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Historic Property Preservation & Renovation

Historic Districts

The preservation of Golden’s historic resources helps the community and visitors connect with the City’s rich history. Golden has three locally designated historic districts and a number of individually designated sites throughout the City. The City's historic preservation program began in 1983 with the designation of the 12th Street Historic District as a National Register historic district.

Historic Property Renovation

  • 8th and 9th Street District
  • 12th Street District
  • East Street District

Historic Renovations

Renovating a building within one of Golden’s historic districts comes with opportunities and constraints. If you are lucky enough to own one of these historic gems, the following guidelines and procedures will assist you when it’s time to make any changes.

Certificate of Appropriateness

Most exterior alterations to a building within the established historic districts or a locally designated site must have a Certificate of Appropriateness (COA) review by the Historic Preservation Board. If the building is over 50 years old it might be designated or part of a district.

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.
    • No Fee
  • Certificate of Appropriateness-Demolition for the demolition of structures in one of 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. Visit our Public Meetings [link to Public Meetings under Government] 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 [link to Boards & Commissions page under Government]. Specific design guidelines for rehabilitations, additions and new construction are found in the City of Golden Historic District Design Guidelines.

Required Application Materials

COA Compatibility:

  • 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.

COA Demolition:

  • 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. Assessments should be done by professionals with experience with historic structures.
  • Historical information regarding the existing site and structures, including photographs and other documentation.

Preservation Tax Credits

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 to learn more about the rules and application process.

Local Register of Historic Sites & 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 through the Online Permitting Portal for historic site designation. The recommendation from the Board is then sent to City Council for final approval.

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