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FRONT PAGE NEWS: Goats Gone Missing, Reward Offered

Five Fridges Farm’s goats are still missing as the Neighborhood Gazette went to press, but the company is “overwhelmed with gratitude for the community helping us find the missing boys,” including seven trained volunteers from Colorado 4x4 Rescue and Recovery conducting a search on Jan. 1. PHOTO COURTESY OF 5 FRIDGES FARM

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FRONT PAGE NEWS: ‘The Velvet Elvis’ Preserving Colfax History

When Firstbank bought the stonewall motel property on West Colfax, they donated the sign to the Colfax Museum. “They delivered it here and everything,” says curator Jonny Barber. PHOTO BY LAURIE DUNKLEE

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PEOPLE YOU SHOULD KNOW: Wheat Ridge’s First Poet In Residence: Sharon Heinlen

“I have written poetry all my life, including as a young child,” said Sharon Heinlen, Wheat Ridge’s first-ever Poet In Residence. PHOTO COURTESY CITY OF WHEAT RIDGE

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NEIGHBORHOOD ARTS: Celebrate The New Year In The Art District

The 40 West Arts Gallery, 1560 Teller St., will hold an opening reception for its Members Exhibition on Feb. 1. The reception, from 5 to 9 p.m., will include wine or beer and light snacks. IMAGE COURTESY 40 WEST ARTS DISTRICT

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By Joel Newton

Did you know that there is a ghost town right behind Casa Bonita known as Spivak? Ever wondered why the shopping center, now known as Lamar Station Plaza, was formerly known as JCRS? Behind the grounds  and buildings of Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design (RMCAD) lies a story of the Jewish community and their deep desire to care for those who were struggling against tuberculosis. 

The Jewish Consumptives’ Relief Society (JCRS) was founded in 1904 as a sanatorium to treat patients with tuberculosis. Tuberculosis was the top killer of Americans at the turn of 20th century and doctors believed that the fresh air and sunshine of Colorado could help fight the disease. Even Doc Holliday of Tombstone fame sought the sun of Colorado in hopes it would cure his tuberculosis. 

Dr. Charles Spivak and Dr. Philip Hillkowitz, both Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe, were the early leaders of the society in Lakewood. JCRS was located north of Colfax Avenue from Pierce Street to Kendall Street. The campus grew to 148 acres and included 34 buildings with its own post office, synagogue and dairy farm. Throughout its 50-year history, JCRS provided free tuberculosis treatment for over 10,000 people

With the growth of antibiotics, tuberculosis ceased to be a widespread health crisis and so in 1954 the Jewish Consumptive Relief Society changed its focus to cancer research and became known as the American Medical Center.

In 1957, the property from Pierce Street to Kendall Street that sat on the north side of Colfax was sold to become the JCRS Shopping Center where Casa Bonita would open in 1974. In 2002, Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design purchased the JCRS campus north of the shopping center. Finally, in 2014, Broad Street Realty purchased most of the JRCS Shopping Center and renamed it Lamar Station Plaza, reflecting the name of the RTD’s West Rail Line stop at Lamar Street.