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Historic Designations

 
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Denver’s local landmark designation program is a public process that recognizes properties of historical, architectural, geographical and cultural importance to the City and County of Denver. To be eligible for designation, a district or structure must maintain its integrity and meet three criteria of the possible ten.

Designation applications may be initiated by property owners, local residents and/or local business owners. Applications are reviewed by Landmark Preservation staff, the Landmark Preservation Commission (LPC) and ultimately by City Council, which makes the final decision on designation. LPC and City Council hold public hearings as part of their review. If a property is designated, City Council adopts a landmark designation ordinance, which is then recorded with the City Clerk. 


How to Designate a Structure or District

To qualify as a Denver landmark, a structure must maintain integrity, be at least 30 years old or be of exceptional importance, and meet at least three of the following ten criteria:

  1. Have a direct association with a significant historic event or with the historical development of the city, state, or nation;
  2. Have direct and substantial association with a recognized person or group of persons who had influence on society;
  3. Embody the distinctive visible characteristics of an architectural style or type;
  4. Be a significant example of the work of a recognized architect or master builder; 
  5. Contain elements of design, engineering, materials, craftsmanship, or artistic merit which represent a significant innovation or technical achievement;
  6. Represent an established and familiar feature of the neighborhood, community or contemporary city, due to its prominent location or physical characteristics;
  7. Promote understanding and appreciation of the urban environment by means of distinctive physical characteristics or rarity;
  8. Represent an era of culture or heritage that allows an understanding of how the site was used by past generations;
  9. Be a physical attribute of a neighborhood, community, or the city that is a source of pride or cultural understanding; 
  10. Be associated with social movements, institutions, or patterns of growth or change that contributed significantly to the culture of the neighborhood, community, city, state, or nation.

OneSet up a pre-application review meeting with Landmark Preservation staff.  The staff may help by:

 
  • Assessing whether a property or properties have potential for landmark or historic designation
  • Advising you which application and fees apply
  • Advising you what additional research is needed to complete the application form
  • Providing information about the designation process
  • Providing guidance to improve and strengthen your application

Two

Submit the completed application along with required fees to Landmark Preservation.

 

ThreeLandmark preservation staff will review your application to determine whether the application is complete and Denver landmark designation criteria are met.  

FourOnce Landmark Preservation staff determines that an application is complete and that landmark designation criteria are met, the application will be set for a public hearing before the Landmark Preservation Commission.  

 
  • The owner of record is notified and a sign is posted on the property announcing the public hearing and the pending designation.  
  • The Landmark Preservation Commission will hear public testimony at the hearing, and determine if the property or properties meets landmark designation criteria.  
  • If the commission determines that a property meets landmark designation criteria, the application is then forwarded to City Council.

 

FiveUpon recommendation of the Landmark Preservation Commission, the application for designation is forwarded to City Council.

 
  • A committee of City Council will review the designation application and determine whether the case is ready to move forward to the full City Council meeting.
  • In some cases, the Denver Planning Board will also provide a recommendation to City Council.
  • The Denver City Council designates a landmark or historic district by considering a designation bill at two meetings or readings of City Council. The second and final reading before City Council involves a public hearing.  
  • City Council makes the final decision on historic designation for a structure or historic district at the second reading. If approved, the designation goes into effect once the mayor signs the bill and records it with the clerk.

 

Additional requirements and time frames apply to various steps in the designation process. Please contact Landmark Preservation at 720-865-2709 or email at landmark@denvergov.org for more information.

 

Designation and Demolition/CDE Review

Landmark Preservation planners review all applications for total demolition and for certificates of demolition eligibility (CDEs) citywide, including for structures that are not local landmarks or that are not in historic districts. This requirement helps preserve Denver’s history by providing the community an opportunity to protect buildings that prove to have historic, architectural, geographic or cultural significance. Reviews determine whether the property has potential for designation. 

Properties that do not have potential are cleared for demolition or granted the CDE. For properties that do have potential, notice of the demolition/CDE application is posted for three weeks. If a designation application or a notice of intent to file a designation application is submitted, the property and next steps will be listed on this page. 

For complete details on the demolition/CDE review process, visit the Demolition and Certificate of Demolition Eligibility Review page.

How to submit:

A document stating "The signatory(ies) intend to file an application for designation of <PROPERTY ADDRESS>" and signed by all signatories listed in the statement, with their addresses included, must be delivered to Denver Landmark Preservation by the deadline listed for the property on the Demolition and Certificate of Demolition Eligibility Review page. The document may be submitted one of the following ways:

  • Submit in person at the Records Desk on the second floor of the Webb Municipal Building, 201 W. Colfax Ave., Denver. 
    OR
  • Submit by email by scanning the signed document and emailing it to landmark@denvergov.org.

Who may submit

City ordinance allows for three types of persons to submit a notice of intent to file a designation application:

  1. The executive director of Community Planning and Development
  2. A member or members of City Council
  3. Three (3) residents of the City and County of Denver

Currently, no notices of intent to file a designation application have been filed for any posted properties


Designation Applications Currently Under Review

Staff reports for proposed designations will be posted ahead of the appointed meeting or public hearing. If you use assistive technology and have trouble accessing the content in the PDF documents below, please contact Landmark@denvergov.org.


1272 Columbine St

1272 Columbine Photo

  • Application (PDF)
  • Landmark Preservation Commission Public Hearing
    • 1 p.m., Tuesday, December 1, 2020
    • Wellington Webb Building, 201 W Colfax Ave., Room 4.I.5
    • Options for virtual participation will be available and posted ahead of time
    • Staff Brief (PDF) 
    • Map (PDF)

Questions may be directed to Principal City Planner Kara Hahn (kara.hahn@denvergov.org).

910 Galapago St

910 Galapago St

  • Application (PDF)
  • Landmark Preservation Commission Public Hearing
    • 1 p.m., Tuesday, November 17, 2020
    • Wellington Webb Building, 201 W Colfax Ave., Room 4.F.6/4.G.2
    • Options for virtual participation will be available and posted ahead of time
    • Staff Brief (PDF) 
    • Map (PDF)
       

Questions may be directed to Principal City Planner Kara Hahn (kara.hahn@denvergov.org).


900 E. 1st Avenue (Carmen Court) - Speer - WITHDRAWN

Howard Chapel

Questions may be directed to Principal City Planner Kara Hahn (kara.hahn@denvergov.org).

 

Benefits of Designation

  • Historic designation acknowledges a property's importance and status within the community.
  • Financial incentives, such as grants and state and federal tax credits, may be available to offset rehabilitation costs. 
  • Historic properties tend to hold their value and appreciate faster than other properties. 
  • On average, property values are higher in locally-designated historic districts compared with adjacent neighborhoods without historic designation.
Contact Us

Landmark Preservation Office:
720-865-2709
landmark@denvergov.org