Historic Preservation

Glenwood Springs has a rich and colorful past that is preserved in its collection of historic buildings, sites and objects.

A seven-member Historic Preservation Commission oversees and promotes the city’s historic preservation program by 

  • Increasing awareness of the city’s unique history
  • Designating historical and architectural landmarks
  • Conducting surveys and inventories of buildings, sites, and objects
  • Preserving the characteristics that make designated properties unique and important

We’d love to talk to you about your property and Glenwood Springs’ unique history.  Give us a call, send us an email, or join us at one of our monthly meetings.

Financial Incentives
City of Glenwood Springs
If your property is locally landmarked and used for residential purposes, you are eligible for a rebate of the City's general operating mill levy, not including fire bonds.  The City provides the rebate after you present a receipt from the Garfield County Treasurer's office showing that you paid your property taxes in the year that you request the rebate.

State of Colorado
If you own a designated historic commercial or residential building and are considering a restoration or rehabilitation project, you may be eligible for grants and tax credits from either History Colorado or the National Park Service, or both.  History Colorado's Office of Archaeology and Historic Preservation has more information about these financial assistance programs.

Historic Preservation Commission
The Glenwood Springs Historic Preservation Commission is a seven member, City Council-appointed commission whose mission is to identify, preserve, develop, and promote Glenwood Springs' architectural, historical, and cultural heritage.

The Historic Preservation Commission page has information about upcoming meetings, minutes, agendas, as well as a list of its current members.

Inventoried & Surveyed Properties
In 1981, 1998, 2002 and 2003 in partnership with the State Historical Society, the City conducted architectural and historical surveys of Glenwood Springs' residential and commercial properties.  The purpose of these surveys was to provide an assessment and inventory of historic buildings, and to raise awareness of the city's unique architectural and historical heritage.  These surveys form the basis of Glenwood Springs' historic preservation efforts.

Each survey contains an architectural description of the property, a brief historical narrative, and an assessment of the property's eligibility for listing in the National Register of Historic Places.

The 2003 Survey Report (PDF, 78 MB) contains a list of the properties that have been surveyed between 1981 and 2003.  Please contact the Community Development Department if you want a survey report for a particular property.

Landmarked Properties
Glenwood Springs has a number of officially designated buildings and sites.  This includes properties that are listed in the National or State Registers of Historic Places, or that are locally landmarked.

Glenwood Springs Designated Properties List

Local Landmark Program
Glenwood Springs established its local landmark program to recognize, preserve and promote buildings and places that are significant to the city's historical, architectural and cultural character.  The Historic Preservation Commission oversees the city's landmark program while the City of Glenwood Springs City Council is responsible for awarding landmark status to local buildings, sites and objects.

To see if your property qualifies for local landmark designation, read about the program details in the Local Landmark Program brochure (PDF, 367 KB).

Community Development Department staff or members of the Historic Preservation Commission are available to answer questions about the program, to assist in researching the history of your property, or to help you complete the short Local Landmark application.

Plans & Regulations
Preservation of the city's unique historical character and resources is identified in a number of the city's adopted plans and regulations.

Comprehensive Plan
The city's Comprehensive Plan (PDF, 11.8 MB) was adopted in 2011 and is the community's guide for making land use decisions and is based on the community's values and vision for the future.

Downtown Design Standards
The City of Glenwood Springs adopted Downtown Design Standards (PDF, 2.88 MG) in 2001 to ensure that new development and building rehabilitations in the downtown core respect the historic and special character of the central business district and surrounding neighborhoods. 

Downtown Plan
The Downtown Plan (PDF, 14 MB) was adopted in 1998 and serves as the comprehensive vision for the downtown area.  Key guiding principles include 

  • Maintaining and strengthening downtown's role as the historic center of the community
  • Ensuring that new infill development respects the small town scale and historic context of the central business district
  • Preserving and enhancing the pedestrian atmosphere

2-page summary (PDF, 2.24 MB) of the plan provides a quick overview of the key goals and objectives.

Preservation Plan
Adopted in 2008, the City of Glenwood Springs Preservation Plan (PDF, 5.57 MB) establishes the nature of the city's historic and architecturally significant resources, identifies key preservation-related issues facing the community, recommends a phased action plan to build awareness and proposes measures to safeguard and enhance the community's historic resources for future generations.

Tour Historic Properties
If you are interested in learning more about the history of the city's unique buildings and places take a tour of Glenwood Springs' landmarked and historically significant places (PDF, 13.34 MB).