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Historic Preservation

 Contact Information

Dept Head: Karen McWilliams

Financial Incentives

Owning a historic building that is part of the community's history can be rewarding, but also comes with its own challenges and obligations. Owners of designated historic properties in Fort Collins are eligible for several financial incentives to help plan with the care and maintenance of the city's recognized treasures. If you own an historic building, or plan to acquire one in the future, check out the information below about the various tools you may be able to use to help preserve these pieces of history. 

Please note that different historic designations (i.e., federal, state, or local) can result in access to different incentives, as outlined below. However, most of these programs use the Secretary of the Interior's Standards and Guidelines for the Treatment of Historic Properties to determine what work is appropriate and qualifies for funding.

Tax Credits

Colorado State Tax Credits

A State Tax Credit for 20% of qualified expenses on historic properties.

  • Who qualifies: Residential or commercial owners of designated historic properties (National Register, State Register, or Fort Collins Landmark, either individually or a contributing resource in a designated historic district. 
  • What qualifies: Interior and exterior work that meets the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation
  • Available Funding: Costs must exceed $5,000 but are capped at $50,000 per property. Any unused credit may be carried forward ten years. 
  • Where to Apply & Learn More: History Colorado's Office of Historic Preservation and Archaeology

Federal Tax Credits

A Federal Tax Credit for 20% of qualified expenses on income-producing historic properties. This can be claimed in addition to the 20% State Tax Credit. 

  • Who qualifies: Owners of income-producing (commercial, office, rental residential, etc.) properties that are listed in the National Register of Historic Places either individually or a contributing resource in an historic district. 
  • What qualifies: Interior and exterior work that meets the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation
  • Available Funding: Costs must meet the adjusted basis for the property, or a minimum of $5,000 - there is no cap on the amount of credit that can be claimed. Any unused credit may be carried back one year, or forward twenty years. 
  • Where to Apply & Learn More: the National Park Service

Loans

Landmark Rehabilitation 0% Interest Loans

A City of Fort Collins matching loan program (1:1) for up to $7,500 each year, for approved exterior work. 

  • Who qualifies: Owners of properties designated as a Fort Collins Historic Landmark (individual or contributing to a Landmark District). 
  • What qualifies: Exterior work that meets the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation
  • Available Funding: $7,500 in matching loans (applicant must match at 1:1) per year. Loans carry no interest but must be repaid at or before the point of sale to a new owner. Applications are competitive. 
  • Where to Apply & Learn More: City of Fort Collins Historic Preservation Division.

Colorado Historic Foundation Loans

Below market, fixed-rate loans to complete work on, or acquire, designated historic properties.

  • Who qualifies: Owners of, or prospective buyers of, designated historic properties (National Register, Colorado State Register, or City of Fort Collins Landmark), either individual or contributing to an historic district. 
  • What qualifies: Preservation projects that meet the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Treatment of Historic Properties, or acquisition of historic properties.
  • Available Funding: Varies - negotiable fixed interest rates generally at or below prime, with flexible repayment schedules and terms, generally up to five years. 
  • Where to Apply & Learn More: Colorado Historical Fund

Grants

State Historic Fund Grants

An assortment of competitive and non-competitive grants available for non-profit organizations and public (state or local) entities,

  • Who qualifies: Non-profit organizations and public (state and local) entities, or private owners if a non-profit or public entity applies and administers the grant on their behalf. 
  • What qualifies: Historical research, historic resource survey, property specific or community-wide planning, preservation/rehabilitation of a designated historic resource, etc. 
  • Available Funding: Varies, up to $200,000 per application. Up to $10,000 for non-competitive grants. 
  • Where to Apply & Learn More: History Colorado's State Historic Fund

Technical Assistance

Design Assistance Program

City of Fort Collins grants up to $2,000 to provide no-obligation consultations with select architects, preservation contractors, or structural engineers to provide expert advice on design and construction issues affecting historic buildings. Read more...

Free Assistance Preparing Applications

Preservation staff with the Historic Preservation Division is available to assist in preparing applications for the various financial programs.