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Denver could soon have three “new” historic landmarks

Denver could soon have three “new” historic landmarks, if three historic-designation applications are approved by the Landmark Preservation Commission and Denver City Council in the coming weeks. Each application has been made by, or is supported by, the owners of the properties. The first — the National Western Stock Show stadium arena — will be considered by City Council tonight.

Denver seeks to preserve and protect structures and districts that tell the story of Denver’s past. Denver currently has 334 historic landmarks and 51 historic districts. Community members may apply, and a structure or district may be designated if it meets at least one criterion in two or more of these categories:  1. History, 2. Architecture, 3. Geography.  See a map of all landmarks>>

“Preservation helps to tell our city’s story,” said Brad Buchanan, executive director of Denver Community Planning and Development, and former chair of the Landmark Preservation Commission. “As our city grows and changes, preserving our historic landmarks and districts becomes even more important.”

Potential new historic landmarks/districts:

National Western Stock Show Stadium Arena, 4655 Humboldt St.
The Mayor's Office of the National Western Center has applied to designate the Stadium Arena a landmark. The arena, built 1908-1909, is owned by the city and the Western Stock Show Association, and is directly associated with the historical development of Denver and of the NWSS, one of the largest and oldest U.S. stock shows still in operation. It was the sole entertainment venue for the show until 1952, when the Denver Coliseum opened. Although partially enclosed by the 1991 Stadium Hall, it is one of Denver's few examples of monumental Neoclassical style architecture outside of downtown. Its original brick oval-shaped walls are largely intact, allowing them to be readily revealed as proposed by the National Western Center Master Plan. More >>

S. Lincoln Street historic district, 200 block S. Lincoln Street
Homeowners in the 200 block of South Lincoln Street are seeking to designate their block as a historic district. The block encompasses 15 homes built between 1889 and 1895, all of which embody Queen Anne architecture. One of these homes (227 S. Lincoln St.) was designated an individual historic landmark in 2015. The homes were designed by prominent Denver architect William Lang. The block is believed to be the largest collection of intact, co-located Lang-designed Queen Anne houses. Of the 250 buildings that Lang designed in Denver, the most well-known are the Molly Brown House and Castle Marne Mansion. More >>

Emily Griffith Opportunity School, 1250 Welton St.
Denver Public Schools and Historic Denver, Inc. have applied to designate much of the former Emily Griffith Opportunity School campus at 12th and Glenarm a landmark. The City and County of Denver funded an analysis that would ensure the preservation and responsible redevelopment of the school. Emily Griffith was an innovative educator who spearheaded the creation of a school providing non-traditional education for the community in 1917. The Opportunity School became the first of its kind in the country, becoming a national role model. Griffith became one of the most influential women in Denver’s history, with her legacy linked with the buildings on this site. More >>

In Denver, historic preservation accommodates change in a way that’s sensitive to the historic context of a building or district. Historic buildings undergo design review prior to making exterior alterations, so that they may be altered and modernized in ways that keep them useful and relevant, and that respect their character and integrity. Interior remodels are not subject to design review.

Preservation planners expect to receive a fourth application later this year for a single-family house near City Park. The last time Denver had four or more historic landmarks designated in one year was 2007.