Where We Started
The small historical museum that Louisville volunteers started in 1986 has grown immensely, concurrent with the increasing need and desire to preserve Louisville history and culture in the face of physical and social changes that have come to communities all along Colorado’s Front Range. Today, the Museum’s number of paying memberships is approaching 1,000; visitors number about 4,000 a year and come from all over the country and the world as Louisville draws increasing numbers of tourists; and the Museum now organizes about thirty popular historical programs a year for the public.
In addition, donors generously give photos and artifacts relating to Louisville history to the Museum, and the Museum staff has digitized nearly 4,000 historic images that are now viewable and searchable online 24/7. With the addition of staff time, we’ve been able to increase the Museum’s public hours in recent years and hope to add more open hours in the future.
What's Behind the Changes
The Museum staff and volunteers, other City staff, and Louisville community members have increasingly become aware of the inadequacies of the three existing historic buildings of the Louisville Historical Museum. These inadequacies include:
- Lack of American Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance and an ADA restroom
- Lack of meeting or gathering space, which means that most programs have to be held off-site and school classes coming to tour can’t all come inside when there’s bad weather
- Lack of adequate on-site collections storage space
- Lack of adequate work space for staff and volunteers working with the collections and on other projects
- Lack of dedicated space even for janitorial supplies
The City is extremely fortunate to have these buildings to help tell the story of Louisville, but it has become increasingly clear that a new building addition with climate-controlled storage for the collection is the best solution for adding upgrades to bring the City into ADA compliance and to meet current and future needs of the community. These upgrades include:
- ADA restrooms and overall accessibility
- a climate-controlled space to preserve Louisville’s historical collections
- and a public meeting/gathering space for K-12 school tours and other community programs
A new building addition on the Museum campus would meet these needs and serve as a Visitor Center right on Main Street near existing restaurants and shops.
To learn more about the planning and concept design for a new museum campus, the following information is provided: