Historic Designation and Documentation

About the Program

Historic Routt County partners with willing property owners to nominate historic properties to the Routt County, Colorado State and/or National Registers of Historic Properties, as a tool to recognize, celebrate, and protect our historic places. Historic designation is an important step towards historic preservation that honors the property, records historical information for posterity, and is usually required for preservation grant and tax credit eligibility.

Historic Routt County also undertakes projects to document our cultural landscapes. Learn more about our Moving Mount Harris Inventory Project.

Designation Process

For Steamboat Springs, Routt County, State, and National historic designation, an eligible building, structure, object, or site will be at least 50 years old and meet other significance and integrity criteria. Please note, there are important differences between the Steamboat Springs Register of Historic Places and Routt County Register of Historic Properties.

Steamboat Springs Register of Historic Places

  • Established in 2009; eligible to properties in Steamboat Springs City Limits.
  • Regulatory register: once a property is designated, the City’s Historic Preservation Commission must review and approve exterior alterations to ensure the structure maintains its historic character.
  • Designated resources are eligible for 35% Colorado income tax credit for qualified rehabilitation expenses through the State Historic Preservation Tax Credit. 
  • Property owners receive a plaque and recognition from the Steamboat Springs Historic Preservation Commission.                                                   

Routt County Register of Historic Properties

  • Established in 1993; eligible to properties throughout Routt County, including in local municipalities.
  • Honorary register: no additional regulations to protect historic character of the resource. Does not prevent or restrict demolition or major alterations.
  • Properties listed on both Routt County AND State registers are eligible for 35% historic preservation tax credit.
  • Property owners receive a plaque and recognition from Historic Routt County, typically during our Annual Meeting.

How to Begin

    1. Contact Historic Routt County if you have questions, want to know if your property may be eligible for designation, curious about tax credits, etc.
    2. Work with us! Historic Routt County designates publicly owned resources free of charge and bills $250 to prepare applications to the local registers for private properties. Fees for State and National registers are determined on a case-by-case basis.
    3. Or do it yourself!

Questions? Need Help?

Contact us!

Remember … Historic Designation:

      • Does not affect the use of a structure;
      • Does not affect interior alterations (unless you’re seeking tax credits);
      • Does not prevent the owner from painting a designated building;
      • Does not affect the sale of a property.
      • Does not require public access or tours!

Benefits of Designation

    • The property becomes eligible for a variety of financial incentives at the local, state, and federal levels.
    • The property gains formal recognition and value as an historic resource in the community.
    • A property owner is honored during HRC’s annual meeting with a bronze plaque, which identifies the property as listed on the Routt County Historic Register of Historic Properties.
    • Rehabilitation and environmental costs for re-use of existing structures are generally less than costs for demolition and new construction.
    • Community pride and appreciation of the historic and cultural resources of Routt County are enhanced.