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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.

Image of house in proposed Vassar School Historic District

Vassar School Bungalows Historic District

The Vassar School Bungalows Historic District (105, 115, 119, 127, 135, and 141 East Vassar Avenue) includes six contributing buildings located in the Rosedale Neighborhood built between 1925 and 1926 in the Spanish Revival style and incorporating materials from the former Vassar School that once sat on the property.

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


630 East 16th Ave, Essex Apartments

Designed by noted Denver architect, William Fisher, the Essex Apartments are associated with the growth of Capitol Hill after the construction of the state capitol.  The apartments also reflect the development of middle-class and multi-family housing.

Questions may be directed to Principal City Planner, Kara Hahn at kara.hahn@denvergov.org.


2600 Milwaukee, Henderson House

The home at 2600 N. Milwaukee St. was designed by architect and owner John R. Henderson Jr., Colorado's first licensed African-American architect.  Henderson, who worked for several notable mid-century Denver architectural firms, designed his family home in the Mid-Century Modern architectural style. 

  • Application (PDF), application photographs (PDF), map (PDF)
  • Landmark Preservation Commission public hearing: 
  • City Council Land Use, Transportation and Infrastructure (LUTI) Committee Presentation
    • 10:30 a.m., Tuesday, November 6

Questions may be directed to Principal City Planner, 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