Landmark Preservation

Landmark Preservation is a vital and integrated component of Community Planning and Development. Denver’s landmarks and historic districts enhance the city’s unique identity, quality of life, and economic vitality. Denver’s City Council first enacted the Denver Landmark ordinance in 1967 to help preserve, enhance and encourage the use of structures and areas of the city with historical, architectural and/or geographical significance.

Landmark Preservation is currently updating the Design Guidelines for Denver Landmark Structures and DistrictsThe design guidelines update will be divided into four phases and each phase will include community meetings and input, public review of draft updates, and a public hearing and vote by Denver’s Landmark Preservation Commission. Learn more about this project.

What Does Landmark Preservation do?

Support Property Owners

  • Design Review: Staff, in coordination with the Landmark Preservation Commission, perform design review for all projects that require building permits for properties locally designated as historic landmarks or inside locally designated historic districts. Design review ensures that these projects preserve the properties’ key historic character-defining features and qualities.
  • State Income Tax Credits: Staff process applications for state historic preservation income tax credits, which Colorado offers to property owners for qualifying preservation and rehabilitation work on designated historic properties. Residential and commercial property owners can recoup 20 percent of qualifying rehabilitation costs up to $50,000.
  • Expertise and Resources: Staff provide technical advice and resources regarding the importance and appropriate preservation of historic properties.


Support Preservation

  • Demolition Review: Staff review all permit applications for total demolition, including those for structures not currently designated as historic landmarks and for structures outside of historic districts, so as to help preserve Denver’s cultural and architectural history by giving the community an opportunity to protect structures of historic and architectural significance.
  • Historic Designation: Staff assist owner-initiated and community-initiated efforts to designate historic properties as local landmarks and/or areas around the city as historic districts. Staff also review nominations for listing Denver properties on the National Register of Historic Places.
  • Discover Denver: The city, in partnership with Historic Denver Inc., is conducting a building and neighborhood survey meant to identify historic and architecturally significant structures citywide. The mission is to identify the places that matter to Denver’s history, to share the value of these historic resources to promote public pride and awareness and to encourage a culture of reinvestment.

Landmark Preservation coordinates with these and other community, neighborhood and historic preservation organizations on a regular basis.