1) Research the building or place that has you concerned.
What makes it special? Its history, architecture, geography or culture? Is it already a local landmark or listed on the State Register of Historic Places or National Register of Historic Places? Has the owner already applied for a demolition permit or a Certificate of Demolition Eligibility? If the answer is yes, and you have become concerned about the building because of a public posting read our Community Member’s Guide to Demolition Review, which includes steps specific to that process.
2) Consider the building’s significance.
Is it individually significant (i.e. is it likely to meet the criteria for designation as an individual local landmark) or is it significant because of its relationship with other structures (i.e. it would be a contributing structure to a potential historic district).
If you think the building, and its neighbors, could make a historic district read more about the historic district process. In this case you could also consider working with your neighbors to apply for financial and technical support from Historic Denver’s Action Fund.
If the threat is imminent, or a building or place stands alone is not likely to be a part of a potential historic district, continue reviewing tools and options.
3) Contact the building’s owner to share your concerns.
You can usually find the owner’s information through public records, through friends or neighbors, or simply by knocking on the door! If a demolition application or CNH application is pending you can ask the City of Denver for the owner’s contact information. Initiating a conversation with the property owner as early as possible is key to achieving a successful outcome.
4) Brainstorm potential outcomes.
Preservation is most successful when it’s collaborative. Once you understand the owner’s interests and needs, as well as the community’s hopes, try to identify “win-win” outcomes. Is there a solution that serves the owner and the neighborhood’s interests? For example, if the owner needs to sell can the neighborhood help the owner find a preservation-minded buyer? If the owner does not have the financial resources to care for the property, can you help them understand the preservation incentive programs that could help? If the owner hopes to develop the site, is it possible to save the structure and accommodate additions or new buildings on the site? Thinking through such options, and discussing them with the owner, can sometimes lead to a creative solution.
5) Talk to your friends and neighbors.
Determine whether others share your concerns and could help you achieve a preservation success. Is your Registered Neighborhood Organization interested? Has the group taken a position on the building or supported a neighborhood-wide preservation effort?
6) Contact your City Council Representative.
Ask whether they are aware of the building or any plans for its future. Inquire whether they would be willing to help you engage with the owner and the community in a conversation about the building or resource.
7) Determine your course of action.
Considering all you’ve learned think about what tools make the most sense. Will you pursue designation, a historic district, a creative compromise? Historic Denver can help you weigh your options, and provide feedback about what role the organization can play. Depending on Historic Denver’s assessment of the situation we may be able to offer technical assistance and resource information, broker meetings, brainstorm solutions or offer other support.