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Harbeck-Bergheim House

Harbeck-Bergheim House

Project Background

The Harbeck-Bergheim House (the house) was first leased and ultimately purchased by the City of Boulder in 1979. Since 1984, the Museum of Boulder (MOB) has leased the building, operating and managing it as a museum. Throughout that lease, the Parks and Recreation Department has facilitated the lease with the MOB and managed the property along with the Facilities and Asset Management Division of Public Works.

In 2012, the MOB signed a contract to purchase a building in downtown Boulder indicating their intention to relocate museum operations. The MOB vacated the house in 2018. The house and surrounding property require currently unfunded annual operation and maintenance for the City to be a proper steward of the historical asset.

Staff is currently exploring options for the future use and ownership of the home with the following objectives:

  • Incorporate a long-term solution for the future use and ownership of the house that maintains the historical and vibrant integrity of the landmarked property.
  • Develop the long-term strategy in consultation with key stakeholders and the Boulder community.
  • Determine the long-term sustainability of the most appropriate solution with support from the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, City Council and additional internal stakeholders.
  • Guide identification for the most successful long-term solution through continual alignment with the mission, goals and objectives of the Boulder Parks and Recreation department and Master Plan.
  • Inform the community, internal and external stakeholders, as appropriate, to build awareness around how feedback may be incorporated throughout the engagement process, measuring success and outcomes.

March 2020 Update

The Parks and Recreation Advisory Boards voted to approve the lease agreement of the Harbeck – Bergheim House to Women’s Wilderness on February 25, 2020. Six of the 7 PRAB members voted in support of the lease agreement. On March 3, 2020, City Council voted unanimously to approve the lease.

Staff has applied for a change to the non-conforming use of the house to better match the planned use and to accommodate future similar use. Complete review of the application is anticipated by March 27, 2020 pending and delay due to closures. Staff will provide an update regarding the outcome of the review on this web page as soon as it is available.

February 2020 Update

Staff identified stabilization and restoration of the home’s interior stained-glass window as a community and departmental priority 2018. This four-stage project began in October by the internationally recognized restoration company, Watkins Stain Glass Studio (Watkins Studio). To date, three of the four stages are fully complete, with work including: removal of the main and upper window, removal of the stain glass cement, full stabilization and straitening of both the glass and surrounding lead, re-adjustment and replacement of the metal support bars, and re-installation of the fully restored window. A photographic account of work pdf completed for each of the three stages is available in the project web page. The fourth and final stage will be led by Spectrum Glass Company, in partnership with Watkins Studio, to complete replacement of the exterior protective glass in March/April of 2020, bringing this successful restoration project to a close.  

There were 2 community engagement opportunities during the restoration project. The first included a interview with Watkins Studio conducted and released by Channel 8. The second provided an opportunity for the community to attend a Stained-Glass Window Restoration Demonstration. Fifteen community members attended the demonstration of the window restoration in progress with Watkins Studio available to share the experience and answer questions.


PRAB - Action Item for Lease Agreement
February 24, 2020
6 p.m.
Fire Training Center
   (please note the move from the traditional City Council Chambers)
6055 Reservoir Rd, Boulder, CO 80301
   (enter through Boulder Reservoir Main Gate and let the gatekeeper know you are there for the PRAB meeting, entry will be free)

PRAB memos are always available to the public the Wednesday prior to the meeting. A link to the February PRAB memo will be placed here when it is available.

TENTATIVE NEXT STEPS (based on outcomes of PRAB meetings):

March -  City Council Item on Consent  
March  -  Administrative Change to Nonconforming Use  
April  -  Initiation of Lease Term  

Late January 2020 Update

Based on community, council and PRAB supported selection criteria, the city has determined to proceed with the lease proposal submitted by a local nonprofit organization, the  Women’s Wilderness Institute  (“Women’s Wilderness”).  Women’s Wilderness, established in 1998, is a Boulder-based nonprofit organization which supports girls, women and the LGBTQ+ people in accessing their power and improving their health through connections to the outdoors and community.  Since their inception, the organization has served over 6,500 community members and, through the support of donors, awarded over $400,000 in financial aid supporting inclusive programming in the community. 

Staff weighted the five timely received proposals with emphasis on the community-supported values and alignment with the department’s Master Plan direction. The Women’s Wilderness proposal proved most aligned with those community values identified during the engagement process (interior preservation, neighborhood compatibility, and public access, community benefit and use) and with Master Plan goals (youth engagement and activity,  financial sustainability, taking care of what we have, building community and relationships and organizational readiness).

Staff has participated in good faith negotiations with Women’s Wilderness concerning lease terms and maintenance expectations since late November 2019.  Information on the negotiated draft lease terms and  how those terms align with the community’s values and the department’s Master Plan can be found in the full Harbeck -Bergheim House January 2020 memo to PRAB pdf.  

Concurrently, the department hosted multiple volunteer projects over the past several months, lending to the city’s ongoing stewardship of the house. A total of 224 hours of service were contributed by volunteers completing minor repairs, cleaning and painting at the site. Before and after photos of the completed work can be found on the  Volunteer Project Snapshot pdf .


Please use the 'How can I stay informed?' tab at the bottom of this page to hear about upcoming opportunities.


Early January 2020 Update

Watkins Stained Glass Studio , internationally recognized as a foremost expert in the field of antique stained-glass window restoration, conservation and preservation is currently working on the large stained-glass window in the Harbeck-Bergheim House. Watkins has generously offered to host an opportunity for the community to the house while the restoration is in process. They will be available onsite to demonstrate the process and provide an opportunity for the community to see this historic restoration in process. The window is being restored onsite.

Window Restoration Demonstration @
Harbeck-Bergheim House

Tuesday, Jan 7, 2020
1:15 – 3 p.m.
1206 Euclid Ave.

Staff is still working diligently on the lease negotiation and will provide more information as soon as possible. The latest information was provided in a memo to PRAB at their regular business meeting on Dec. 19, 2020. The confidentiality remains in place until the lease negotiation is final, but staff is hoping to be able to provide more information shortly.

December 2019 Update

Due to inclement weather the PRAB meeting on Nov. 25 was cancelled to keep our board members, staff and community safe and off the snowy roads. Staff will provide an update to PRAB Dec. 17. Monthly PRAB meetings are always open to the public with memos posted online the Wednesday before each meeting. The community is welcome to provide comment at the beginning of each PRAB meeting.

Staff is excited to share as much information as possible about the proposal selection process leading to the initiation of a lease of the Harbeck - Bergheim House. Existing confidentiality of city purchasing guidelines are considered in this regard. Staff recognizes that this is not a purchased service or good, however, following the purchasing guidelines ensures consistency within our organization.

Colorado Group received 5 lease proposals by the response due date and time. The staff review team received a package of all submitted proposals and a list of criteria for evaluation, which mirrored in the selection process outlined in presentations to the community and related boards. The criteria are divided in 2 categories (community values and financial considerations) to ensure that the proposals evaluations honor the evaluation model developed during the community engagement process.

The staff review team evaluations led to an offer to 1 of the 5 submitted lease proposals that most aligned with the selection process criteria to proceed with lease/contract negotiation. All proposals will remain confidential until the contract negotiation is complete . This is consistent with the City’s traditional Request for Proposal) RFP process and standard real estate practices. Once the negotiation is complete, the final lease/contract approval will become public through the customary practices of sharing PRAB packet materials in advance of the Board’s consideration.

The stained-glass window restoration began on Dec. 9 with an anticipated timeline of 4-6 weeks. The glazing on the exterior (box window on the exterior protecting the window) will be completed in the spring of 2020 based on current weather conditions.

The interior easement is in process and expected to be complete by the end of the year. Any new lessee will be provided a draft and any negotiation points to ensure they are aware and willing to comply. The lease agreement will include additional details and required permissions from staff or director not covered by the easement. Preservation continues to be a high priority for this house and surrounding property.

November 2019 Update

Proposals to lease the Harbeck-Bergheim House were due on Nov.1. The response period is now closed, and the proposals are in the process of evaluation. The evaluation will be based on the criteria previously agreed upon with the community, boards and City Council. The process developed by and presented to the community is being closely followed to honor the collaborative process.

Staff anticipates a completion of the evaluation by Nov.15. Once a proposal is selected, the process of contract negotiation with that organization will begin. Staff will share the selection process and the proposal award with PRAB on Nov. 25. Monthly PRAB meetings are always open to the public with memos posted online the Wednesday before each meeting. The community is welcome to provide comment at the beginning of each PRAB meeting.

The proposals or details of the all other proposals not awarded can only be shared after a contract is signed. Staff will be happy to share them, once that step is complete.

The stained-glass window restoration is scheduled to begin Dec.1 with an anticipated timeline of 4 weeks. The glazing on the exterior will need to be completed in the spring based on current weather conditions.

The interior easement is in process and expected to be complete by the end of the year. Any new lessee will be provided a draft and any negotiation points to ensure they are aware and willing to comply. The lease agreement will include additional details and required permissions from staff or director not covered by the easement. Preservation continues to be a high priority for this house and surrounding property.

August 2019 Update

The Parks and Recreation Department has opened the process to receive competitive proposals to lease the landmarked Harbeck-Bergheim House, located at 1206 Euclid Ave. The Colorado Group was selected to support the department with the process by applying industry standard methods for a lease listing, marketing, proposal evaluation recommendations and contract negotiation with the understanding of the special needs and community interest for this house. They will support he department with proposal evaluation recommendations, however, the department will also rely heavily on key themes and community values developed with the community to make a decision.

As part of that support, CO Group will host an Open House on Sept. 18 for those interested in submitting a proposal to lease the property. This is a real estate style open house. Staff will not be present to answer overall project questions. It is intended to provide an opportunity for those interested in submitting a proposal to view the inside of the house. Please feel free to contact staff via e-mail or phone for general project inquiries.

The brochure pdf contains contact information for interest in the property. It also includes a link to the Proposal Selection Process providing details of the process, requirements of the proposals and the timeline.

Lease Proposal Timeline

Request for Proposal (RFP) Issuance   August 30, 2019
Open House  September 18, 2019
Proposal Responses (Due 5 p.m)  November 1, 2019
Lessee Selection November 15, 2019

July 2019 Update

Staff has been developing a fair and transparent proposal process and investigating the most efficient and effective way to list the Harbeck-Bergheim House for lease. After multiple internal department meetings, evaluation of available internal support, review of listing processes and access to property management in other departments, the need for a professional in the real estate industry was identified. A listing agent will support staff with the process by applying industry standard methods for a lease listing, marketing, proposal evaluation recommendations and contract negotiation with the understanding of the special needs and community interest for this house.

It is anticipated that proposals will be accepted from July to September of 2019. The notification to the community regarding the request for proposal will be managed by the listing agent in partnership with staff utilizing multiple methods of communication providing the opportunity to a broad audience. The request for proposals will include criteria as outlined in previous memos honoring community values and department key themes.

Once leased, the department may consider inclusion in a citywide property management contract. This decision will be dependent on the future lessee and contract negotiated for the property intending to consider the level expertise required and efficiencies it could create.

In addition, staff is working towards completing other items previously committed to regarding the house. Multiple quotes are under review for stained-glass window restoration and replacement of the glazing. A final decision on the contractor and a schedule should be available by the end of July. The intention is to have the work completed while the building is vacant.

Colorado Historical Foundation’s Easement Committee of the Board of Directors approved acceptance of an interior easement for the Harbeck-Bergheim House, intended to protect interior historical features of the home. The agreement to accept an easement allows the department and the foundation to negotiate the terms of the easement. It is anticipated that the easement negotiations will be complete prior to the deadline for lease proposal submissions in September. Any future improvements to the building, by the city or future lessees, will comply with the interior easement.

May 2019 Update

Staff presented the motion language approved by PRAB to City Council on April 16.

Staff recommendation: Motion support the exploration of a lease for the Harbeck-Bergheim House at market rate favorably considering community values but in no instance at less than full cost recovery.

Ten community members spoke in support of the public process and recommended motion. Five of the speakers also made note of their desire for more flexibility in the cost recovery lease rate. A language amendment by City Council was suggested to include more flexibility in the rate to support uses that would be beneficial to the community as a whole.

City Council amendment: Motion support the exploration of a lease for the Harbeck-Bergheim House at market rate favorably considering community values but expected to be no less than full cost recovery.

In a 7-1 vote, with Councilman Bob Yates dissenting, council approved the amended motion to explore a lease. Staff will begin the development of a request for proposal to explore a lease as outlined in previous memos to PRAB and City Council. PRAB can expect regular updates throughout that process.

April 2019 Update

April 2019 Update: Phase 4 identify Preferred Option

The Parks and Recreation Board (PRAB) voted unanimously in support of a motion to support the exploration of a lease of the Harbeck-Bergheim House. Eight community members spoke at the hearing in favor of the motion and expressed gratitude for the community engagement process to arrive at the recommendation. The March 25 meeting minutes will be available on the PRAB page once approved at the following meeting.

Next Steps:

April 16 - City Council Public Hearing
Tuesday, April 16, 2019
6 p.m.
Municipal Building
City Council Chambers
1777 Broadway Street

The Harbeck-Bergheim House will be presented to City Council as a Public Hearing. The memo prepared for City Council is available online. Included in the memo are multiple letter of support from community organizations who have been involved throughout the process. The community will have the opportunity to share their views as part of the agenda item. Please visit this City Council web page for information about Public Hearing Speakers.

March 2019 Update

March 2019 Update: Phase 4 Identify Preferred Option

The Parks and Recreation Board (PRAB) was part of 2 discussions in February. The first was a special  held with PRAB and the Landmarks Board for discussion regarding the refined options on February 21. The outcome of that meeting was shared during the regular monthly PRAB meeting for further discussion pdf among the board and staff on February 25.

Based on those discussions and community feedback throughout the process, staff will be presenting a preferred option to PRAB for consideration of a motion to support the exploration of a lease of the Harbeck-Bergheim House pdf on March 25. The motion is scheduled as an action item with a public hearing. There will be time for the community to share their voice as part of the agenda item. The community is invited to speak but will need to sign up to speak before the meeting starts at 6:00 p.m. Regular PRAB meetings occur the fourth Monday of each month with agenda and related information available the Wednesday prior to each meeting. The full Harbeck-Bergheim House memo to PRAB is available for public access.

The Landmarks Board has been included in regular updates and served as a consultative body throughout the process. A letter from the Landmarks Board pdf has been submitted to the PRAB outlining their support and recommendations were taken into consideration in the staff recommendation.

Based on overwhelming support and encouragement from the community and boards, staff applied for a 1-year extension of the non-conforming use. Shortly after the March PRAB memo was posted, the extension was approved through May 31, 2020. 

Next Steps:

Mar. 25 - PRAB Action Item (with public hearing)

Monday, Mar. 25, 2019
6 p.m.
Municipal Building
City Council Chambers
1777 Broadway Street

The project is scheduled as an action item on the agenda. This meeting will include a public hearing as part of the scheduled action item. That means there will be time for the community to share their voice as part of the agenda item.

April 16 - City Council Public Hearing*

Tuesday, April 16, 2019
6 p.m.
Municipal Building
City Council Chambers
1777 Broadway Street

The Harbeck-Bergheim House will be presented to City Council as a Public Hearing. The community will have the opportunity to share their views as part of the agenda item. Please visit this City Council web page for information about speaking at meeting.

* Please note the change in the City Council meeting date and format. It was previously scheduled as a Matter from the City Manager on April 2. We apologize for any inconvenience this date change may cause.

February 2019 Update

February 2019 Update: Phase 3 Research and Refine Options

Thank you to the eleven community leaders who volunteered their time to participate in the second stakeholder discussion on Jan. 16 and the 60+ community members who were able to join staff at the third public meeting on Jan. 31. For those community members unable to attend the public meeting, the presentation boards are available for review and comment until Feb.18. At that time, staff will close the comment period to summarize the feedback from the stakeholder discussion, public meeting and online comments for the joint PRAB and Landmarks Board meeting on Feb. 21.

Public Meeting Presentation Boards

Next Steps

Phase 3 - Research and Scenario Building

Feb. 13 – Harbeck-Bergheim House Self-Guided Tour

Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2019
5 - 6 p.m.
1206 Euclid Avenue

Staff will be onsite to allow community members to view the interior of the house. Staff will not be presenting new material at this time.

Feb. 21 - Joint PRAB and Landmarks Board (no public comment)

Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019
5 - 6:30 p.m.
Municipal Services Center
5050 East Pearl Street

This is a special joint board meeting set up for discussion of the Harbeck-Bergheim House. This meeting will be open to the public in a listening capacity. There will not be an opportunity for the community to speak at this meeting.

Phase 4 - Identify Preferred Option(s)

Feb. 25 - PRAB Discussion Item

Monday, Feb. 25
6 p.m.
Municipal Building
City Council Chambers
1777 Broadway Street

The Harbeck-Bergheim House is scheduled as a discussion item. The discussion will occur between PRAB and staff as a follow up to the joint meeting. As always, the community is welcome to share their views at the beginning of the meeting during the standard Public Participation agenda item.

Mar. 25* - PRAB Action Item (with public hearing)

Monday, Mar. 25
6 p.m.
Municipal Building
City Council Chambers
1777 Broadway Street

The project is scheduled as an action item on the agenda. This meeting will include a public hearing as part of the scheduled action item. That means there will be time for the community to share their voice as part of the agenda item.
*Note: this date is corrected from the public meeting board. Edit was made to the board posted online.

April 2 - City Council Matter from the City Manager
April 16 -  City Council Public Hearing*

Tuesday, April 2 April 16*
6 p.m.
Municipal Building
City Council Chambers
1777 Broadway Street

The Harbeck-Bergheim House will be presented to City Council as a Matter from the City Manager. The community will have the opportunity to share their views at the beginning of the meeting, as at every regular City Council meeting during the Open Comment. City Council meetings are open to the public and you may sign up to speak to council about city issues.
*Note: this date and type of agenda item has changed at the request of City Council.

December 2018 Update

Phase 3 Research and Refine Options

Staff continues to research and develop refined options based on community values in preparation for the upcoming community engagement in January, 2019. Additional research information is published on this page as it becomes available.

Case Studies pdf of similar properties with recent use and ownership challenges and opportunities were summarized to showcase successes and to help guide a successful outcome for the Harbeck-Bergheim House. Additional links to more information about each property are embedded in the PDF for more information about any of the properties.

An Interior Assessment Memo pdf was provided by a local consultant. This memo is intended to help inform any future interior protections (i.e. easements) which might be applied to the building. This assessment focuses on zones of the house to better articulate the areas which might be suitable for future interior protection. Intact character defining features of the interior are included.

The second stakeholder discussion will be held on Jan. 16, 2019. As before, this is an invite-only small group stakeholder discussion prior to the main public meeting. The number of invitees is limited at the stakeholder meeting to allow for a more in-depth conversation. Stakeholder discussions will be transparently shared at the public meeting.

Information/Feedback Opportunity

Public Meeting #3
Thursday January 31, 2019
Municipal Service Center
5050 East Pearl Street
Boulder, CO 80301

November 2018 Update

Phase 2 Values and Options

Staff provided and update to PRAB and a more in-depth Information Item pdf to City Council in October. The Information Item contains the current Harbeck-Bergheim House (house) planning process exploring ownership/operation models and community values in determining future use of the landmarked City of Boulder property. It also provided a summary of current reports, research and additional background information about the property’s use and financial history as well as community feedback to date. Further, the memo outlined an overview of the remaining process including research to be completed and additional community engagement planned before council’s next review in early 2019.

The page is still available for viewing but has moved into the archive category until the next round of public engagement in 2019. The live page is reserved for projects with current engagement activities for the community. Feedback is encouraged throughout the project directly to staff.

Upcoming Opportunities:

As a follow-up to the Information Item, staff has invited City Council to a light dinner and tour of the house on Nov. 1, 6-7:30 p.m. The community is welcome to view the house as a self-guided tour during that time. No presentation will be given. This is a casual opportunity for City Council to experience the house.

Staff will provide an update to the Landmarks Board on Nov. 7, which will be very similar to that provided to PRAB in October.

A stakeholder and public meeting is anticipated in the first quarter of 2019 where the project will move into Phase 3: Research and Refined Options. Staff will use the research and background information collected in combination with expressed values and feedback from community, boards and City Council to develop refined options for the future use and ownership of the house. This will include another round of community engagement with stakeholder and public meetings in conjunction with a broad digital engagement effort to reach beyond those currently invested. The refined options will be aligned with the original 3 options (sale, lease or city owned/operated/programmed) while considering the values that have been expressed through the comprehensive community feedback. These refined options will also be informed by all the research completed to date including appraisals, lease rates, O&M costs, historic assessments, etc.

October 2018 Update

October Update: Phase 2 Values and Options


There is now a compiled list of grants awards from the State Historic Fund 1993-2017. pdf for City of Boulder properties or projects. State Historic Fund has contributed $46,175 to the Museum of Boulder for exhibits, brochures and exterior restoration of the Harbeck-Bergheim House.

Official House Naming:  

The original 1972 PRAB memo requesting the official name official name pdf of the house be “Harbeck-Bergheim House”. 


More interior photos have been posted to .

Consultants :

Consultants have been hired to perform a home inspection, value appraisal and an interior historic asset assessment. The inspection report provided insight on existing condition of the building. Parks and Recreation department is working with Facilities and Asset Management department to review and address any immediate needs. No major improvements are planned at this time but rather minor needs to maintain current condition will be made. Examples of minor needs are updating the security system, testing fire suppression system and monitoring heating system throughout the winter. The appraisal and historic asset assessment are still underway.


An update will be provided to PRAB on October 22. PRAB meetings are always open to the public. You can find the agenda and the PRAB Packet under PRAB menu on the right after October 17.

City Council:  

An Information Item is scheduled for October 25. The Information Item is not attached to any particular meeting but the information will be available online after the 25th under Council Documents . Staff is trying to arrange a tour and dinner for City Council at the house in conjunction with the information item.

Online Survey

In effort to reach a citywide audience, an online Community Values Survey was developed to touch the same points discussed at the stakeholder and public meetings. The results and comments from the survey can be found here. pdf

Idea Generation:

We are excited that the community has submitted so many ideas, varying from a very specific use to a broad idea of what they would like the house to become. We are keeping the full list of ideas. However, those ideas are all dependent on the first decision that must be made.

In order to keep focused on the main objective of the project, here is a very short review. Three options for the future of the house were outlined for City Council on April 5, 2018. Full Information Item pdf can be found here.

With the MOB vacating the property this summer, the department has evaluated all of the information presented and identified options for consideration by City Council, the PRAB and the community. These options were identified through extensive consideration of all the topics described through the analysis section of this memo and align with the overarching goal of finding a financially sustainable option that meets the department’s mission and capital investment strategy. These options are described below and will be presented to the community as outlined.

Option 1 - Sale of the property to fund Parks and Recreation Department capital backlog priorities, including historic and cultural assets in City of Boulder Parks

Option 2 – Retain ownership of the property and lease at current market rate

Option 3 – Retain property for city use pending identified funding source

As part of the public engagement process, we have heard from the community that there is a desire for a hybrid solution of the above. That is a very common outcome for processes similar to this. Once this decision is made, the valuable ideas shared with staff regarding the end use can be explored for feasibility and sustainability.

Some of the ideas and quotes provided by the community are below. This is a small sampling of a wide range of ideas from public meetings and the online survey, direct e-mail (not intended to be a complete list).

  • A “Community Academy” on the Hill can add vitality to our local citizens. It can spur events and interactions among the children, the young and the old. Perhaps we can have a discussion of the activities that such a nucleus can stimulate. This question precedes the question of funding.
  • Please fund mutually beneficial community amenities that enhance the potential quality of life now, such as the game courts, playgrounds, aquatic centers, and other park and recreation facilities that boost community health and happiness.
  • I think using this building as a community and social benefit specifically as a low lease option for youth services and or arts and cultural use would be an amazing asset!
  • I have lived in Boulder 10 years and am just vaguely aware of this property. Whatever significance and historical value it might have has been lost on me. I think that the best way to make this property valuable to the city is to use it for some capacity that makes it a functional part of the city. Perhaps rezone it so it could be a restaurant/bistro/coffee shop/gift shop. As it is, it is barely noticeable and might be better off to free up the capital/equity for something else by selling it to a private owner.
  • I would love to see it used for non-profit organizations for meetings and events, especially those that can contribute towards maintenance of the house.
  • Developing this as low-income housing could be one way to get closer to the City's affordable housing goals AND diversify the neighborhood.
  • Use Harbeck House as a showcase for the responsible historical restoration by partnering with local businesses that already provide these services.
  • Sell it on the open market and use the proceeds to create quiet zones at all of Boulder's railroad crossings. The city has previously stated that they don't know where they could get the money for quiet zones, which would allow hundreds, if not thousands, of Boulder citizens to literally sleep better at night, resulting in more peaceful and better-rested (and thus less-dangerous) citizens.
  • See for more suggestions made by the community.

September 2018 Update

Phase 2: Values and Options

Thank you to members of the community who were able to visit the house on Aug 28 th for a self-guided tour of the interior.

The Project Process and Approach timeline graphic below has been extended at the request of the community and to complete additional research necessary for the decision-making process. The phases will remain the same during a longer period of time with additional community touchpoints.

The next step will be an update to PRAB on Oct. 22 and the submission of an Information Item to City Council in Oct. During this step, staff will share community feedback and review the extended process and approach. No decisions will be made at this juncture. However, staff is soliciting feedback from PRAB and City Council about the extended process.

A stakeholder meeting (invite only) and a public meeting is anticipated in early 2019.

In the meantime, staff has been collecting requested information. Some of the documents requested can be found in the tan box on the right or top of your screen. Additional documents will be shared as they become available.

Harbeck - Bergheim House: Exploring community Values Video

Project Process and Approach

Each phase in the process includes opportunities for community engagement. The Project Process and Approach diagram outlines those opportunities related to the phase.

Phase 1: Q1-Q2 2018
Define Issue and Information Sharing

Ensure the community has a thorough understanding of the situation and issues involved with the property such as:

  • Background
  • Parcel and Deed Restrictions
  • Zoning and Use Status
  • Landmark Designation
  • Fiscal Impact
  • Proposed Options Exploration

Phase 2: Q2-Q4 2018
Values and Options

Facilitate a variety of opportunities to share information, outline the options and receive community feedback and ideas

Share the three options outlined for further exploration

Evaluate all ideas and feedback to develop scenarios for further research and consideration

Phase 3: Q4 2018-Q1 2019
Research and Scenario Building

Develop scenarios using community’s values and feedback

Solicit feedback

Phase 4: TBD 2019
Identify Preferred Option

Present transparent process of consideration of all feedback from community stakeholders, Boards, City Council and subject experts compared to historic preservation and zoning restrictions

Seek consideration for approval from PRAB and City Council

July 2018 Update

Phase 2: community engagement focuses on Values and Options

Public Meeting No.2 - July 12, 2018

Prior to the public meeting, 20 members of the community accepted the community-wide invitation to participate in a self-guided tour of the vacated the house. Watch for two additional engagement opportunities in August and September.

Approximately 50 community members attended the meeting and shared their thoughts and ideas. The public meeting included a presentation reiterating the current conversation regarding the future of the property, zoning, planning and landmark restrictions and options followed by an open house forum. 

 Presentation Slides pdf
 Presentation Boards pdf

The feedback received is summarized and categorized in two key themes. In addition to the key themes, the public meeting also generated thoughts on additional information that would be valuable in the decision-making process and provided multiple ideas for possible future uses of the house. Feasibility of the ideas generated will be explored as the process moves forward.

Key Themes and Discussion Points from the Public Meeting


  • The house is worth maintaining as a community asset, a historical asset and a neighborhood focal point
  • Past experience with private ownership of historic property is commonly negative
    • No control over decline of property as it passes from owner to owner
    • City can only control who the first buyer is with preservation in mind but community and city have no control as it passes from buyer to buyer over the years
  • The house is a community asset, not just a parks and recreation asset
  • Selling the house for deferred maintenance or for budget shortfalls should not be considered
  • Selling should be considered with protections in place
  • Alternative community supported funding such as grants or tax increase should be considered before selling

Use and Neighborhood Compatibility

  • The house is a key element of the Hill Revitalization
  • Consider the broader historic value in connection with other historic and cultural assets such as Chautauqua and Columbia Cemetery, rather than a stand-alone asset

Stakeholder Meeting No.1 - June 21, 2018

Approximately 16 community members were invited to a discussion of values to be considered in the decision-making process regarding the future of the property. The stakeholders were selected as representatives of community groups most impacted by the future use and ownership of the house. Stakeholder feedback is summarized under three key themes. Not every discussion point is listed, although they will still be considered as part of the process. In addition, the group discussed areas where additional research needs to be done or where more information could be shared. Staff is working on prioritization and timelines for the information requested.

Key Themes and Stakeholder Discussion Points


  • The priority should be preservation/stewardship, regardless of ownership
  • The house is an important and unique asset to the City of Boulder
    • A sale of the house to shore up a budget shortfall appears short-sighted
    • Consider funding such as future bonds and grants to support the house
  • The Parks and Recreation department (P&R) may not be the best owner/steward
    • P&R has struggled with prioritization of cultural properties within its overall mission
    • Cultural properties need a different level of management than standard park assets
    • P&R is not traditionally in the business of managing/leasing facilities
    • Consider consolidating all city cultural assets under one department

Use and Neighborhood Compatibility:

  • Exterior and interior are a key neighborhood asset
    • Covenant or easement in lease or deed to protect the interior
  • Key priorities of steward or owner
    •  Understands neighborhood in terms of student and homeless populations and proximity to the playground and park
    • Values the historic quality of the property and understands the nature and cost of historic restorative maintenance
    • Limited desire for visual change (ex. garages and fences)

Public Access:

  • At least some public access to the preserved interior regardless of ownership
  • Consider making house and property feel more like part of the park
    • Example: Remove vegetation barriers and combine landscape maintenance
  • Consider restoring interior and exterior to be a neighborhood icon rather than maintained at a minimum required level

June 2018 Update

Phase 1: Community engagement focused on Defining the Issue and Information Sharing

Public Meeting No.1 - April 30, 2018

The first public meeting was part of the citywide open house attended by approximately 500 community members. An introduction pdf to the project was shared with the community as one of the project highlighted at the Parks and Recreation station.

As part of the Phase 1 outreach, City Council received and City Council Information Packet pdf on April 5, 2018 and the Parks and Recreation Board (PRAB) was updated on the progress at their monthly board meetings on April 2 and 23, 2018.

Additional outreach to the community about the initiation of the project was the development of this webpage as a source for the latest information, a link in the parks and recreation digital newsletter that reaches approximately 30,000 community members, and a press release.

Brief History

Click on the image below to see the timeline.

How can I stay informed?