Colorado State Register of Historic Properties

The Colorado State Register of Historic Properties is a listing of the state’s significant cultural resources worthy of preservation for the future education and enjoyment of Colorado’s residents and visitors.  Properties listed in the Colorado State Register include individual buildings, structures, objects, districts and historic and archaeological sites.  The Colorado State Register program is administered by the Office of Archaeology and Historic Preservation within History Colorado. History Colorado  maintains an official list of all properties included in the Colorado State Register.  Properties listed in the National Register of Historic Places are automatically placed in the Colorado State Register.  They may also be nominated separately to the Colorado State Register without inclusion in the National Register.

Benefits of Listing

The Colorado State Register formally recognizes properties possessing a documented level of significance and that contribute to the understanding and appreciation of the history or prehistory of a community, the state, or the nation.

By honoring such important sites, the Colorado State Register provides the following:

  • Formal recognition of a property’s importance to the history of the community and the state of Colorado.
  • A body of information for local community planning, tourist promotion, neighborhood revitalization.
  • A sense of community history and local pride.
  • Eligibility to compete for grants from Colorado’s State Historical Fund.  These grants may be used for acquisition and development, education, and survey and planning projects.
  • Eligibility to apply for state tax credits for restoration, rehabilitation, or preservation of Colorado State Register properties.

Limited protection from state agency actions that would affect the property.  Agencies must solicit the comments of History Colorado to assure that Colorado State Register properties are given consideration in the state planning process.

There are no restrictions imposed by History Colorado  as to what private property owners may or may not do with their property.  Private property owners may alter or demolish a listed property subject only to applicable local government regulations and permitting procedures.  In some communities, properties listed in the State Register may be automatically designated as local landmarks.  Such landmark status may include the local review of proposed changes to the property through the application of design guidelines.  A list of Colorado communities with local landmarking programs is available from this website.

Nomination Criteria

Criteria for consideration of properties for nomination and inclusion in the Colorado State Register includes the following:

  1. The association of the property with events that have made a significant contribution to history;
  2. The connection of the property with persons significant in history;
  3. The apparent distinctive characteristics of a type, period, method of construction, or artisan;
  4. The geographic importance of the property;
  5. The possibility of important discoveries related to prehistory or history.

Nomination Process

Properties may be nominated to the Colorado State Register by a citizen, the owner, local government, or an agency such as History Colorado.  However, all nominations must contain the owner’s signed and notarized consent to the nomination.  The nominator must submit sufficient information to History Colorado on the Colorado State Register nomination form along with any accompanying documentation necessary to establish the property’s historical significance and eligibility for inclusion based on Colorado State Register criteria.

When a completed nomination is received by History Colorado, the nomination form is reviewed for sufficiency within fourteen days.  Incomplete nominations are returned to the applicants for additional information.  Complete nominations are scheduled for the next Colorado State Register Review Board meeting and the owners and nominators are notified as to the date, time, and location of the review board meeting.

The Colorado State Register Review Board is composed of citizen members and professionals from the disciplines of prehistoric and historic archaeology, history, architecture and architectural history.  The Review Board meets at least three times a year to consider nominations.  These meetings are open to the public.

At the conclusion of the Review Board meeting, the Board recommends to History Colorado's Board of Directors the approval or denial of the nominated properties for inclusion in the Colorado State Register.  Within thirty days of the recommendation, History Colorado's Board of Directors determines whether the nominated properties are to be listed in the Colorado State Register.  The property owners are notified of the determination.