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Historic Preservation

Contact Information

About Us

Mission

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.

Vision

The Historic Preservation Division promotes a World Class community by working collaboratively with all citizens to advance the economic, cultural and environmental qualities of the city through preserving, enhancing, and promoting Fort Collins' significant heritage and saving the places that are meaningful to our citizens. We demonstrate our commitment to our citizens' vision through predictable, transparent, and responsive processes based on best practices, while continuously striving for innovation and improvement.

History

The City's preservation program began in 1968 with the Landmark Ordinance in the Fort Collins Municipal Code and the establishment of the Landmark Preservation Commission.

The City has been a Certified Local Government (CLG) since 1991. The CLG program gives the City broad powers to administer state and federal preservation regulations, including Section 106 Review and Compliance; provides a dedicated pool of federal grants; and enables citizens of Fort Collins to participate in the state historic preservation tax credit program. In return, it requires that the City enforce appropriate state and local legislation for the designation and protection of historic properties, including, "Standards, criteria and procedures for review of alterations, demolitions or new construction in the jurisdiction of the CLG which must be consistent with the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Treatment of Historic Properties."

In 1994, the City adopted the Historic Resources Preservation Program Plan (HRPPP), which captures the city's mission, "to enhance the quality of life in Fort Collins by the preservation of historic resources and the inclusion of heritage in the daily life and development of the city and the community." The Demo/Alt Review Process was adopted in 1994. Due to the combined positive effect of the LPC Design Review Subcommittee, the Design Assistance Program, and other financial incentives, virtually all were resolved without the need to continue to a LPC Hearing.

Since the adoption of the HRPPP, the program has had two comprehensive reviews. First, Winter and Company completed the Historic Preservation Program Assessment and Implementation Plan in 2010. Between 2012 and 2014, Historic Preservation staff undertook a comprehensive evaluation of the City's Historic Preservation Program to enhance its transparency, predictability, and effectiveness. The Historic Preservation Improvement Plan resulted in a set of code changes that City Council approved in April 2014.

Program Development

Today there are over 1,800 historically designated properties in Fort Collins, including five districts. The City's downtown revitalization began in the late 1970s with Local, State, and National Register designation of the Fort Collins Old Town Historic District, the first in the state. The result is one of the most vibrant, successful historic downtowns in the country. The Laurel School National Register Historic District, containing over 600 properties, was designated in 1980. Sheely Drive Landmark District encompasses 11 properties, and is the first 1950s-era local landmark residential district designated in Colorado. Whitcomb Street Landmark District encompasses 14 properties, which together form a cohesive unit historically, architecturally, and developmentally.

The Historic Preservation Division works collaboratively 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 alteration or demolition of existing buildings, is reviewed for its effect on neighborhood and community character. Good design and rehabilitation of historic homes and businesses is encouraged through a large number of financial incentive programs available to citizens.

The Historic Preservation Office has also undertaken the writing and managing of over 70 historic preservation grants, translating into over $21,000,000.00 in direct and indirect revenue. Staff efforts have resulted in tremendous national, state and local recognition for Fort Collins, including the city's status as a "Preserve America Community" by the White House; as a Take Pride in America Community; as the recipient of three Governor's Awards for Downtown Excellence and four State Honor Awards, and Fort Collins' recent selection as a Dozen Distinctive Destination by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Core Responsibilities

  • Landmark Preservation Commission
  • State and Federal Income Tax Credit Programs
  • Design Assistance Program
  • Landmark Rehabilitation Loan Program
  • Conservation Easements
  • State Historic Fund Grants
  • Historic Structure Assessment Grants
  • Education and Outreach
  • Development Review
  • Design Review
  • Demolition/Alteration Review
  • Section 106 Review and Compliance
  • Certified Local Government
  • Grant and Project Management
  • Historic Building Survey and Recordation

Recognition

The Fort Collins Historic Preservation Office is committed to providing world class service to the community. Our award-winning program serves as an example of best practices to communities throughout the State of Colorado. The Historic Preservation is a proud recipient of the following awards:

Preserve America Program

2013 For the preservation and interpretation of the Coca-Cola/Angell's Delicatessen Sign.

Colorado Preservation, Inc. - State Honor Awards

2007 Museo de las Tres Colonias for rehabilitation of the Romero House
2005 New Partners, LLC (Steve Levinger) for rehabilitation of the Armstrong Hotel
1999 Historic Fort Collins Development Corporation for the best use of Colorado's Most Endangered Places to save the Preston Farm
1994 Taco Bell and Architecture One for painstakingly converting a Spanish Revival dwelling into a drive-through restaurant
1992 Cheryl and Ralph Olson for restoring their historic property
1990 Fort Collins Water and Wastewater Utility and Director, Mike Smith for rehabilitation of the City's Landmark 1883 Waterworks Building
1990 For the preservation and interpretation of the Coca-Cola/Angell’s Delicatessen Sign.

Colorado Historical Society - Stephen H. Hart Award

2013 Restoration efforts for the Coca-Cola/Angell's Delicatessen sign
2004 Poudre Landmark Foundation Avery House Guild for stewardship of the Avery House
2003 John Albright for his contributions to field of historic preservation
2000 City of Fort Collins Utilities Office for sensitive flood proofing
1996 Historic Linden, LLC for rehabilitation of the Linden Hotel
1994 Taco Bell Corporation for rehabilitation of the Mawson House
1990 City of Fort Collins for restoration of the old waterworks building
1986 Fort Collins Municipal Railway Society for restoring trolley system

Colorado Community Revitalization Association - Governor's Award for Downtown Excellence

2005 Armstrong Hotel Rehabilitation (Special Achievement Award)
2003 Northern Hotel

American Planning Association

1994 Outstanding Planning Efforts for Historic Preservation

American Association for State and Local History - Award of Merit

2013 For the preservation and interpretation of the Coca-Cola/Angell's Delicatessen Sign