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Historic Preservation

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Recent Highlights

Historic Preservation Code and Process Review: The Fort Collins Historic Preservation Division is beginning the next level of its comprehensive program review. The City has contracted with Clarion, Inc., a respected firm with experience in preservation and urban planning, to do this review. Clarion has created a short, fillable questionnaire as a part of the on-going code review project. We are looking for as much feedback as possible -- any and all comments you provide will be helpful! Please email the completed questionnaire to Lisa Steiner at bHN0ZWluZXJAY2xhcmlvbmFzc29jaWF0ZXMuY29t.

Old Town Neighborhoods Design Guidelines: The City of Fort Collins has adopted new Old Town Neighborhoods Design Guidelines for the residential areas that extend east and west of Downtown Fort Collins. Because residents of these neighborhoods expressed a desire to maintain the historic character of the neighborhoods in a time of rapid change and redevelopment, City Council adopted the guidelines in February 2017 to help property owners consider existing character when planning maintenance and rehabilitation projects, new additions, and infill construction of new residences. The guidelines are voluntary and are filled with helpful information on the architectural styles commonly found in the area and tips for sensitive changes that will keep these neighborhoods a treasure for decades to come.

Historic Preservation Stories: Great Western Sugar Factory Flume and BridgeFoCo Cafe, and Colleen Scholz's Dentist OfficeLearn more about the unique opportunities stories of designated buildings and structures. You might be surprised to know that many historic buildings are now businesses! Please let us know what you think about these videos by emailing Cassandra Bumgarner at Y2J1bWdhcm5lckBmY2dvdi5jb20=.

Brian Cooke's Preservation Story: Check out Brian Cooke's story of how he made the decision to landmark and rehabilitate his property in historic Old Town. Brian owns a 100+ year old American Foresquare-style home, also known as a Denver Square. He discusses the obligations and incentives of landmark designation in this piece and how he came to the conclusion that designation was the right choice for him.

Loomis Addition Project

Spotlight image: Loomis Addition Project

The Loomis Addition Project comprises fifteen blocks roughly equidistant between downtown Fort Collins and City Park. Along with the West Side Addition directly to its north, the Loomis Addition was the first subdivision to be platted west of the Original Town plat.  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 Review Underway

Spotlight image: Historic Review Underway

During the demolition/alteration process, properties can be posted to allow for public comment. Posting occurs if the Chair of the Landmark Preservation Commission and the Director of Community Development and Neighborhood Services make a determination of eligibility for historic designation on a property and/or if the proposed work is considered major. Posting also occurs if the work goes to a public hearing. For more information about this process, please visit our in-depth explanation of the Demolition/Alteration Process.

Have you seen one of these yellow signs about a historic review? For a list of properties that have recently undergone historic review and the results, please go to this page

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.

Videos