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Historic Designations

Denver’s local landmark designation program is a public process that 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 criteria in two of three categories: history, architecture and geography. 

Designation applications may be initiated by property owners, local residents and/or local business owners. Applications are reviewed by Landmark Preservation staff, the Landmark Preservation Commission (LPC) and ultimately by City Council, which makes the final decision on designation. LPC and City Council hold public hearings as part of their review. If a property is designated, City Council adopts a landmark designation ordinance, which is then recorded with the City Clerk. 


How to Designate a Structure or District

OneSet up a pre-application review meeting with 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 involves a public hearing.  
  • City Council makes the final decision on historic designation for a structure or historic district at the second reading. If approved, the designation goes into effect once the mayor signs the bill and records it with the clerk.

 

Additional 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.

 


Current & Recently Approved Designation Applications

Staff reports for proposed designations will be posted ahead of the appointed meeting or public hearing. If you use assistive technology and have trouble accessing the content in the PDF documents below, please contact planning@denvergov.org.

601 E. Colfax Ave. - Tom's Diner

Tom's Diner at 601 E. Colfax Ave. was designed by California architectural firm Armet and Davis, and constructed in 1967 as part of the local White Spot restaurant chain. The first White Spot Restaurant was established at 22 South Broadway by William F. Clements in 1947. 

  • Application - to be posted soon

 


5335 E. 36th Avenue

This 1905 Northeast Park Hill home is potential significant for its association with the development of the city as the area evolved from a farming community to a residential suburb, as an example of a four-square type residents and as a rare remaining farmhouse. 

  • Application (PDF): Landmark staff determined that the application was incomplete.
  • The Landmark Preservation Commission review of applicant appeal:
    • 1:00 p.m., Tuesday, June 12, 2019

 


River Drive Historic District

_River_Drive_houses.jpg

Jefferson Park is one of Denver’s oldest neighborhoods, with houses dating to the 1880s, and River Drive is one of its most distinct and historically intact streets.  The proposed district exhibits the development and architecture of a Denver neighborhood between 1885 and 1923.

  • Landmark Preservation Commission public hearing:
  • Planning Board
  • City Council Land Use, Transportation and Infrastructure (LUTI) Committee
  • City Council Public Hearing:
    • 5:30 p.m., Monday, June 24, 2019

Questions may be directed to Senior City Planner Jenny Buddenborg at jennifer.buddenborg@denvergov.org.


APPROVED - Cableland - 4150 East Shangri-La Drive

The Hut

Cableland, built by Bill Daniels, is significant for Daniel’s role as an early pioneer in cable television and as a prominent philanthropist in Denver society. The home was designed to host charity events by California architect Lawrence Pepper and interior designer Andrew Gerhard. Cableland is also an exceptional example of residential Postmodern architecture in Denver.

Application (PDF) and Cableland Map (PDF)

  • Landmark Preservation Commission public hearing:
          -1:00 p.m., Tuesday, February 12th, 2019
            Staff Report (PDF)
  • City Council Land Use, Transportation and Infrastructure (LUTI) Committee Presentation:
          -10:30 a.m., Tuesday, April 9th, 2019
  • City Council Public Hearing:
          -5:30 p.m., Monday, April 29th, 2019

Questions may be directed to Principal Planner-Landmark Preservation; Kara Hahn at kara.hahn@denvergov.org

 

Benefits of Designation

  • Historic designation acknowledges a property's importance and status within the community.
  • Financial incentives, such as grants and state and federal tax credits, may be available to offset rehabilitation costs. 
  • Historic properties tend to hold their value and appreciate faster than other properties. 
  • On average, property values are higher in locally-designated historic districts compared with adjacent neighborhoods without historic designation.
Contact Us

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