Historic Preservation

Historic Preservation Goals

Thousands of communities across the country promote historic preservation to improve neighborhood livability, quality of life, and to minimize negative impacts on the environment. Many property owners are attracted to the adaptability and quality of construction in historic structures. Preservation is a strong mechanism for neighborhood stabilization and enhancement to property values.

The purpose of Durango's historic preservation program is to create a reasonable balance between private property rights and the public interest. Properties that achieve designation of a historic landmark represent our shared historic and cultural heritage, and these places play a key role in defining our local character. Durango's sense of place is defined by our historic places.

Durango has several individually-landmarked properties and one residential historic district. All of these are potentially eligible for financial incentives - such as preservation tax credits - and technical assistance for how to adapt the property to a new and ongoing uses. Properties must be at least 50 years old to be eligible for designation. Please contact the Community Development Department or call (970) 375-4850 for more information on tax credits.

We have a short flyer (PDF) available for realtors to use when marketing homes that have local landmark status.

Background of the East Third Avenue Design Guidelines Project

Our largest historic designation is the East Third Avenue Historic District. Neighborhood residents, the Historic Preservation Board (HPB), and a steering committee worked collaboratively to produce a cooperative system of dialogue and clarification of values. In workshops, participants discussed positive attributes of the neighborhood, explored design concepts that make it unique, and identified design issues that cause concern about future development.

Goals for the District

The overall design goal for the East Third Avenue Historic Avenue District is to preserve the integrity of its individual historic structures and the character of its streetscape. Goals include:

  • Accounting for the relationship of the building to neighborhood design elements such as street trees, secondary structures, historic street elements, front yards, and walkways
  • Maintaining the character of a historic building through elements such as form, mass, and materials
  • Preserving key character-defining features and details