Preservation of historic buildings isn’t standing in the way of affordable housing. The truth is, more Denver homes have been demolished in the last 10 years than have been protected through preservation over the last 50 years.
Historic buildings are flexible and adaptable, and have proven over generations that they can be modified to serve a community’s needs, offering density without demolition. Older houses can be modified to accommodate more living units than they do today. Accessory dwelling units — which were common in some historic neighborhoods — can add gentle density.
Buildings that were not originally homes — like churches, fire stations and hotels — have been adaptively reused for housing with great success. In fact, most of downtown Denver’s affordable and income-restricted housing is found in historic buildings.