Colfax Museum Is on the Road, Again

Jonny Barber at Colfax Museum 2.0
Jonny Barber at Colfax Museum 2.0
Brandon Marshall
Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

Colfax Avenue, the longest Main Street in America, has always encouraged movement.

Jonny Barber first heard about Colfax Avenue while reading On the Road in high school in Salt Lake City. His first up-close-and-personal experience with the storied street came when he played the Lion's Lair in 1995, about six years after he moved to Colorado. At that show, he fell in love with the strip.

As his first act of devotion, Barber launched colfaxavenue.com fourteen years ago, documenting tales of Colfax. In November 2017, he made his love much more concrete, opening the Colfax Museum in the Ed Moore Flower Shop on East Colfax. But not long after, Lydia Mary, who has been running the flower shop for close to four decades, decided to sell the property.

After that, Barber moved his museum and all of its fabulous collections dedicated to Colfax across town, into Lakewood’s 40 West Arts District, in the former Pasternack’s Pawn Shop building, home to Next gallery. But while Lakewood has lately secured many cultural institutions fleeing Denver, including Pirate, the Colfax Museum is no longer one of them. This week the museum "definitely closed its door for good in Lakewood," Barber says.

In fact, he adds, "Colfax Museum is currently homeless."

So is the Root40 MusicFest, the fundraising bash that Barber had planned to hold on June 29 behind the museum, with Americana star/Nashville legend Jim Lauderdale. "It was the event being thrown to raise the necessary money to keep us alive," says Barber. "Donations are desperately needed at this time to ensure that the museum doesn't disappear along with so much of Denver's history." (You can make a tax-deductible donation at thecolfaxmuseum.org.)

Barber has put all of the museum's contents in storage while he figures out his next move. One thing is certain: The new destination will be somewhere on Colfax.

The revised museum logo.
The revised museum logo.
Johnny Barber

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.