Historic Boulder and Landmark Preservation

A wealth of history worth exploring. that has been diligently preserved through the concerted efforts of Historic Boulder, Inc. This non-profit organization, founded in the aftermath of a pivotal struggle for the city’s historical treasures, has since become a beacon for heritage preservation.

In the early 1970s, Boulder was on the cusp of losing some of its most iconic landmarks. The Highland School, the Union-Pacific Depot, and Central School, each an irreplaceable piece of Boulder’s history, were all earmarked for demolition. Recognizing the significant loss that such actions would entail, concerned citizens came together in 1972 to establish Historic Boulder. Thanks to this dedicated group, both the Highland School and the Depot were saved from the wrecking ball. However, the pressing need for a structured legal system to evaluate and safeguard historic sites became evident. As a result, in 1974, the Landmarks Preservation Ordinance came into effect. This significant ordinance was instrumental in setting up an inventory of sites worth preserving, ensuring the heritage of Boulder remained intact for future generations.

Historic Boulder is not just a bystander in these preservation endeavors; it has played a central role in the creation of historic districts, advocated for the designation of landmarks, and consistently explored sites that merit future preservation. With the honor of being the city’s first enduring preservation organization, it persistently stands up for the tangible remnants of Boulder’s heritage.

One of the most anticipated events championed by Historic Boulder is “Meet the Spirits.” Held biennially in even-numbered years, this event transports visitors to the Columbia Cemetery, revealing tales from Boulder’s past. Co-hosted with the City of Boulder, it’s a date marked on every history enthusiast’s calendar.

Homeowners often ponder on the changes they can implement on their historically significant properties. For such queries, it’s advisable to consult the City of Boulder’s Historic Preservation program. While Historic Boulder plays an indispensable role in fostering a culture of preservation, they don’t hold regulatory authority. Following their early successes in the 1970s, Historic Boulder recognized the necessity for a governmental structure to oversee historic places’ protection. They took the initiative to draft a historic preservation ordinance, unanimously accepted by the City Council in 1974. The symbiotic relationship between Historic Boulder and the Landmarks Board, coupled with the City Preservation Staff, underscores their combined mission – preserving Boulder’s unique essence.

Downtown Boulder is a veritable showcase of mid-century modern architecture. Those interested can embark on a self-guided tour, exploring the genius of illustrious architects such as Glen H. Huntington, Hobart Wagener, and Charles Haertling, among others. This journey can be undertaken virtually or by downloading the PocketSights app. An essential facet of Boulder’s history is its early Black community. While relatively lesser-known, it’s a captivating tale waiting to be discovered. A self-guided tour is available on the Historic Boulder website, offering a deep dive into this rich cultural tapestry.

In conclusion, Historic Boulder, Inc. stands as a testament to the community’s undying commitment to preserving the city’s history. Through its initiatives, it ensures that the stories, structures, and spirit of Boulder’s past remain vividly alive for future generations. For those inspired by the work and dedication of Historic Boulder and wish to contribute to this noble cause, consider volunteering your time and skills. Reach out to [email protected] to learn more about how you can make a difference.