Westminster's historic preservation program allows for the voluntary landmarking of historic properties. While the city or members of the public may suggest that your property be landmarked, it is ultimately your decision whether to do so.

If you are interested in landmarking, city staff and the Westminster Historical Society can assist you by providing historical research and photos that are available and by helping you find additional resources to help document the historical significance of your home or business property. The Colorado Historical Society also has a webpage that can help you research the history of your property: House History Research.

The landmarking application does not require a fee, and city staff will assist you in preparing the application. The application is submitted to the Historic Landmark Board, which will review it and determine whether the property is significant under the terms of the ordinance (the list of factors that contribute to historic significance are found in section 11-13-5 of the ordinance). The Historic Landmark Board may then recommend to City Council that your property be landmarked or may decide that further information is required before it can do so, and may make recommendations to you that will help you meet the requirements of the ordinance.

Landmark application
Applying for local landmark designation is simple and requires no special form. It is helpful to provide your application in digital form (e.g. by email or on a CD) so that city staff can assist you in the application process.  Your application will need to provide the following information:
A. Address and legal description of property
B. Name of owner 
C. The structures and particular features that should be preserved
D. A statement of the architectural significance or the important historical associations that make the property significant. The significance should fall under one of the following categories:
  • Exemplifies specific elements of an architectural style or period;  
  • Is an example of the work of an architect or builder who is recognized for expertise nationally, statewide, regionally, or locally; 
  • Demonstrates superior craftsmanship or high artistic value; 
  • Represents an innovation in construction, materials or design; 
  • Represents a style particularly associated with the Westminster area; 
  • Represents a built environment of a group of people in an era of history; 
  • Represents a pattern or grouping of elements representing at least one of the above criteria; 
  • Has undergone significant historic remodel; 
  • Is the site of historic event that had an effect upon society; 
  • Exemplifies cultural, political, economic or social heritage of the community; 
  • Represents an association with a notable person or the work of a notable person; 
  • Represents a typical example/association with a particular ethnic group; 
  • Represents a unique example of an event in Westminster's history; 
  • Enhances sense of identity of the community; 
  • Is an established and familiar natural setting or visual feature of the community.

Life after landmark designation
After the board and City Council approve your application to landmark your property, you must seek the board's review if you have plans for construction, demolition, moving, reconstruction, restoration or alteration that would change the exterior appearance of the of the landmarked structure, or for alterations of any nature that require a building permit to be issued by the city’s planning division.  (Note: If you have non-historic outbuildings on your property, these would not be included in the landmark designation and would not require board review if you have plans to change or demolish them.)

Modifications and additions to landmarked properties are routinely approved by preservation boards, subject to the requirement that these modifications and additions be completed in a way that reflects the significant characteristics of the original structure that make it historically important. The guidelines for modifications have developed out of standards set forth by the U.S. Secretary of Interior, and they have been used nationwide for 40 years. Based on the long use of these guidelines, a great deal of experience has been accumulated that will inform the board's decision to approve or deny a modification.

State or National Register nominations
If you believe that your home or business property has sufficient historical significance that it may qualify for the State Register of Historic Places or the National Register of Historic Places, ask city staff for further information on how to apply for these honorary designations. There are several National Register properties in the Westminster area. The State Register and National Register designations contribute greatly to public interest and pride in Westminster's fascinating roots and development over the years. In the case of income-producing property, the National Register designation may also open the door to further tax benefits that can make the difference financially in your decision to rehabilitate and continue to use a historic property for business purposes.

Contact Us:

Cultural Affairs Administrator, Rich Neumann, at 303-658-2185 or rneumann@westminsterco.gov.