Did You Know?

In 1988, Mayor Federico Peña and Denver City Council created the controversial Lower Downtown Historic District amidst significant concern from property owners. LoDo has gone on to be one of the most economically successful historic districts in the country.

2015 City Council Candidate Questionnaire

Denver has long been an incubator for new methods and tools for advancing historic preservation. In 1967, a year after Congress passed the watershed National Historic Preservation Act, Denver passed its own preservation ordinance which today outlines provisions related to historic designation, design review, and demolition review, and establishes a higher standard for designation than the national standard. In 1988, Mayor Federico Peña and Denver City Council created the controversial Lower Downtown Historic District amidst significant concern from property owners. The historic district was suggested by the 1987 Downtown Area Plan and a later Urban Design Plan, which suggested that reigning in demolition of LoDo’s historic warehouses could help stabilize the area and turn it into an artistic anchor for the city. In the years following the creation of the historic district, the area stabilized, businesses and residents moved in, and now LoDo is one of the most popular areas in the city.

In 2000, the city was again at a turning point, and while the LoDo Historic District was considered a success by many, its boundaries failed to protect many of Downtown Denver’s most significant structures. Once again, City Council and Mayor Wellington Webb worked with Historic Denver to champion historic preservation, with a unanimous vote to create the Downtown Historic District. The Downtown Denver Historic District is a non-contiguous district protecting 43 of the city’s most architecturally and historically significant buildings. By using innovative tax rebates for property owners, this “chocolate chip cookie” district protected historic buildings that were not yet threatened but which might not survive another boom/bust cycle.

Now Denver is facing an economy few could imagine in 1988 or even 2000, bringing new challenges related to development and density as the city grows. The City Council elected in May will once again be called upon to navigate uncharted waters, as the community seeks innovative solutions to protect historic resources, incentivize their rehabilitation and reuse, and welcome thousands of people flocking to Denver every year. No other elected body has more power to make or break preservation efforts than City Council with their significant land use authority. How this council, and Denver, balance density, sustainability, affordability, and preservation will define our city for decades to come.

Below, you'll find the complete set of answers from each candidate from Historic Denver's 2015 City Council Questionnaire. They are divided by district for ease of reading. While all candidates for Mayor and council seats were sent the survey by mail and electronically, not every candidate running for office submitted a response.  If you do not see a response from a particular candidate or district this is the reason. You can find a full list of candidates, watch their candidate introductions and biographies, and stream candidate forums at www.denverdecides.org. 



District 1


District 2


District 4








District 5


District 6


District 7


District 10








District 11





Disclaimer: Historic Denver does not endorse any candidate. Answers are arranged in the order in which they were submitted.