Historic Preservation

Golden’s Historic Preservation program is regulated by Chapter 18.58 of the Municipal Code.

Historic District

So my home is in a Historic District?  What does that mean?

Historic DistrictsThe City of Golden has designated certain areas as historic districts because it recognizes that preservation of the historic buildings and character of individual historic districts is important to give Golden citizens a tangible link with our heritage. Golden has three designated districts: the 8th and 9th Street Historic District, the 12th Street Historic District and the East Street Historic District.

Historic HomeOwning a home within one of Golden’s historic districts comes with certain constraints, as well as opportunities. Most exterior alterations to a building within the established historic districts must have a Certificate of Appropriateness (COA) pdf icon review before the Historic Preservation Board (HPB) before a building permit can be issued. There are also instances where a building permit is not necessarily required but an HPB review is still required. The purpose for reviewing changes is to ensure that the historic character of a district is preserved, while encouraging property owners to make improvements to their properties.

See The City of Golden Historic District Residential Design Guidelines pdf icon for more information on specific design guidelines and other opportunities for incentives such as federal and state tax credits. The design guidelines are to be used in review of historic building designations, in rehabilitation of historic district buildings, and in review of building additions and new construction. Such projects as repainting with the same color, landscaping projects and the addition of storm windows do not require a COA review.

These types of reviews start in the Planning Division. Do not hesitate to call at 303-384-8097 with questions regarding your project and whether or not your property requires a Certificate of Appropriateness Review.

Historic Designation Type

Historic WindowThe Local Register of Historic Sites and Districts is a list of significant buildings, structures, districts, and archaeological sites located in Golden. There are both contributing and non-contributing structures both within and outside of historic districts. A property considered for nomination must meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • The property is associated with events that have made a significant contribution to history.
  • The property is connected with persons significant in history.
  • The property has distinctive characteristics of a type, period, method of construction or artisan.
  • The geographic importance of the property.
  • The property contains the possibility of important discoveries related to prehistory or history.

The Historic Preservation Board has the authority to evaluate and determine if a structure or district is of historical, architectural, and/or geographic importance. The owner of a single site or 50% of the landowners in a proposed district must complete the site designation form pdf icon and submit to the Historic Preservation Board for historic site designation. The recommendation from the Board is then sent to City Council for final approval.

Any person desiring to perform work on a site designated property should apply to the Historic Preservation Board for a Certificate of Appropriateness review. A Certificate of Appropriateness pdf icon application must be completed 30 days prior to the next regular Historic Board meeting.

The State Register of Historic Properties is a list of significant buildings, structures, objects, districts, and historic and archaeological sites. The listing in the State Register imposes no restrictions on what a property owner may do with their property or change in zoning. The program is administered by the Office of Archaeology and Historic Preservation.

The National Register of Historic Places represents the official list of the nation’s cultural resources worthy of preservation which include districts, sites, buildings, structures and objects that are significant in American history, architecture, archaeology, engineering, and culture. Listing of a property does not impose any responsibilities upon the private property owner for maintenance or restoration. A private owner may alter or demolish a National Register site without consultation with the State or the National Park Service. However, the result of any such action that compromises the historic character of a site may cause the property to be removed from the Register. The program is maintained by the National Park Service in Washington, D.C.

Endangered Sites List

Golden Historic HomeGolden’s historic places are under the constant threat of development and deterioration or neglect. In order to bring attention to special places not currently protected by historic designation, Golden’s Historic Preservation Board (HPB) identifies the city’s most endangered landmarks and landscapes annually.

With the aid of citizens, community organizations and preservationist organizations, HPB honors Golden’s historic treasures through the annual Endangered Sites List. The list brings awareness and attention to Golden’s historic treasures, and also serves to educate the community on the value of historic preservation of Golden’s unique places.
Individuals and organizations nominate sites for two reasons: to give a site breathing   room while seeking funds or other assistance in preservation, and to prompt public conversation about saving historic places in Golden.

Available for download below, please find the Historic Preservation Board‘s list of the most endangered historic sites in Golden.

COG Mesa

 Golden was named after Thomas L. Golden,
a gold prospector who arrived in Jefferson County in 1858.

Additional Resources

City of Golden, Colorado
COG Mesa