the early ’60s, but the Civic Foundation had recently undertaken a project to make it more attractive by adding trees and benches along the perimeter.

newspaper clipping showing church and bus - caption says church was used to shelter residents during Indian raids
Colorado Transcript – October 5, 1961

Downtown was desperately short of parking after World War II, and when the Baptists moved to a new church in 1961, the Chamber jumped at the chance to acquire such a prime location. They demolished the old church and created a new public parking lot.

shows a brick building with 3 smokestakes producing dark smoke
Golden Illuminating Company power plant at 13th and Jackson – from the 1893 Golden Globe Industrial Edition

The south end of that lot (at 13th and Jackson) was owned by Public Service (now Xcel). It had originally held a coal-fired power plant–source of Golden’s first electrical power. The Civic Foundation purchased the land from the power company, to ensure that it would remain available for parking.

Before it was a parking lot, that half-block included a coal-fired electrical generating plant and a Baptist church. Excerpted from a Denver Public Library Western History photo

In the early 2000s, the Golden Urban Renewal Authority built a public parking garage on the middle of the block and found developers for the two end lots.

Google Street Images: the top photo shows the city parking garage in 2007 and the bottom photo shows the fully-built-out block in 2020

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!