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Grainy black-and-white photo of shopping center












  • On December 24, 1952, F & S Construction announces plans for a $7 million, 5,000 home project outside of Denver.
  • It was announced in a Denver Post article on Feb. 19, 1953, that Mr. Hoffman had decided that the new community was to be called Thornton in honor of then current governor Dan Thornton.
  • The three Thornton model homes, located just off Washington Street, opened to the public in April of 1953.
  • On September 21, 1953 work on the first 30 homes began.
  • On January 31, 1954, the first 40 families moved into brand new, one-story brick houses constructed from the vision of builder Sam Hoffman
  • In 1954 the Thornton Women's Club is started and they print the first City directory for $1.
  • In April 28, 1954 the Thornton Community Association (TCA) forms.
  • Thornton’s first shopping center opened on Washington Street in May 1955. It contained stores such as Woolworths and Millers grocery store. Originally called Hoffman Heights Shopping Center, the name soon changed to the Thornton Shopping Center.
  • The Thornton Community Association was formed to help take care of the community.
  • Thornton’s first fire department and police department both began as volunteer groups.
  • On August 18, 1955, voters decided against incorporation with the total tally at 548 for incorporation, 620 votes against it.
  • The population of Thornton was 6,300, but only 1,168 people cast a vote in the election.
  • On May 26, 1956, Thornton was incorporated as a Colorado city.
  • At the time, Thornton had a population of 8,640 and was one square mile in size.
  • The Colorado legislature passed the bill into law and Thornton legally became the 11th largest city in Colorado.
  • In August 18, 1956 Thornton elects its first City officials.
  • In August 30, 1956, the first City Council meeting is held.
  • Thornton’s first municipal building was constructed in 1958 on Dorothy Boulevard.
  • In 1959, the Community Building next to City Pool was donated to the City by the Thornton Women's Club.

1950s /  1960s /  1970s /  1980s /  1990s /  2000s /  Future

City of Thornton
9500 Civic Center Drive, Thornton, CO 80229
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