Houses in Westminster, with the Rocky Mountains in the background
Location of Westminster in Adams County and Jefferson County, Colorado
|Platted||1885 as DeSpain Junction, later Harris|
|Incorporated||May 24, 1911 as the Town of Westminster|
|• Type||Home Rule Municipality|
|• Mayor||Herb Atchison|
|• City Manager||Donald M. Tripp|
|• Total||34.05 sq mi (88.19 km2)|
|• Land||31.73 sq mi (82.18 km2)|
|• Water||2.32 sq mi (6.01 km2)|
|Elevation||5,384 ft (1,641 m)|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||3,588.99/sq mi (1,385.74/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−7 (MST)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−6 (MDT)|
80003, 80005, 80020-80021, 80023, 80030-80031, 80035-80036, 80221, 80234, 80241, 80260
|Area code(s)||Both 303 and 720|
|GNIS feature ID||0204703|
|Highways||I-25, US 36, US 287, SH 95, SH 121, SH 128|
Westminster is a Home Rule Municipality in Adams and Jefferson counties in the U.S. state of Colorado. Westminster is a northwest suburb of Denver. The Westminster Municipal Center is located 9 miles (14 km) north-northwest of the Colorado State Capitol. As of the 2010 census the population of Westminster was 106,114, and as of 2019 the estimated population was 113,166. Westminster is the seventh most populous city in Colorado and the 237th most populous city in the United States. Westminster is a part of the Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO Metropolitan Statistical Area and the Denver-Aurora-Boulder Combined Statistical Area.
Gold discovered in the South Platte River Valley in 1858 brought national attention to the area that would become Westminster, Colorado. The promise of fortune and The Homestead Act of 1862 encouraged many pioneers from the east to settle in Colorado rather than continue on to California. Before the settlements came, wildlife like antelope and buffalo made their homes in the area. There is also evidence of Arapaho Indians near the Crown Point (Gregory Hill) area. Westminsters' first permanent settler was Kentucky farmer Pleasant DeSpain, who built his home in 1870 on 160 acres (near what is now West 76th Avenue and Lowell Street). The area became known as DeSpain Junction and attracted other settlers including Edward Bruce Bowles, who in 1881 constructed a brick Italianate house now known as the Bowles House. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1988. The village of DeSpain Junction grew into a small farming community and continued to attract new settlers despite the difficulty of farming in Colorado's arid climate. Connecticut real estate developer C.J. Harris arrived in DeSpain Junction in 1885 and purchased the DeSpain farm, among others. Harris combined the separate homesteads and divided it into smaller tracts of land, which he sold to fruit farmers. Harris renamed DeSpain Junction with his own and the area was referred to as Harris, Colorado. In 1890, New Yorker Henry T. Mayham convinced the Denver Presbytery to build a university on land that he owned in Harris. After delays caused by the depression of 1893, the school was built from red sandstone quarried in Colorado's Red Rocks region. The curriculum was patterned after Princeton University and was referred to as the "Princeton of the West". The school was incorporated as Westminster University of Colorado, and classes began in 1908 with one year's tuition costing $50 ($1,411 in 2018). The school ceased operating in 1917, when all students in attendance left to fight in World War I. In the following decade it operated as a church and school. In 1911, Harris voted to incorporate as a city and changed its name to Westminster, in honor of the university which is now on the National Register of Historic Places.
Westminster City Hall features a 14-story bell tower topped by a pyramid shaped steel mesh structure. The 130-foot spire, which is widely known and referenced as a community landmark, was first conceptualized as a symbolic tie and tribute to the clock tower of Westminster Palace in England known as Big Ben. The unveiling of the Bell Tower in 1986 was attended by the then mayor of Westminster, England. An English Oak can be seen on the City Hall property today- a gift to Westminster, Colorado, from Westminster, England.
Westminster is located in western Adams County and northeastern Jefferson County at  It is bordered to the north by Broomfield, to the northeast by Thornton, to the east by Northglenn and Federal Heights, to the southeast by Sherrelwood, Twin Lakes and Berkley, and to the south by Arvada.(39.862, -105.048).
According to the United States Census Bureau, Westminster has a total area of 34.05 square miles (88.19 km2), of which 31.73 square miles (82.18 km2) are land and 2.32 square miles (6.01 km2), or 6.81%, are water.
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the census of 2000, there were 100,940 people, 38,343 households, and 26,034 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,203.9 people per square mile (1,236.9/km²). There were 39,318 housing units at an average density of 1,248.0 per square mile (481.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 84.19% White, 1.23% African American, 0.74% Native American, 5.48% Asian, 0.08% Pacific Islander, 5.52% from other races, and 2.76% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 15.23% of the population.
There were 38,343 households out of which 35.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.6% were married couples living together, 9.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.1% were non-families. 23.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 4.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.62 and the average family size was 3.15.
In the city, the population was spread out with 26.9% under the age of 18, 9.6% from 18 to 24, 36.0% from 25 to 44, 21.0% from 45 to 64, and 6.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females, there were 100.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 98.9 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $56,323, and the median income for a family was $63,776. Males had a median income of $41,539 versus $31,568 for females. The per capita income for the city was $25,482. About 3.1% of families and 4.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.1% of those under age 18 and 6.3% of those age 65 or over.
The Denver Regional Transportation District (RTD) provides bus service to Westminster connecting it to Boulder and Denver via The Flatiron Flyer, a bus rapid transit service that travels in the US 36 express lanes.
The Westminster Center park-n-Ride operated by the RTD is located on both sides of U.S. 36 and is immediately across Sheridan Boulevard from the site. Approximately 1,546 people per weekday board at this facility, with approximately 498 buses per day serving this park-n-Ride.
Westminsters' top employers represent leading companies in high-tech, medical, energy, and other expanding fields. In 2019 the top ten primary employers in Westminster, ranked by number of employees included:
|Employer||# of Employees|
|3||St. Anthony's North Hospital||1015|
|5||Alliance Data Systems||677|
|6||Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association||541|
|7||MTech Mechanical Technologies Group||535|
High schools in or near Westminster include the Academy of Charter Schools, Hidden Lake High School, Jefferson Academy High School, Legacy High School, Mountain Range High School, Northglenn High School, Pomona High School, Standley Lake High School, and Westminster High School. In 2010 Adams County School District 50 opened a new Westminster High School replacing both the existing Westminster High School and Ranum High School, which graduated its last class that year.
Westminster has an extensive trail network and open space system. The highlight of the trail system is the Big Dry Creek Trail which extends approximately 12 miles (19 km) from the eastern boundary of the city to Standley Lake. Other trails parallel the Farmers' High Line Canal, Walnut Creek, and Little Dry Creek.
Westminster began preserving open spaces in 1985 when voters first approved a sales tax specifically earmarked to acquire and maintain open space. The city now owns more than 3,000 acres in all parts of Westminster. The city has preserved large expanses of land in the Standley Lake Regional Park, and the Westminster Hills area, among others. Westminster City Park, City Park Recreation Center, and many other neighborhood and community parks provide various recreation facilities. Westminster has several golf courses, including Legacy Ridge Golf Course, The Heritage Golf Course at Westmoor, Wallnut Creek Golf Course and the Hyland Hills golf course.
Downtown Westminster intersects directly with the new U.S. 36 Bikeway linking the largest trail system in the Front Range with over 145 miles.
Westminster is home to The Orchard Town Center, an outdoor mall featuring over 90 speciality retailers, dining and entertainment located at the intersection of I-25 and 144th Avenue The Orchard Town Center mall is anchored by an AMC theatre, JC Penney and REI.
Downtown Westminster is a 105-acre site almost equidistant between downtown Denver and Boulder. The new downtown will feature 18 acres of parks and public space. It integrates Smart City functionality to reduce consumption of water and energy and will have smart streetlights, parking garages, and meters. Development began with the completion of over 300 housing units, including 118 affordable housing units. Downtown Westminster features a now-open Alamo Drafthouse Cinema and a 125-room boutique hotel, the Origin Hotel, with an opening, slated as of February 2020[update], to be possibly July 2020. The Origin Hotel will offer corner suites overlooking Downtown Westminster, a fully equipped fitness center, an independent restaurant concept and 3,000 square feet of meeting space.
Downtown Westminster is planned to house 300 hotel rooms, 2,300 multi-family, condo and townhouse residential units, 2 million square feet of collaborative and class A office space, and 750,000 square feet of retail space.
- Outline of Colorado
- State of Colorado
- Colorado cities and towns
- Colorado counties
- Colorado metropolitan areas
- Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge
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