Olde Town Arvada
Olde Town is the city’s downtown district, with a turn-of-the-century Main Street Americana ambiance. It is the heart and soul of Arvada and has become a destination for locals and visitors, alike. With a diverse array of shops, boutiques, galleries, events, restaurants, breweries, and a winery, Olde Town has something for everyone. After the discovery of gold, the town grew as railroad and trolley lines from Denver were built and agriculture thrived. Olde Town is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is both a vibrant and growing district and a historic gem.
History of Olde Town Arvada
The roots of Arvada, Colorado go back to June 22, 1850, when Lewis Ralston made the first documented discovery of gold in Colorado. Ralston didn’t stay to capitalize on his discovery, but continued on his planned journey to the goldfields of California, later returning to his native Georgia. But in 1858, he guided a group of gold seekers back to the ancestral lands of the Cheyenne and Arapahoe to see if they could find their fortune on the banks of the creek which now bore his name.
The district is characterized by a variety of building types, including some of the most significant historic residences in the city, the largest concentration of historic business buildings in the city, the oldest Grange hall in the state, one of the few historic industrial facilities established in Arvada, and three substantial historic churches. Many of the buildings within the district were designed to fulfill more than one function, such as business blocks that had commercial space on the ground floor and living quarters or community halls on the upper floor. This combination of building functions within the downtown area typified Arvada's early history. Diversity of function led to the variety of construction materials, styles, landscaping, and setbacks within the district.