A Restoration Project of the Golden Landmarks Association
Contributed by Richard Gardner, Gardner History & Preservation
Golden Landmarks Association is restoring this beautiful Foursquare Romanesque brickwork house. Located on Catamount Drive on the north side of Golden Gate Canyon Road just east of the Jefferson County Shops, this little house is an unusual and ornate landmark made of several kinds of pressed and fancy shaped brick, as if meant to show off the product of the Golden Pressed & Fire Brick Works it served a century ago. Built at the dawn of the 20th Century, it served as company housing for the works, established at this location in 1890 by brothers John B. and William Church, who were among the most prominent industrialists and philanthropists in Colorado. This building housed people of high positions in the works such as the plant manager, and possibly was a model house. Shaped fancy bricks, colored bricks and other innovations catapulted the works from a regional player to national renown, eventually shipping as far away as China and Japan. The house today is one of the few remnants of an industry of which Golden was renowned for a century.
Phase 1, the outside restoration, is complete!
From October 2008 to June 2009, the skilled and painstaking workers of Building Restoration Specialties, with architectural assistance from Donelson Architecture, transformed the outside of the Brickyard House from a greatly dilapidated state to once again being a beautiful jewel of Golden. Visit the updates page for a diary of this phase of our project. Preparations are now underway for Phase 2, the interior restoration, including its ornamental woodwork and wood floors. Detailed study of the interior, funded by generous grants from the City of Golden and Colorado State Historical Fund, has been completed to determine the precise costs of bringing the inside back to life.
The unique ornamental brickwork of the Brickyard House, as seen on its west side. This house uses 7 different forms of shaped fancy brick, manufactured by the Berg brick shaping machine around 100 years ago. You can see 5 of these kinds in the photo on the left (water table brick atop the base, tiered brick topped by angular brick at the sill level,quarterpipe rimming the arches, bull-nosed curved brick at the corner).
A feature of the Brickyard House will be a museum that will showcase our area brickmaking industry history. Being the home of workers who saw to the making of bricks for over half a century, the house is a terrific place to introduce everyone to this history of which Golden played an important part. This history covers a century of building, which supplied the materials of countless buildings and well-known landmarks across Colorado and beyond. The Brickyard House will also become the headquarters of the Golden Landmarks Association, Colorado’s second oldest non-profit historic preservation organization. Once restored, the building will also be available to the public for events!
GLA has completed the Phase I restoration of the Brickyard House, its beautiful exterior, funded by a $50,000 grant from the City of Golden and a $140,000 grant from the State Historical Fund. Preparations for Phase II, the interior restoration, are now underway. The Brickyard House is a designated historic landmark of the City of Golden, and it is GLA’s goal to list it on the State and National Registers of historic places once its restoration is complete. Golden Landmarks hopes to share this building with the world for many years to come!
Questions? Contact Golden Landmarks Association at 303-279-1236, or email us!
The Brickyard House project is paid for in part by grants from: