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Designating Historic Places

Loveland Cottage

Loveland Cottage (1859), 717 12th Street in Golden
Earliest Colorado home of William A.H. Loveland, whom Loveland street, town, pass and ski area are named after
Designated Golden Landmark on April 22, 2004

If you'd like to get your place historically recognized at the city, county, state or national levels, we can help you do that. Rick Gardner is a sitting member of the Jefferson County Historical Commission's Landmark Committee, which votes on the designations of Jefferson County landmarks. He has successfully sponsored or assisted with over 30 historic designations at all government levels, achieving recognition for historic commercial, residential and industrial places and historic districts, associated with prominent and everyday people, events, architecture and more. Buildings he has successfully designated range from the Gold Rush-era Loveland Cottage, likely the oldest saw-cut building in Colorado, to the Quaintance Block, a rare moved building placed on the National Historic Register. Gardner is experienced in designating pristinely preserved gems to considerably altered places, and has successfully gained recognition for moved and younger places that normally fall outside designation guidelines. Historic designation not only officially recognizes your property but opens the doors to a variety of aid that can help you, particularly in renovation projects. Look below for answers to some of the most frequently asked designation questions, for Golden area residents and beyond:

Why would I want to designate my property as an historic landmark?

  • Designation officially recognizes that your place has important architectural, historical, archaeological, and other merit as a significant piece of our area history
  • It can increase the value of your property and your neighborhood
  • You can protect the historic character of your property and all the effort you have put into restoring it
  • It can enable your property to compete for grants from the State Historical Fund
  • Designation can make your place eligible for a Colorado Historic Preservation Income Tax Credit of 20%, which can be carred forward 5 years, of qualified costs up to a maximum credit of of $50,000 per qualified property, if the preservation or rehabilitation costs total $5,000 or more
  • You can obtain certain kinds of relief from building codes
  • Obtain helpful advice from your local landmarks commission and area experts on restoring and preserving your property

What types of historic designation might my property be eligible for?

  • Local registers of historic landmarks, applied for through your local government
  • County registers of historic landmarks, applied for through the county where your place is at
  • Your state's Register of Historic Places, applied for through your state historic preservation office
  • National Register of Historic Places, applied for through your state historic preservation office
  • Possible honorary designations such as local Structures of Merit

Is my property eligible for historic designation?

  • See the National Park Service website for information on national designation
  • See the History Colorado website for information on Colorado designation
  • Places in unincorporated Jefferson County may be eligible for County designation. Contact the Jefferson County Historical Commission for further details.
  • It might be eligible for Golden designation if it is one or more of the following:
    • Over 50 years old (signage and places of exceptional merit may be exempt);
    • Has significance to the history of the community, region, state, nation, or world;
    • Is of a significant architectural style or type or construction;
    • Is the site of a significant historic event;
    • Is associated with important people or organizations in our past;
    • Is a significant work of a master architect or builder;
    • Contributes significantly to the patterns of our history;
    • Has design, engineering, material, artistry, or craftsmanship representing notable innovations;
    • Portrays the physical environment of a group of people in an era characterized by a distinctive architectural style
    • Is a uniquely notable geographic location
    • See the Golden historic designation web page for more information

My property is less than 50 years old. Can it still get historic designation?

  • Yes! Younger landmarks of proven merit can get on the National Historic Register, including 6 sites and 1 historic district in Jefferson County alone. See our Recent Past page for more information
  • For Golden historic designation, the criteria for younger places mirrors that used by the National Register

What are my responsibilities if my property has historic designation?

  • Preserve it in its significant historical condition or risk revocation of its state or national designation
  • You may need approval of your local landmarks commission if you plan any substantial exterior alterations (repair, reconstruction, new construction, rehabilitation, or such other work requiring a building permit)
  • There is usually no obligation to restore your property
  • Demolition may be delayed or prohibited depending on your local level of protection (no protection exists at state or national levels)
  • Visit the Golden historic designation web page for more information on responsibilities specific to Golden

How do I obtain Golden designation?

  • Have us or yourself fill out an application, obtainable from the City of Golden, 911 10th Street, Golden, CO 80401, or online here
  • The application requires information about the property's location, ownership, photos, and historical data
  • Application also needs listing of resources used to obtain historical information
  • Gain the consent of at least 50% of a property's ownership
  • For a district, the designation process is made through written petition of at least 50% of area owners
  • Property's designation eligibility is reviewed by the City and public hearings held by the Historic Preservation Board and Golden City Council; the Council makes final determination of the granting of a designation

Are there other ways I may preserve my property aside from designation?

  • Grant a preservation easement to an entity responsible for historic preservation
  • Get advice from here or preservation non-profits to preserve your property
  • Hire preservation experts such as Richard Gardner to assist you in preserving your property

What are the economic benefits of historic preservation in Golden?

  • Preservation has supported the economy of Downtown and the city for over 100 years
  • It maintains unique attractions that draw locals and outsiders who spend money in Golden
  • Rehabilitation includes purchase of project labor and materials and enables properties to achieve maximized economic use
  • Over $500,000 in grant money has been infused into the Downtown economy for rehabilitation projects since 1993
  • Heritage tourism is a proven major draw to Golden for over a century through sightseeing, museum visitation, and shopping at historic places; Colorado heritage tourists spend an average $58 per day staying an average of 5.3 nights
  • Preservation promotes community culture and pride that enhances Golden for its residents, future residents and its profile towards outsiders
  • Several historic commercial buildings have been preserved whose properties would not otherwise have been rebuilt, saving property and income tax revenues for the city
  • Historic building revitalization has resulted in increased property and sales and use tax revenues to the city
  • Preservation has maintained affordable housing in the Golden community
  • Rehabilitation has enhanced property tax revenues for the city of Golden