- The Strang Grain Elevator
- The Hottel House
- The First National Bank @ Mountain & College
- Unity Church at College & Mulberry
- The Episcopalian Church @ Oak & College
- The downtown war memorial
- Franklin school
- 1st Methodist Church on College
Anyone who’s lived in Fort Collins for a lifetime can tell you what these buildings have in common. They are among a long list of largely beloved structures that were torn down, replaced with not so lovable structures.
In large part, they’re why the city now funds historic preservation planning, in the form of two paid staff positions.
Historic preservation planners oversee regulations, to help prevent destruction of landmark buildings for short-term profit.
But they also provide incentives, like grant writing and interest-free loans, to those who want to invest in restoration. Most recently, the Paramount Cottage Camp. But here’s a sample of buildings that are restored today because work from our planners:
- Linden Hotel
- Armstrong Hotel
- Northern Hotel
- Silver Grill building
- Avery House
- Street car barn
- First Baptist Church
- Countless private residences.
The city now is talking about cutting one of the preservation positions. People who know about such things tell me that it means we’ll still have plenty of regulation, but no time for incentives.
They say the “carrot” piece of the program, which will be lost, actually pays for itself in the form of grants from state and other outside organizations.
This could be a big blow to Fort Collins historic preservation. You can only regulate demolition for so long, before buildings become too run down to save.
Some preservationists showed up tonight at City Council to ask for reconsideration. There are also opportunities for community input into the budget planning over the next few weeks.
If you care about such things, show up. Speak, or just be present. It will mean a lot to those who oversee the historic integrity of Fort Collins.