In the spring of 1959, Perl-Mack Co. finalized plans for a 280-acre pre-planni subdivision north of Denver in unincorporated Adams County. The plans for this new community included community facilities, golf course, six elementary schools, a senior high school, fire station, a dozen churches and numerous parks to be centered around a regional shopping complex. At that time it was the state's largest pre-planned model community.
On June 30, 1959, more than 15,000 people visited the first five show homes, located on the northeast corner of what is now the intersection of Interstate 25 and 104th Avenue. Those visitors were so impressed with the homes, which ranged in price from $13,500 to $20,350, the high volume of orders swamped Perl-Mack's staff.
By October 1962, this new development grew to have 10,000 residents and 3,000 homes. Only a few years old, the development received national recognition and was named "The most perfectly planned community in America" by Life magazine and the National Association of Home Builders in 1961.
For more information about the history of the city of Northglenn as a whole, go to www.northglennhistory.com.
After an initial attempt in 1962 to incorporate, the residents of "North Glenn" voted on Oct. 13, 1964, to incorporate. However, they faced opposition from the City of Thornton and the issue went to the courts. Finally, the Colorado Supreme Court ruled on Jan. 31, 1969 that the vote was valid and the city could incorporate.
Less than three months later, on April 8, 1969, the city held its first election for a mayor, city council, city clerk and treasurer. In a whirlwind four days, those officials were sworn in on April 18, the city officially incorporated on April 19 and the first council meeting was on April 21.
- Mayor Hugh Danahy
- Don Burback
- David Hood
- John Howey
- Fred Mikkelson
- Othal Milam
- Richard O' Grady
- Alvin Thomas
The first body of elected officials had to begin the city's operations without any revenues or staff. With the assistance of local financial institutions, operating funds were borrowed and city offices were set up in the Melody Building on Melody Drive just north of 104th Avenue. One of the first tasks of the new mayor and council was to establish a Public Safety Department. A Law Enforcement Committee was formed in July of 1969 and on Oct. 1, Richard Colby was named Public Safety Director. In January 1970, the city swore in 15 officers to patrol North Glenn in two cars borrowed from the Adams County Sheriff's Department.
Several services provided to the citizens of Northglenn have remained under the control of Adams County. The Adams County Library, located on Huron Street just north of 104th Avenue, was opened on December 4, 1969. This community library was built for a cost of $216,000 with 14,100 square feet of floor space and contained 16,000 books and periodicals. This facility eventually closed down. The Adams County Library district is now known as Anythink Libraries.
Other services to the new city included fire protection. West Adams County Fire Protection District built two of its four firehouses in the city limits. Station No. 3, at Irma and Muriel Drive, was built in 1962 and Station No. 4, located next to the library, was built in 1967. Eventually, West Adams County Fire Protection became the North Metro Fire Rescue District, and today serves the communities of Northglenn and Broomfield.
Early on, the Northglenn Recreation District provided recreational needs of the city. The district merged with the city in 1972. It was finally dissolved in 1984 upon final payment of bonded indebtedness.
The temporary city offices in the Melody Building were eventually replaced with a new municipal building built at 10969 Irma Drive and opened July 19, 1970. The property on which the new City Hall was built was donated to the city by Perl-Mack, which helped keep the cost of the new municipal building to $60,000. The City Council hired the first city administrator, Thomas E. Pugh, shortly after moving into the new building.
By December 1971, the city offered its citizens police protection, animal control, trash collection, street maintenance, building inspection, municipal court, zoning control, and code enforcement. The city personnel at that time totaled 61 full-time employees.
Logo and Flag
In 1973, the City Council decided the city needed a logo and a flag. The colors of the logo were chosen with the blue representing the sky, the white representing the mountains, and the green to represent the grass. The trees were selected as pine trees, typical of many of the trees in Colorado.
The first flags were ordered from a fabric shop in Hillcrest Plaza. One flag was sent to Germany with the Northglenn High School Jazz Band in 1974 and the second city flag flew in front of City Hall until it was retired in April 1986.
Late 1970s Growth
In 1975, the city became a Home Rule Charter City, the Community Center (now the Recreation Center) opened, and High School Park was completed. The Northglenn Post Office was built just south of 120th Avenue on Washington St. in 1976 and two new shopping centers were under construction.
Also in 1975, a three-acre park just north of Northglenn Mall was approved for construction with seven types of landscaping for a demonstration to residents. The types of landscaping included formal, modern, plains, oriental, mountain, old fashion, and Mediterranean.
On March 11, 1976 the park was dedicated as Centennial Park with a special celebration including the presentation of a Liberty Bell, the burial of a time capsule, the construction of an American flag in concrete, and the singing of the city song composed for the centennial by Eleanor Wyatt, Wayne Ethridge, and Police Capt. C. A. Gunderson.
Also in 1976, Northwest Open Space was purchased.
The old City Hall on Irma Drive was sold to the Northglenn Elks in 1981 and was moved to its current location at 11701 Community Center Drive, with a grand opening on Oct. 17, 1981. The city also held an open house for its new Water Treatment Plant.
On the Air
In 1984, in a special election the passed the Cable Television Franchise Ordinance, approving a franchise agreement with American Cablevision. Starting in 1985, council meetings were taped, as opposed to being aired live. Volunteers comprised of Northglenn residents and staff brought in lights and cameras as well as the man power to operate the equipment for the meeting tapings.
In 2018, the city started broadcasting the council meetings live on cable television and over YouTube.
E.B. Rains, Jr.
In 1984, the Northglenn Police Department had its first, and only to date, casualty while on duty. E. B. Rains, Jr. was shot answering a call to a home, and later died from his wounds. Webster Lake Park was changed to E. B. Rains, Jr. Memorial Park on May 27, 1985.
Once the largest shopping mall on the north side of town, the Northglenn Mall was in decline in the 1990s. It started to lose many businesses and in turn, customers. In 1999 the Northglenn Mall was razed. With recycled debris from the original mall as its base, the Northglenn Marketplace was built. By teaming with the original Northglenn Mall developer, Jordan Perlmutter & Co., the city gave rise to a bustling open-air mall consisting of a variety of large and small retail stores, and restaurants.
E.B. Rains Jr. Memorial Park Renovation
By the late '90s, the city's most used and most loved park, the 39-acre E. B. Rains, Jr. Memorial Park, was beginning to show its age. In the middle of the park, the 11-acre, 114-year-old manmade irrigation pond, named Webster Lake, had a deteriorating shoreline and a degrading fish habitat. It was obvious - a comprehensive rehabilitation of Northglenn's largest park was seriously needed. The new and improved E. B. Rains, Jr. Memorial Park was unveiled on July 4, 2001, with an added three acres of improved trails and irrigation systems, new picnic tables, flower beds, and 30 new trees.
In December of 2001, Northglenn received America's Crown Community Award by American City and County Magazine for the rehabilitation and re-design of E.B. Rains, Jr. Memorial Park and Webster Lake.
Northglenn Veterans Memorial
On November 11, 2003, the Northglenn Veterans Memorial Committee and the American Legion Post 22 unveiled the Northglenn Veterans Memorial. The 23-foot bronze sculpture of the United States flag includes 11 armed forces figures emerging from the flag base representing the various conflicts through the years. At that time, this sculpture was the largest replica of the American flag in our country. Every branch of the military were present for the posting of the colors. The committee raised about $200,000 to purchase this monument to our soldiers past and present.
Guest speakers included:
- United States Congressman Mark Udall
- Mike Coffman, Colorado State Treasure
- Major General Mason C. Whitney
- Colonel William N. Allshouse
Economic Development Wave
Northglenn had an unprecedented rebound coming off the great recession of the late 2000s and early 2010s.
In the spring of 2014, the first stores and restaurants opened at the Webster Lake Promenade, located at 120th Avenue and Grant Street. The center was a success from the beginning, bringing in large crowds from early morning until late at night - rejuvenating the entire area.
That summer, Carrick Bend, the first multi-family development in years, opened on Community Center Drive.
Also that summer, a Walmart Neighborhood Market opened on the site of the old Garland Center. NURA purchased and razed the decaying facility, making way for a needed grocery store in the area.
SCL Health opened Northglenn's first hospital just across the street from the Promenade in early 2017.
Building on the momentum in the area, the city decided to change the logo in September of 2016. The city started using it on Jan. 1, 2017.
The city broke ground on the Northglenn Justice Center on April 14, 2017. The new facility opened on September 11, 2018 and houses the Police Department and Municipal Court.