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Historic Designations Revamped

Updated: Apr 22, 2022

Photo by Jakob Rosen on Unsplash
Photo by Jakob Rosen on Unsplash.

Did you know that Colorado is full of historical landmarks? It's true. In fact, there are twenty-six national historic landmarks, like the Rocky Mountain National Park or Mesa Verde. Two of them even extend into New Mexico. There are even more historical landmarks on the state-level, including many buildings and sites in Denver. As our state grows, so will historic landmark building designations. Just as recently as November of last year, propositions were brought up that could challenge the way we look at these types of buildings. Continue reading for everything that you need to know.

Historic Landmark Designations

Since November, the Denver City Council has been considering whether it should make changes to the landowner-opposed landmark designation process. Councilmembers hosted a presentation to discuss Denver’s current antiquated ordinance. In order to get a property listed as a historic landmark in Denver, there is an application process. It so happens that Denver is one of only four cities that allows anyone to file an application to designate a property as historic. Most commonly, it’s the property owners themselves who file for the designation. Though the process can be arduous, it is an important tool for property owners and is available for a reason.

Primarily, the goal of these historic designations is to protect and preserve Denver’s history. Denver has a storied and rich past and some of the buildings in the city contribute to it's unique character. The way these sites have been designated have changed throughout the decades and will continue to be updated as time goes on. For example, in the 1950s and 60s hundreds of buildings and even entire neighborhoods were demolished to make way for new developments. Though new developments are important and necessary as the city grows, some buildings should have been saved in order to keep it's historic integrity. Therefore in 1967 the city council enacted its first landmark ordinance.

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