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Historic Preservation

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Loomis Addition Project:  Comprises fifteen blocks roughly equidistant between downtown Fort Collins and City Park. This two-part project includes a context report and survey analysis.

What is Historic Preservation?

Spotlight image: What is Historic Preservation?

Our mission is to protect, enhance, and preserve Fort Collins’ significant historical, architectural and geographical heritage in order to advance the economic, cultural and environmental qualities of the city.

Fort Collins has over 1,800 Fort Collins Landmarks and five Landmark Districts. A Fort Collins Landmark is a site, building, structure or object. Landmark Districts are a specific group of homes and outbuildings united by past events or people, or by architecture and physical development. Fort Collins Landmarks and Landmark Districts are officially recognized by City Council.

We collaborate with citizens, developers, and staff, participating in key community planning and development projects affecting over 10,000 historic and cultural resources in Fort Collins.  New construction, and the demolition or alteration of existing buildings, and design review of Fort Collins Landmarks are reviewed for their effects on neighborhood and community character.

Good design and rehabilitation of historic homes and businesses is encouraged through a large number of financial incentive programs. The Historic Preservation Office has also undertaken over 70 historic preservation grants, translating into over $21,000,000.00 in direct and indirect revenue. 

We offer advice on how to maintain your property, fix and repair features, and restore features back to the original condition. We want you to connect with your property’s history and provide the steps how to research your property. Discover more about Fort Collins’ history through research projects including historical contexts, survey reports, and development grants.

Historic, designated, or just old?

The Historic Preservation Office leverages grant funding with program funding to conduct neighborhood historical contexts and survey reports of historic neighborhoods and responds to building permits and development review. 

  • Fort Collins Landmarks are significant, retain integrity, and are recognized by City Ordinance or officially listed on the State or National Register – they are “designated.”
  • Eligible properties are significant, retain integrity, but are not officially listed – they are “historic.”
  • Ineligible properties are not significant, and/or do not retain integrity, and do not qualify for listing – they are “just old.”

Why do we care so much? The review requirements of local preservation ordinances are one of the best forms of protection for Fort Collins’ sense of place and the associated incentives are important for property owners. 

Why Bother to Designate?

Designation is voluntary; property owners initiate the designation process. Designation can be local, state, and/or national. A property can be listed at just one level, any combination of two levels, or all three levels. Impact on designated properties is considered for nearby development projects.

  • Local designation provides the most protection through the Historic Preservation Ordinance and provides financial incentives: Design Assistance Program and 0% Interest Rehabilitation Loans.
  • State designation provides financial incentives: State Income Tax Credits and Grants.
  • National designation provides financial incentives: Federal Income Tax Credits.

Local designation makes a property eligible for financial incentives, and in return requires more extensive review to protect the City’s investment in the property.  Financial incentives and review are tied to the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties.

Historic Preservation and Sustainability

Good for the Community – Fort Collins Landmarks and Landmark Districts help property owners act not only as owners but as stewards of history. Fort Collins Landmarks and Landmark districts contribute to Fort Collins’ sense of place.

Good for the Environment – Reusing historic buildings is recycling the built environment. Historic buildings have embodied energy, and by reusing them, we keep useful materials out of our dump and reduce carbon emissions. We provide resources and tips on how to make your property more energy efficient.

Good for the Economy – Fort Collins Landmarks and Landmark Districts give property owners more confidence in the long-term stability of the neighborhood -- which means they’re more likely to make investments in their property to the benefit of the entire community.

Learn about your property!

Learn more about historic preservation incentive programs. The Historic Preservation Office offers design assistance to get you started on project planning and a 0% interest rehabilitation loan to pay for materials and labor for a project.

You can research your property to learn about your property’s typology, style, the people who lived there, and how it’s changed over time. Fort Collins offers a wide range of resources for you to get acquainted with your property. There are other local resources that provide interesting historical information.

Have a historic property in need of some maintenance? Learn about maintenance tips. Have a historic property that needs an energy efficiency analysis? Learn more about energy efficiency tips and how to calculate the embodied energy of your property.