Press Release

State Historical Fund awards $383,380 in grants for archaeological and historic resources across Colorado

DENVER, Colo. (May 22, 2019) – The History Colorado State Historical Fund awarded $383,380 across 17 grants for the spring 2019 "mini" grant round (grants up to $35,000). The State Historical Fund grants are awarded and matched by applicants to fund archaeology and historic preservation projects that tell the story of Colorado’s history and generate meaningful economic activity, especially in rural communities.

The multi-partner projects advance statewide efforts to identify and preserve areas important in the history, architecture, archaeology and culture of Colorado. Here are some grant highlights:

  • Dunn’s Block Building Acquisition. Saguache, ($28,000) – The award will support Virago, Ltd., who has partnered with Colorado Preservation Inc., to acquire the Dunn's Block Building located in the heart of Saguache's Downtown National Historic District. The project aims to preserve the building as a center for cultural activity, economic revitalization and public benefit. The community leveraged a $28,000 cash match for the grant, making this $56,000 project possible.

  • Buena Vista Historic District Intensive Survey. Buena Vista, ($18,000) – The award to the town of Buena Vista will support an intensive survey of twenty-nine residential properties and one commercial property located on its historic East Main Street. The community leveraged a $6,000 cash match for the grant, making this $24,000 project possible.

  • Rehabilitation of Lions Amphitheater. Wray, ($32,812) – The award to City of Wray will further completion of construction documents to rehabilitate the Lions Amphitheater. This natural, open-air amphitheater nestled in the caliche canyon walls, is unique to the Eastern Plains and will provide a setting for various public events and community gatherings. The community leveraged a $10,938 cash match, making this $43,750 project possible.

  • App-guided Walking Tours. Huerfano County, ($28,500) – The grant awarded to Huerfano County will support the second phase of their heritage tourism project, developing app-guided walking tours of Walsenburg, Cuchara, and La Veta in partnership with TravelStorys. In 2018, they developed a popular driving tour of the Highway of Legends Scenic Byway. The community leveraged a $9,500 cash match, making this $38,000 project possible.  

  • Archaeological Field School at Community College of Denver. Denver, ($31,073) – The award will support the Community College of Denver to create an on-campus archaeological field school investigating the Wootton Site. This site was home to the first location of the Rocky Mountain News, Denver's first bowling alley, and host to the April 1859 convention to form Colorado's state government. Analysis of the findings will be presented to the public. The community leveraged a $4,020 cash match, making this $35,093 project possible.  

View the full list of awarded grants here.

The State Historical Fund provides funding for a wide variety of projects including: restoration and rehabilitation of historic buildings, architectural assessments, archaeological excavations, designation and interpretation of historic places, preservation planning studies and education and training programs.

The spring grants awarded in amounts greater than $35,000 will be announced on August 1.

The next 2019 online grant application will run from Thursday, August 1 through Tuesday, October 1. All applications must be completed through the State Historical Fund online portal. Nonprofit and public organizations interested in projects that adhere to the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties are encouraged to apply. State Historical Fund staff are available to provide helpful feedback on draft grant applications. All projects must demonstrate strong public benefit and community support. Grants vary in size from a few hundred dollars up to $200,000. Please visit or call (303) 866-2825 for more information.

The State Historical Fund was created by the 1990 constitutional amendment allowing limited gaming in the towns of Black Hawk, Central City and Cripple Creek. The amendment directs that a portion of the gaming tax revenue be used for historic preservation throughout the state.

About History Colorado
History Colorado’s mission is to create a better future for Colorado by inspiring wonder in our past. We serve as the state’s memory, preserving the places, stories and material culture of Colorado through the History Colorado Center and statewide Community Museums, educational programs, historic preservation grants, research library, collections and outreach to Colorado communities. Visit, or call 303-HISTORY, for more information.

Philip Clapham
Preservation Communications Manager
303-866-2049 / 303-681-5823 (cell) |