Future of Colfax Museum in jeopardy after flash flooding

The collection needs to find a new home
Posted at 1:58 PM, Jul 28, 2019

DENVER -- A nearly full dumpster sits outside the building that housed a collection like no other.

"I mean I’m not alone in my Colfax obsession, by any means," said Jonny Barber, the curator of the Colfax Museum.

Barber has been sharing his obsession ever since he started a website and eventually a museum that pays tribute to the so-called "longest, wickedest street in America." His artifacts were being stored at Pasternack's Art Hub in Lakewood when flash flooding hit.

"The freak storm came through and just leveled everything," said Barber.

Barber was already planning to move because this isn't the first flood. He moved into the building last summer and says there was some flooding before he was fully settled in.

"Then 2 1/2 weeks ago when we got the second flood, that was enough for me to start looking for a new location. And like I said, stuff was in boxes and packed and getting ready to go and the third flood came ripping through here," said Barber.

His collection includes everything from neon signs that were once displayed on Colfax to old photos and a mannequin that was at the old Sid King’s Crazy Horse Bar.

Some of his items were spared because they're currently being displayed as part of an exhibit at the Denver International Airport.

"The really devastating thing is that I was packing up for the move right because things were actually in, fortunately I do use plastic bins primarily and when I opened the door I mean the bins were floating around the room," said Barber.

He's focused on cleaning up and moving the collection to storage but he's not sure where it will end up next.

“Right now, no location and I’m totally out of money. I put my last time to get this going and just when we were all like, 'Hey we’re going to open,' so I don’t have the resources whatsoever to open," said Barber.

He is raising money in hopes that he continue sharing his love of Colfax. Donations are being accepted online through the Colfax Museum's website.