What the Historic District Means for My Property

Why Curtis Park?

The neighborhood’s origins harken back to 1871 when Denver’s first streetcar line arrived on Champa Street and a bustling residential suburb took shape. Curtis Park appealed to prosperous businessmen, retail shop workers and blue-collar employees alike, as they lived side-by-side in attached rowhouses, narrow homes, and grand manses on spacious lots.  

The neighborhood’s golden age lasted until the silver crash of 1893, when the neighborhood began a long era of decline, and in the ensuing decades many homes were divided into apartments or abandoned.  Some stability was regained when Latino-, Japanese-, and African-American families moved in during the 1940s and 1950s. A growing recognition of the neighborhood’s architecture led to Curtis Park’s revival and historical designations a couple of decades later.  

Today, as you walk the streets of Curtis Park you will find a vibrant neighborhood with stylish new buildings blending gracefully with historic residences, some fully restored and others in various stages of rehabilitation. Once again, a diverse mix of residents is attracted to Denver’s first streetcar neighborhood, with its exceptional architectural variety, its location near a modern streetcar line, and its abundance of commercial and cultural options.

Click here to learn more about the history of Curtis Park.

Historic District Designation

Most of the real estate in Curtis Park is earmarked as a Denver historic district.   Local historic district designation honors Curtis Park’s striking and impressive collection of late 19th and early 20th century historic buildings.  Check this page or type your address into the Denver Landmark finder to discover whether your property is within the Curtis Park Historic District (a-h). It is very uncommon for an old building within the district to be non-historic.

All exterior alterations, additions, and new construction in a historic district–for old, historic, and new–require design review approval from Denver Landmark Preservation.

This district designation also brings protection in the form of city historic review of exterior alterations, additions and new construction.  Because all exterior changes in the historic district require approval from the city, your neighbor can’t remove a charming hand-crafted front porch or construct a large addition unchecked. Before issuing a building permit, the city confirms that all planned additions and alterations fit the character of the historic building in question as well as the surrounding historic district.   

Property owners in Curtis Park are truly “in this thing together.” This process provides certainty that the neighborhood’s historic character will be protected. This also translates into strong property values and appreciation for the neighborhood (more information here).  

Click here to learn more about historic designations in Curtis Park.

Home Ownership

Home owners in Curtis Park should take pride in knowing you live in Denver’s first streetcar suburb.  Most homes in Curtis Park built in 1925 or earlier are considered “historic” or “contributing” to the Curtis Park Historic District.  To find out if your property is contributing or non-contributing to the historic district, contact Denver Landmark Preservation.  

If your house is historic-age and contributing, then you are fortunate to own a unique piece of Denver history, and serve as a steward of that property for future generations.  You will want to familiarize yourself with the home’s character-defining features and maintain the property in a sensitive manner to retain its historic character and value.  

Historic homeowners can also benefit from historic preservation tax credits, a state income tax write-off for major home repairs and rehabilitation work.

Contributors

New historic district web pages were added to the Curtis Park Neighbors website in 2019 to give property owners a quick reference guide to understanding and caring for historic homes in the Curtis Park Historic Districts. This update was made possible by financial assistance from Historic Denver Inc. and Curtis Park Neighbors, Inc.

Project Management and Guidance provided by Sue Glassmacher, former Chair of the Curtis Park Design Review Committee. Content by Barbara Stocklin-Steely, MSCRP, Square Moon Consultants. Website pages designed and engineered by Paul Davidson.

Site feedback should be directed to cpn-designreview@googlegroups.com.

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.