Montrose Past and PresentHistoric Preservation

The city's Historic Preservation ordinance, approved in 2018, provides a framework to "enhance the community's local resources by designating qualifying properties, structures, and districts within our community as historic." The ordinance is founded on the belief that the preservation of the architecture, culture, and heritage embodied in these sites is fundamental to maintaining the community's unique character and a tangible connection to its roots.

The ordinance provides appropriate regulations and incentives to:

  • Enhance property values and stabilize historic neighborhoods
  • Establish the city's Historic Register listing designated buildings, structures, sites, objects and districts
  • Cultivate civic pride in the art, architecture, and accomplish­ments of the past
  • Encourage continued private ownership and utilization of historic places now so owned and used
  • Promote thoughtful community planning and design
  • Maintain and improve economic and financial benefits by protecting attractions that bring tourists and visitors to the city
  • Provide educational opportunities to increase public appreciation of the city's unique heritage

The intent of the ordinance is to create a reasonable balance between private property rights and the public interest in preserving the city's unique historic character. Participation in the city's Historic Preservation program is voluntary and can be used by property owners as a means to qualify for state and federal historic preservation funding.

A Historic Preservation Commission, composed of seven voting members appointed by the City Council, was established to oversee the implementation of the ordinance.

City's Historic Register

Properties or districts may be listed on the city's Historic Register only if such property or district has been formally designated through the process outlined in the preservation ordinance.

All properties listed on the State Register of Historic Properties and the National Register of Historic Places are eligible for the city's Historic Register but are not designated until formally approved under the city ordinance.

Eligibility Criteria

Properties or districts shall be at least fifty years old and meet one or more of the following criteria in order to be considered for designation:

  • Association with events that have made a significant contribution to history
  • Connection with persons significant in history
  • Distinctive characteristics of a type, period, method of construction, or artisan
  • Geographic importance
  • Potential to yield important historical information

Applications shall be submitted to the Planning Department for consideration on a form provided by the Commission. Complete the online application here


Any owner of a designated property or contributing property within a designated district may be eligible for economic incentives for the restoration or rehabilitation of that property as provided by the State of Colorado and such additional incentives as may be developed by the Commission or the City Council.