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Did You Know?

Twenty of the 61 sites open to the public in this year's annual Doors Open Denver event are city landmarks. Many more of the sites are located in city historic districts. For more information, and to see which sites are historic landmarks, visit the event website.

 


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Historic Welton Street Primed for Preservation, Growth

welton street With an eye on the past and the future, the City and County of Denver has been working with property owners and other stakeholders in the Five Points neighborhood to create custom historic design guidelines for the Welton Street Commercial Corridor Cultural District. This six-block area has long been a focal point of the city's African-American cultural history, and in 2002 was designated a historic district based on its rich history and prominent geography.

Design guidelines for the area will help preserve the history and character of the district while attracting investment to achieve a vibrant, mixed-use "main street" corridor. The project will also identify historic buildings that have not previously been recognized as key to the historic character of the district. A public workshop on the guidelines is slated for May. For more on this project, visit our website.

This spring, the Landmark Preservation Commission will also consider a proposal to change the name of the historic district from the Welton Street Commercial Corridor Cultural District to the Five Points Historic Cultural District, in response to feedback from residents, property owners and the local business district. This change must be adopted by Denver City Council.

In other Welton Street news, City Council is expected to approve a zoning change for the 2800, 2900, and 3000 blocks of Welton Street. The rezoning would change any properties currently zoned C-MX-3 to C-MX-5, allowing for commercial mixed-use zoning up to five stories. District 8 Councilman Albus Brooks is spearheading the rezoning. At a recent meeting of the Denver Planning Board, the Five Points Business District and Curtis Park Neighbors expressed their support for the change.

Citywide Design Guidelines Progress

DSG sample
Sample guidelines detail character-defining features of the Clements Historic district
City planners are in the process of updating the design guidelines used to evaluate building projects for local landmarks and properties in designated historic districts. The guidelines help ensure that each proposed project preserves key historic features and is compatible with the character of designated historic buildings, sites and districts. 

On March 26, the City and County of Denver hosted the second of two public workshops on the citywide historic design guidelines. Feedback from the public workshop is under review and will be incorporated into the next draft of the guidelines. Visit our web page to learn more, provide input and view early drafts of the guidelines.

Commission to Consider Demolition Review Policy
At its April 15 meeting, the Landmark Preservation Commission (LPC) will consider adopting a policy that would standardize and clarify the city's approach to reviewing demolition applications. Landmark Preservation staff has proposed the policy, which would also provide greater transparency for the public regarding this process. 

Per city ordinance, Landmark Preservation planners review all applications for total-demolition and "certificates of non-historic status" (which pave the way for demolition without further historic review). Their review ensures that any property that may have potential for historic designation is given its due consideration before demolition.

The Landmark Preservation Commission will consider adoption of the policy at its next scheduled meeting at 1 p.m. Tuesday, April 15, in room 4.F.6 of the Wellington Webb Municipal Building, at 201 W. Colfax Ave. in Denver. 
 
To view a draft of the proposed policy, view the PDF or visit DenverGov.org/Landmark. Comments and questions may also be shared with Landmark Preservation staff at landmark@denvergov.org or by calling 720-865-2709.

Survey Moves to Park Hill, Berkeley

discover denver logo Discover Denver, a survey to identify historic and architecturally significant structures citywide, has begun surveying its second pilot areas -- Park Hill and Berkeley. Survey work continues in Harvey Park.

Discover Denver is gathering information about buildings using public records, neighborhood canvassing, academic research, and tips from the public. Findings from the survey will later be accessible online so that everyone can learn about Denver's past -- building by building. Visit DiscoverDenver.CO to learn more about the project, connect with us on Facebook, and view a daily map to see where we'll be surveying on any given day.
 
Beth Eden Church Recommended for Historic Designation
Beth Eden Church
3241 Lowell Blvd.
At its meeting on April 1, the Landmark Preservation Commission recommended that Denver City Council designate the Beth Eden Church at 3241 Lowell Blvd as a historic landmark. In February, the church's owner had applied for a certificate of non-historic status, which would allow for demolition of the building. In March, Historic Denver, Inc. and Friends of West Highland Landmarks applied to designate the building as historic. 

At the April 1 public hearing, Landmark Preservation staff recommended designation based on the building's historical, architectural and geographical significance. The Beth Eden Church was home to one of the first congregations in the West Highland neighborhood. It was designed by Denver architect William N. Bowman, and is the only Tudor Revival style church in Denver. The church is recognizable from its prominent location on Lowell Boulevard, adjacent to the commercial node at 32nd Avenue and Lowell Boulevard. Denver City Council's Land Use, Transportation and Infrastructure committee will consider the recommendation at its April 15 meeting.

Project Spotlight:
The Colorado National Bank Building
Colorado National Bank Building
Colorado National Bank Building, 1915
Progress continues apace on the Colorado National Bank Building in the Downtown Denver Historic District -- set to become the home of a new Renaissance Hotel in May 2014. The hotel at 17th and Champa will feature 230 guestrooms, 6,000 square feet of meeting space and a restaurant and bar, as well as 16 original murals from the iconic western muralist Allen Tupper True. The property will showcase other historic elements from the building's initial construction in the early 20th century, juxtaposed with the amenities and comforts of a modern luxury hotel.

The building, built in 1915 and designed by famed Denver architects William and Arthur Fisher, is on the National Register of Historic Places and the Colorado State Register of Historic Properties. The building's neoclassic, Greek Revival architecture is evident in its towering white exterior columns and walls, created with marble from the Colorado Yule Marble Company (also used to build Washington D.C.'s Lincoln Memorial). Large monogrammed bronze doors open to the three-story interior atrium, constructed with marble flooring, ornate bronze accents and vaults with doors weighing 60,000 pounds -- details that still remain. 

About Us
Landmark Preservation is an important function of the Department of Community Planning and Development. Denver City Council enacted the Denver Landmark Ordinance in 1967 to foster the protection, enhancement, perpetuation and use of structures and districts of historical, architectural and/or geographic significance.

 

Landmark Preservation staff and two landmark boards carry out that mission through design review, historic surveys and landmark designations. Staff also assists owners of historic properties by providing guidance and resources for preserving, maintaining and rehabilitating historic buildings and properties. You can learn more about Denver's Landmark Preservation efforts on our website.
 
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