How to Research a Building

Historic Denver’s in-house research team digs up the stories of our city every day, using tools that are mostly available on-line.  You can be a building sleuth too with just a little help!

First, be sure to check our citywide buildings survey- Discover Denver– where you can peruse an interactive map of buildings in your neighborhood or read reports of different parts of the city and the interesting buildings our staff and volunteers discovered.  Hanging out with kids or going for a walk?  Be sure to look at Denver Story Trek, where you can access audio histories of more than a hundred Denver places.

If you are interested in digging deep- perhaps learning more about your own home or block our partners at the Denver Public Library are your best bet.  Their on-line building research tutorial will help you find building permits, identify previous owners of your home, uncover history photographs, understand when major additions were made, and more.

You can find all of this and handy-how-to guides by visiting the Digital Collections of the Western History Department.

Other useful Library collections include neighborhood histories, walking tours, architectural guides, maps, directories and other published research as well as indexes of newspaper articles clipping files, some of which can only be seen in person.

If you get stumped- send us an e-mail and we’ll see if we can help- and share your discoveries on our Facebook page and by making an entry at