Have you decided you need more space and want to build an addition onto your Curtis Park home? Regardless of whether you are planning an addition to a historic or non-historic home, if your property is within the locally-designated Curtis Park Historic District boundaries, you will need BOTH:
City permits, and
Historic design review approval from Denver Landmark Preservation before beginning work.
A meeting with Curtis Park Neighbors Design Review Committee prior to scheduling a large addition project before the Denver Landmark Preservation Commission is also advisable but not required for most additions.
Navigate the 5 questions below to find out what is needed to complete an addition in Curtis Park. If you are proposing to build a detached accessory dwelling unit (or ADU), Winthen please go here. If you are planning a new garage go here.
1. Is my property in the Curtis Park Historic District?
Check this website or type your address into the Denver Landmark finder to discover whether your property is within the Curtis Park Historic District (a-h). Historic design review is required both for contributing (historic) and non-contributing properties (non-historic) in the historic district, although the design review processes may differ. To find out if your property is contributing or non-contributing to the historic district, contact Denver Landmark Preservation.
2. What makes my house historic?
If your house is contributing to the Curtis Park Historic District, it is a “historic” home. The vast majority of homes in the district are historic homes. To determine what makes your home “historic,” figure out what are the character-defining features that make your home one-of-a-kind, such as its key building materials and architectural style. Owners of both historic and non-historic homes should peruse the Character-Defining features for Curtis Park to determine how your home fits into the historic district. It is important to plan additions that not only meet project goals, but also respect a home’s unique character and are compatible with the historic neighborhood.
3. Are city permits required for my project?
4. Is historic design review required?
Yes. The city’s landmark preservation staff will need to review your project to confirm that the addition fits the character of the historic house and the surrounding historic district. Most small additions that are in the rear of your home and not seen from a public street can be approved by Denver Landmark Preservation staff, typically within a couple of weeks. Large expansions, additions that are highly visible from public streets, and additions that require substantial demolition or changes to a historic house will require review by the Denver Landmark Preservation Commission. To learn more about the city’s historic design review process, click here. You are more likely to obtain city design review approval, if you plan a project that respect’s the character-defining features of your house and the Curtis Park Historic District.
5. How can I ensure my project obtains design review approval?
Contact the knowledgable Curtis Park Neighbors Design Review Committee for advice and ideas. For the best possible results, plan your addition to retain character-defining features, and:
For historic homes, consider a basement conversion or attic renovation with new dormers to add living space to your home.
If a basement or attic conversion is not possible, design the new addition to have a similar shape and roof as the original house.
Expand your house to the rear behind the existing home and size it smaller than the existing house if possible.
Clad the addition with materials already present on your house, such as brick and wood, so that it compliments the historic home.
Avoid a pop-top option for a historic house, since it will remove the original roof and drastically change the home’s appearance and most likely not receive landmark approval.
Minimize the amount of the historic building that will need to be removed to connect with the new addition.
Retain character-defining features, particularly those that are visible from the street, including original porches, doors and windows, and decorative elements, when expanding a historic home.
Keep it simple. If your house is historic, design the addition to follow the existing styling of your home but simplify the details, such as decorative trim, so that the addition is visually distinguished and smaller than the historic home. For non-historic houses, use a simple design and materials common to the neighborhood, so that your house does not draw attention away from neighboring historic homes.
For tips on additions, go to Denver Landmark Preservation’s Guidelines for Additions.
This web content was added in 2019, and is accurate to the best of our abilities. Contact Denver Landmark Preservation for the most up-to-date and accurate information on the city's design review and permit requirements.