Press Release

$2 Million to 20 Colorado Communities Announced by State Historical Fund

History Colorado's State Historical Fund has already distributed $4.3 million during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Denver, Colo. (August 31, 2020) — Against bracing economic headwinds, the nation’s largest preservation program of its kind continues to fend for Colorado’s future with crucial funding.

Sara Doll, Outreach Specialist
History Colorado, State Historical Fund 
303-549-6190 (cell) |

History Colorado’s State Historical Fund (SHF) announces a newly completed grant round providing $2,051,288 of project funding for preservation efforts across the state. These awards leverage $1,011,203 in matching funding provided by grant applicants and their community partners for a total project impact exceeding $3 million. Community resilience, priceless cultural resources, and thriving tourism are among the eventual results.

“While historic preservation may sound like a ‘nice thing’ in times of crisis, it is in fact a means of providing multi-layered economic stimulus to communities that can leverage it the most,” notes Tim Stroh, AIA, director of the State Historical Fund. “More than 75% of the grants administered by the State Historical Fund are currently allocated to rural areas of Colorado. This is one of the major reasons why every $1 million spent on historic preservation in Colorado leads to $1.03 million in additional spending, 14 new jobs, and $636,700 in increased household incomes across the state.”

This month’s funding marks the second consecutive grant round to continue on schedule despite the Covid-19 pandemic. The SHF has already distributed $4,267,714.52 since mid-March to active projects that remain ongoing as a result. Each project works to preserve a community’s unique identity and generate economic activity through preservation work on cultural resources important to the people of Colorado. The SHF currently oversees more than 280 grant projects located in 57 Colorado counties—worth approximately $24 million in active distributions across the state—and provides technical assistance to all 64 counties. 

Highlights from this grant round include:

The Valley View School, Salida: was awarded a $199,000 grant request to help complete the final phase of work needed to utilize the historic schoolhouse. The applicant, Salida Parks Open Space and Trails (SPOT), began work in 2015 based on a previously completed building assessment in 2003. The previous phase of work addressed critical items such as roof replacement and chimney rehabilitation. The recently awarded grant will address rehabilitation of the building by repairing/replacing the historic clapboard siding and original windows, doors, and trim, repointing of the foundation, and replacing the non-historic front stoop with an appropriate ADA-compliant ramp that is compatible. Greater Arkansas River Nature Association (GARNA) will utilize the classroom space for environmental education courses and it will be their new headquarters for their youth program. SPOT and GARNA created a strong collaboration to ensure a successful project that offers a once-vacant building a second chance.

Ute Mountain Ute Tribal Register, Towaoc:  was awarded a $99,231 grant request. The applicant, Ute Mountain Ute Tribe, is one of three federally recognized tribes of the Ute Nation and home to Colorado’s only Tribal Historic Preservation Office. The Tribal Historic Preservation Office’s mission is to carry out the tribe’s commitment to preserve and promote the cultural heritage of the Ute people. This grant will provide funding for the tribe to continue their mission by creating a Tribal Register of Historic Places and Tribal Review Board, working with elders to develop a list of Traditional Cultural Properties, and listing Sleeping Ute Mountain to both the Tribal and National Registers. This project received extensive State and National support, including a letter from Thomas King, co-author of National Register Bulletin 38 on Traditional Cultural Properties. With this funding and support, the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe will identify and preserve physical properties associated with often-intangible aspects of cultural history including those related to cultural practices, traditions, beliefs, lifeways, arts, crafts, or social institutions of a living community.

The Julesburg Depot, Julesburg: The applicant, Sedgwick County, is entering into their final phase of rehabilitation on their historic depot with an awarded grant of $105,556. Over the last 15 years, Sedgwick County and Fort Sedgwick Historical Society have worked to save the old Union Pacific Railroad Depot. The rehabilitation work consisted of roof restoration, windows and doors, interior space remodeling, and exterior brickwork. The applicant was able to raise funds outside of the SHF to meet the needs of a successful project. They had 17 organizational donors and countless individual donors that spanned from local and regional entities to national level support. The depot will serve as a community space and regional museum for the northeast corner of the state. 

Since 1981, historic preservation projects in Colorado have created over 27,000 jobs and generated a total of nearly $3.9 billion in direct and indirect economic impacts, adding $2.2 billion to Colorado’s GDP. To see a complete list of projects funded through this latest grant round, as well as other projects previously funded by the State Historical Fund, please visit

The next grant-round application deadline is October 1, 2020. Nonprofit organizations and government entities interested in historic preservation projects that adhere to the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties and that have strong public benefit are encouraged to contact the State Historical Fund for more information about the application process and deadlines. Please visit or call (303) 866-2825 for more information.

About History Colorado
History Colorado is a division of the Colorado Department of Higher Education and a 501(c)3 non-profit that serves more than 75,000 students and 500,000 people in Colorado each year. It is a 141-year-old institution that operates Colorado’s oldest museum, nine additional museums and historic sites, a free public research center, the Office of Archaeology and Historic Preservation, and the State Historical Fund (SHF), which is the nation’s largest preservation program of its kind. 

History Colorado’s outlets are publishing Black voices and confronting entrenched racism in historic preservation. Within the last year History Colorado has added curators of Latino Heritage and LGBTQ+ History to its staff, and added a full-time position to its Museum of Memory team, which works proactively to incorporate underserved communities and voices into its contemporary collecting initiative and other efforts. Its recent statement and historical essay on civil unrest have been widely shared by major news outlets. 

History Colorado’s eight museums around the state were among the first cultural institutions in Colorado to reopen to visitors under new safety protocols. The swift return to in-person service in June followed an agile reorganization in response to COVID-19 that catalyzed new avenues for youth education, full-length episodes of its podcasts, a weekly digest with over 28,000 subscribers, and one of the nation’s most comprehensive collecting initiatives: a partnership with dozens of schools, communities, and more than 40 newsrooms called History in the Making. The State Historical Fund successfully distributed more than $1 million in grant dollars to community projects across the state this spring and continues its grant funding on schedule

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 and sharing the places, stories, and material culture of Colorado through educational programs, historic preservation grants, collecting, outreach to Colorado communities, the History Colorado Center and Stephen H. Hart Research Center in Denver, and nine other museums and historic attractions statewide. History Colorado is one of only six Smithsonian Affiliates in Colorado. Visit, or call 303-HISTORY, for more information.