Do you live in an older or historic neighborhood? Are you concerned about a historic property in your community? The resources below provide guidance on neighborhood-level preservation tools, such as historic districts, conservation districts and pattern and idea books. You can also find advice on actions you can take to help protect a building you care about.
If you are concerned about a particular property, visit the Threatened Resources
page for information, and to complete Historic Denver's Threatened Resources information form
to ensure our organization is aware of your concerns.
Historic District Designation
Historic designation is one method of ensuring that changes to a neighborhood occur thoughtfully, preserving the fabric of a neighborhood that people love — homes with history, vital dwellings that preserve the past — while acknowledging modern lifestyles. Navigating the ins and outs of the designation process and what it means for your property, however, can be a difficult task. We've created a Historic Designation FAQ guide
, which answers many of the questions we commonly receive from property owners.
New!: Read Historic District How To, A Step by Step Guide
When Denver updated the city zoning code in 2010 it included a new tool, the Conservation District. Conservation District are different than historic districts because they do not regulate demolition of historic structures and do not require design review of modifications. However, conservation districts can create special zoning that supports the character of a neighborhood. For example, if your neighborhood is a low-slung, mid-century neighborhood you can create zoning that reinforces these attributes and requires new construction to meet certain, objective, parameters. If you neighborhood has tall homes on narrow lots, a conservation district can provide the opportunity to built a little differently than allowed in a typical zone district. Like historic districts, conservation districts must ultimately be approved by the Denver City Council. Unlike historic districts conservation districts require 51% landowner consent.
Pattern & Design Idea Books
Historic Denver has created four Pattern and Design Idea Books to provide inspiration to homeowners that reside in neighborhoods that characterize a particular period from our history, but are in areas that are gaining popularity and are experiencing development pressure. Both minor remodels, which don't alter the exterior of the home, and major remodels, which increase the square footage of the home, are presented. Click HERE
to view the Pattern and Design Idea Books for Krisana Park in Denver, Pre-WWII Homes in Arvada, Post-WWII Homes in Arvada, and Post-WWII Homes in Aberdeen Village, Littleton.
Historic Denver Action Fund
Historic Denver launched the Action Fund in 2015 to catalyze innovative neighborhood and community projects that enhance the city’s unique identity, promote and maintain authentic character, and honor cultural heritage as reflected in the built environment. Through the Action Fund Historic Denver will select one to three community or neighborhood projects each year. Projects will receive technical assistance, staff support and direct financial investment from Historic Denver, ranging from $2,500 to $10,000. Projects will be selected through an annual competitive application process, with applications due September 1. More details here.
The City of Denver has a demolition review process that provides a window of opportunity for the community to consider the loss of a building that has potential for designation as a local landmark under the Denver Landmark Ordinance. Read more about Demolition Review, including the Certificate of Non-Historic Status process, here.