Historic Designations

Denver’s local landmark designation program recognizes properties of historical, architectural and geographical importance to the City and County of Denver. To be eligible for designation, a district or structure must maintain its historic and physical integrity and meet two of the three designation criteria. 

Most designation applications are initiated by property owners, citizens or neighborhood groups. Applications are reviewed by Landmark Preservation staff and the independent Landmark Preservation Commission, and approved by City Council.  

How to Designate a Structure or District


OneSet up a pre-application review with the Landmark Preservation staff.  The staff may help by:

 
  • Assessing whether a property or properties have potential for landmark or historic designation
  • Advising you which application and fees apply
  • Advising you what additional research is needed to complete the application form
  • Providing information about the designation process
  • Providing guidance to improve and strengthen your application

ThreeLandmark preservation staff will review your application to determine whether the application is complete and Denver landmark designation criteria are met.  

FourOnce Landmark Preservation staff determines that an application is complete and that landmark designation criteria are met, the application will be set for a public hearing before the Landmark Preservation Commission.  


  • The owner of record is notified and a sign is posted on the property announcing the public hearing and the pending designation.  
  • The Landmark Preservation Commission will hear public testimony at the hearing, and determine if the property or properties meets landmark designation criteria.  
  • If the commission determines that a property meets landmark designation criteria, the application is then forwarded to City Council.

FiveUpon recommendation of the Landmark Preservation Commission, the application for designation is forwarded to City Council.

 
  • A committee of City Council will review the designation application and determine whether the case is ready to move forward to the full City Council meeting.
  • In some cases, the Denver Planning Board will also provide a recommendation to City Council.
  • The Denver City Council designates a landmark or historic district by considering a designation bill at two meetings or readings of City Council. The second and final reading before City Council is a public hearing.  
  • City Council provides final historic designation approval for a structure or historic district at the second reading. The designation goes into effect once the mayor signs the bill and records it with the clerk.

Addition requirements and time frames apply to various steps in the designation process. Please contact Landmark Preservation at 720-865-2709 or email at landmark@denvergov.org for more information.


Frequently Asked Questions


For a structure or district to qualify for historic designation, the property or properties must maintain their historic or physical integrity, and meet at least one criterion in two of the three following categories:

  • history
  • architecture
  • geography


When the Landmark Preservation Commission reviews designation applications, it will also consider how a structure or district relates to a historic context or theme important to Denver history. Consult with Landmark Preservation Staff to obtain more information. 

You will need to conduct historic research to determine if the property or properties in question meet the criteria for historic designation. 

The landmark designation criteria and process is delineated in Chapter 30 of the Denver Municipal Code.

Designating a structure

  • Typically, a property owner applies for landmark designation for his/her own property.  If you are interested in seeing a property designated that you do not own, we recommend contacting the property owner directly to inquire about his/her interest in designation.  
  • A minimum of three applicants is required to initiate landmark designation on a property without the owner's consent, consisting of some combination of Denver residents, property owners, or Denver based organizations or businesses.
  • In rare circumstances, landmark designation applications are received as the result of an application for demolition approval or a Certificate of Non-Historic Status application

Designating a district

  • Historic district designations are often initiated by neighborhood groups representing multiple owners. 
  • A minimum of three applicants is required to initiate the designation process for historic districts.  


The manager of Community Planning and Development or a member of City Council can also file landmark designation applications.  

No.  Once the City receives a designation application for a structure or historic district, a demolition hold goes into effect for 120 days. No demolition permit is issued for an affected structure or district within this time period unless the Landmark Preservation Commission denies the application for designation or City Council votes to deny historic designation first.

A typical designation of a landmark structure is processed within 90 to 120 days from time of application, although the process and time frames can vary.  

City Council must file a bill to designate a structure or district within 90 days after the Landmark Preservation Commission first transmits its recommendation to City Council, or the designation process will be terminated.  In cases where an application for either demolition or a Certificate of Non-Historic Status prompts the landmark designation application, the structure must be designated within 120 days or the process is terminated.

No, local landmark or historic district designation does not trigger any requirement that you make your property accessible to the public. While a non-profit organization (such as a neighborhood association) may contact you regarding your willingness to participate in a historic home tour, it is up to your discretion as to whether to participate or not, and the City and County of Denver will not be involved in such a request.

Submit Your Application

Complete the required application and submit application and fee by mail or in person.  

Mail 

In Person 

Landmark Preservation
201 W. Colfax Ave. 
Dept. 205
Denver, CO 80202
Permit Counter
2nd floor Webb Municipal Building
201 W. Colfax Ave.
9 - 11 a.m., Monday - Friday
or by appointment

NOTE: All materials submitted with your application become the property the City and County of Denver. 
The materials are part of public record, can be used in a public hearing, and cannot be returned.

Contact Us

Landmark Preservation Office:
720-865-2709
landmark@denvergov.org

Office hours:
8 a.m. - 4 p.m. Monday - Friday
Staff hours vary (appointments recommended)

Landmark Structures

View a complete list of individual landmark structures (PDF).

View photos and descriptions of landmarks 1 - 99 (PDF, 4MB).

View a photo slideshow of some of Denver's landmarks.

Historic Districts

Map of historic districtsView a map (PDF) of historic districts.

Resources for
Property Owners

View our Resources page to:

  • Research historic properties
  • Learn about tax credits for historic property owners
  • Get tips on preserving and maintaining a historic building
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