One of the many reasons why Fort Collins is considered such a great place to live, is reflected in the way our beautiful city fosters the fabric of “old and new”, intertwining them with one another. One building that fully encompasses this concept is the Ginger and Baker Pie company (pictured below).
According to Fort Collins Historic Preservation, There are over 1,000 designated historic resources, from individual properties to historic districts with more than 200 Fort Collins Landmarks and 3 Landmark Districts that are designated and protected by City ordinance.
This got us thinking, what are the steps that property owners must go through when they own a historic building? What are the benefits and the disadvantages? So, here is our what you need to know about historic building projects.
Vaught Frye Larson, Aronson Architects – National Trust for Historic Preservation – The Ginger and Baker site before (top) and after rehabilitation. Credit: PHOCO
According to the National Parks Service there are four distinct approaches to the treatment of historic properties—preservation, rehabilitation, restoration, and reconstruction—with accompanying Guidelines and Standards for each. The most notable being that historic properties must be restored in as close to the original materials as possible. For example, if a home had a wood shingled roof, then when the roof is repaired or replaced, it must be a wood shingle roof.
To help homeowners and commercial property owners explore the cost difference and longevity of products, Fort Collins Historic Preservation Services worked with nationally renowned preservationist Bob Yapp to produce the new cost calculator tool. These prices are local to the area! Check out the tool before replacing windows, doors, siding, or trim. We found their website to be very informative and helpful, with all the tools anyone would need to research and plan for a historic project.
There are many incentives for historic preservation that can help to offset the costs of a historical renovation project. Not sure if your property is a Fort Collins Landmark? Check here. Think you have a property that is eligible for Landmark status but hasn’t been designated yet? Find out more about applying for Landmark designation.
In some cases, larger projects on income producing properties can qualify for federal historic tax credits. We recommend going to the links to get all the details, not all properties will qualify for incentives, so it is important that you know what to expect before starting.
Grants – The Fort Collins Design Assistance Program provides up to $2,000 for design and technical assistance that impact a building’s exterior. The State of Colorado also has grants available to public and nonprofit entities.
Loans – Since these historic buildings represent a source of pride for the community, a high standard of preservation is expected for these structures. The program provides 0% interest loan funds to residential and non-residential historic properties to help complete those projects.
1883 Water Works building. Credit: Poudre Landmarks Foundation
While the rehabilitation or restoration of a historic property can seem like an overwhelming task, the City of Fort Collins Historic Preservation department along with the Poudre Landmarks Foundation whose mission is “to preserve, restore, protect, and interpret the architectural and cultural heritage of the Fort Collins area and envisions a community that understands, appreciates, and values its past” are 2 fantastic resources to help guide you throughout the process. We recommend checking out two of the historic properties that the Poudre Landmarks Foundation manages, the 1879 Avery House and the 1883 Water Works.
Have you embarked or completed a historical building project? We would love to hear your stories!