Golden’s Historic Preservation program is regulated by Chapter 18.58 of the Municipal Code.
The preservation of Golden’s historic resources helps the community and visitors connect with the city’s rich history.
Golden’s 3 locally designated historic districts
- 8th and 9th Street District
- 12th Street District
- East Street District.
For additional information about Golden’s history please see the Historic Preservation Plan , last updated in 2018.
Historic Golden Walking Tours
Certificates of Appropriateness (COAs)
Renovating a building within one of Golden’s historic districts comes with opportunities and constraints. Most exterior alterations to a building within the established historic districts must have a Certificate of Appropriateness review.
Visit our Online Permitting System and register for an account to submit the appropriate COA application online:
- Certificate of Appropriateness-Compatibility for additions, alterations and new structures or new construction in the city’s Historic Districts or individually designated structures.
- Certificate of Appropriateness-Demolition for the demolition of structures in the city’s Historic Districts, individually designated structures, or nonresidential structures over 50 years old. Fee is assessed per property.
- The Historic Preservation Board meets the 2nd Wednesday of each month. See the Agenda, Minutes, Web Casts, Schedules page for the Board’s meeting schedule, upcoming agendas and meeting packets.
- Complete applications are generally due at least 4 to 6 weeks prior to the desired meeting date. Complex projects will require more extensive review and should schedule time to meet with city staff prior to the submission of an application.
- Proposed changes to buildings within the city’s historic districts are subject to review by the Historic Preservation Board. Specific design guidelines for rehabilitations, additions and new construction are found in The City of Golden Historic District Design Guidelines .
Required Application Materials
- Letter of intent describing the proposed project
- Site plan to scale
- Architectural drawings of each impacted elevation to scale (should include specifications of materials including manufacturers and colors)
- Historical information regarding the existing structure including photographs and other documentation
- For new structures or modification of facades, a context study is required and must include photographs and architectural descriptions of surrounding and existing structures within a 2-block radius or within the specific historic district.
- Letter of intent describing the reason for the demolition
- Existing conditions report of the site and structures, including professional structural assessments, photographs and other information that details the condition of the structure
- Historical information regarding the existing site and structures, including photographs and other documentation
Preservation Tax Credits
In July of 2015, the state of Colorado offered a new tax credit for the rehabilitation of qualified historic buildings. Federal and state tax laws provide tax incentives for historic preservation projects that follow the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation. Preservation tax credit applications are handled through History Colorado. Visit HistoryColorado.org to learn more about the rules and application process.
Local Register of Historic Sites and Districts
The 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 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.