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Historic Designations

Denver’s local landmark designation program is a public process that recognizes properties of historical, architectural, geographical and cultural importance to the City and County of Denver. To be eligible for designation, a district or structure must maintain its integrity and meet three criteria of the possible ten.

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

To qualify as a Denver landmark, a structure must maintain integrity, be at least 30 years old or be of exceptional importance, and meet at least three of the following ten criteria:

  1. Have a direct association with a significant historic event or with the historical development of the city, state, or nation;
  2. Have direct and substantial association with a recognized person or group of persons who had influence on society;
  3. Embody the distinctive visible characteristics of an architectural style or type;
  4. Be a significant example of the work of a recognized architect or master builder; 
  5. Contain elements of design, engineering, materials, craftsmanship, or artistic merit which represent a significant innovation or technical achievement;
  6. Represent an established and familiar feature of the neighborhood, community or contemporary city, due to its prominent location or physical characteristics;
  7. Promote understanding and appreciation of the urban environment by means of distinctive physical characteristics or rarity;
  8. Represent an era of culture or heritage that allows an understanding of how the site was used by past generations;
  9. Be a physical attribute of a neighborhood, community, or the city that is a source of pride or cultural understanding; 
  10. Be associated with social movements, institutions, or patterns of growth or change that contributed significantly to the culture of the neighborhood, community, city, state, or nation.

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

Two

Submit the completed application along with required fees to Landmark Preservation.

 

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.

 

Designation and Demolition/CDE Review

Landmark Preservation planners review all applications for total demolition and for certificates of demolition eligibility (CDEs) citywide, including for structures that are not local landmarks or that are not in historic districts. This requirement helps preserve Denver’s history by providing the community an opportunity to protect buildings that prove to have historic, architectural, geographic or cultural significance. Reviews determine whether the property has potential for designation. 

Properties that do not have potential are cleared for demolition or granted the CDE. For properties that do have potential, notice of the demolition/CDE application is posted for three weeks. If a designation application or a notice of intent to file a designation application is submitted, the property and next steps will be listed on this page. 

For complete details on the demolition/CDE review process, visit the Demolition and Certificate of Demolition Eligibility Review page.

How to submit:

A document stating "The signatory(ies) intend to file an application for designation of <PROPERTY ADDRESS>" and signed by all signatories listed in the statement, with their addresses included, must be delivered to Denver Landmark Preservation by the deadline listed for the property on the Demolition and Certificate of Demolition Eligibility Review page. The document may be submitted one of the following ways:

  • Submit in person at the Records Desk on the second floor of the Webb Municipal Building, 201 W. Colfax Ave., Denver. 
    OR
  • Submit by email by scanning the signed document and emailing it to landmark@denvergov.org.

Who may submit

City ordinance allows for three types of persons to submit a notice of intent to file a designation application:

  1. The executive director of Community Planning and Development
  2. A member or members of City Council
  3. Three (3) residents of the City and County of Denver

Currently, no notices of intent to file a designation application have been filed for any posted properties


Designation Applications Currently Under Review

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 Landmark@denvergov.org.


4431 E. 26th Ave. - North Park Hill

4431.E.26th.Ave.Photo.jpg

This Mission Revival style residential dwelling on a prominent corner lot in the North Park Hill Neighborhood is significant for its architecture, history and geography. It was the residence of three persons significant to Denver’s history:  real estate developer Charles Marble Kittredge, attorney Charles Ginsberg and mountaineer William “Bill” Forrest.

  • Application (PDF)
  • Map (PDF)
  • Landmark Preservation Commission Public Hearing - APPROVED
    • 1 p.m., Tuesday, December 3, 2019
    • Wellington Webb Building, 201 W Colfax Ave, Room 4.F.6/4.G.2
    • Staff Brief (PDF)
  • City Council Land Use, Transportation and Infrastructure (LUTI) Committee 
    • 10:30 a.m., Tuesday, January 7, 2020
    • City and County Building, 1437 Bannock St, Room #391

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


Tilden School for Teaching Health - Historic District

file

The Tilden School for Teaching Health was founded in 1916 by Dr. John Henry Tilden to advance his theories on health, diet, and medical treatments. The school was headquartered in the historic Bosler House and over the next decade expanded to include the Patients Apartment Building and the Main Building (Fairview Place). The collection of buildings have become a prominent gateway to the West Highland neighborhood. 

  • Landmark Preservation Commission public hearing - APPROVED
    • 1 p.m., Tuesday, November 5, 2019 
    • Wellington Webb Building, 201 W. Colfax Ave, Conference room 4.F.6/4.G.2 
    • Staff Brief (PDF)
  • Planning Board public hearing - APPROVED
    • 3 p.m., Wednesday, November 6, 2019
    • City and County Building, 1437 Bannock St., Room #389
    • Staff Brief (PDF)
  • City Council Land Use, Transportation and Infrastructure (LUTI) Committee - APPROVED
    • 10:30 a.m., Tuesday, November, 19, 2019
    • City and County Building, 1437 Bannock St, Room #391
    • Staff Brief (PDF)

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


4345 W. 46th Ave. - Howard Mortuary Berkeley Park Chapel

Mortuary.jpg

The Howard Berkeley Park Chapel, designed by Denver architect J. Roger Musick, is a significant example of his solo commercial work. Built in 1960, the property was originally owned by Howard Mortuary, a local family business founded in 1917 that served the community for 60 years. 

  • Application (PDF) 
  • The Landmark Preservation Commission (LPC) voted unanimously to approve the designation application at its meeting Tuesday, August 20. - APPROVED
  • The City Council Land Use, Transportation and Infrastructure Committee voted unanimously at its meeting Tuesday September 10 to move the designation application to the full City Council for a public hearing. - APPROVED
  • The Landmark Preservation Commission voted at its meeting Tuesday, September 17, to approve a request to extend the designation review deadline from September 26 to November 18. 
  • The Landmark Preservation Commission voted at its meeting Tuesday, November 5, to approve a request to extend the designation review deadline from November 18 to January 31.
  • City Council Public Hearing
    • 5:30 p.m., Tuesday, January 21, 2019
    • City and County Building, 1437 Bannock Street, Room #451
    • Staff brief (PDF)
    • Watch the hearing live on Denver8.tv.

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


Recently Approved Designation Applications


1717 E. Arizona Ave - Washington Park

file

Completed in 1916, this house is an excellent and intact example of the Tudor Revival style, is a significant residential example of the work of renowned Colorado architect Jules J.B. Benedict, and is directly associated with the historical development of Washington Park and the Washington Park Neighborhood.

  • Application (PDF)
  • Map (PDF)
  • Landmark Preservation Commission public hearing: 201 W. Colfax Ave, Conference room 4.F.6/4.G.2 
  • City Council Land Use, Transportation and Infrastructure (LUTI) Committee,  Council Committee Room (#389)
    City and County Building, 1437 Bannock Street, Denver 
  • City Council Public Hearing 
    • 5:30 p.m., Monday, November 25, 2019
    • City and County Building, 1437 Bannock St, Room #451
    • Staff Brief (PDF)

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


1168 S. Gilpin St. - Washington Park

file

Completed in 1917, this house is an excellent and intact example of the Italian Renaissance Revival style, is a significant residential example of the work of renowned Colorado architect Jules J.B. Benedict, and is directly associated with the historical development of Washington Park and the Washington Park Neighborhood.

  • Application (PDF)
  • Map (PDF)
  • Landmark Preservation Commission public hearing: 201 W. Colfax Ave, Conference room 4.F.6/4.G.2 
  • City Council Land Use, Transportation and Infrastructure (LUTI) Committee,  Council Committee Room (#389)
    City and County Building, 1437 Bannock Street, Denver 
    • 10:30 a.m., Tuesday, October 22, 2019
    • Staff Brief (PDF)
  • City Council Public Hearing
    • 5:30 p.m., Monday, November 25, 2019
    • City and County Building, 1437 Bannock St, Room #451
    • Staff Brief (PDF)

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


2288 S. Milwaukee St. - University Park

2288.S.Milwaukee.photo.small.pdf

The Jackson-Taylor House, one of the earliest residences in the University Park neighborhood, is a significant residential work of Denver architect Glen Wood Huntington. The Foursquare was built for renowned ophthalmologist Dr. Edward A. Jackson who lived in the home from 1902 to 1920.

  • Application (PDF)
  • Map (PDF)
  • The Landmark Preservation Commission voted to approve the designation application at its meeting Tuesday, September 3.
  • Land Use, Transportation & Infrastructure Committee meeting
    • 10:30 a.m., Tuesday, October 15
      Council Committee Room (#389)
    • City and County Building, 1437 Bannock Street, Denver
    • Staff brief (PDF)
    • Watch the hearing live on Denver8.tv
  • City Council Public Hearing
    • 5:30 p.m., Monday, October 28, 2019
    • City and County Building, 1437 Bannock St, Room #451
    • Staff Brief (PDF)

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


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:

Questions may be directed to Senior City Planner Jenny Buddenborg (jennifer.buddenborg@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