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Colorado Historical Foundation

Join us in documenting, interpreting, commemorating and protecting Colorado's historic resources. Your support helps sustain financial, legal and technical resources used to archive, protect, care for and interpret our state's storied history and special places for generations to come.

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Historic Preservation Easements

Class

Arts, Culture & Humanities 

Beneficiaries

General population

Description

An historic preservation easement ensures a property's history, culture and architectural character are protected in perpetuity. It's a tool to protect a property from demolition or severe alteration to its historic character. Any changes must be discussed and approved by the easement holder. An easement is a contractual agreement between a property owner and a holding organization, such as the Colorado Historical Foundation. It is a legally binding, publicly recorded covenant that survives property transfers and is attached to the property deed in perpetuity.

The Colorado Historical Foundation holds 111 easements on historic sites throughout Colorado. Through regular monitoring and consultation by our architectural historian, we partner with property owners to ensure that key pieces of Colorado's historic fabric are treated with care and maintain their integrity.

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Evidence of Program's Success

"Cindy Nasky is our contact and easement administrator with the Colorado Historical Foundation for the Mancos Opera House. Since Linda and I bought the Opera House in fall 2017, Cindy has been an invaluable resource. Not only has she guided us through the requirements of the historic preservation easement on the building, she and the Foundation have been helpful and responsive when we have needed to perform work on the parts of the building under easement. She has a great understanding of historic structures, and useful resources, and most importantly, she offers encouragement when it is sorely needed." - Philip Walters, Mancos Opera House

"Arapahoe County Open Space values our long-standing partnership with the Colorado Historical Foundation in the preservation of our 17 Mile House and associated farm. The Foundation's director of preservation programs, continues to effectively support our preservation projects, collaborate with our staff team and seeks to understand the unique needs of our County. Successful historic preservation takes partnerships, and we certainly feel we have a great partner in our work with the Colorado Historical Foundation." - Glen Poole, Arapahoe County Open Spaces Manager

Preservation Project Support

Class

Arts, Culture & Humanities 

Beneficiaries

General population

Description

The Colorado Historical Foundation facilitates a variety of historic preservation projects. We provide technical assistance, team development, research and financing strategy. Our staff partners with public and private property owners to shore up deteriorating structures, nominate sites for historical designation, procure construction documents, select appropriate contractors, piece together funding sources, as well as manage economic impact studies and survey and planning projects.

Recent projects include surveys of Colorado sites associated with the under-told histories of women's suffrage, African American travel during the Jim Crow era, and the LGBTQ community. The Colorado Historical Foundation is also working with the Bent County Historical Society to stabilize and preserve Boggsville in Southeast Colorado, a tangible site representative of Westward expansionism including common social mores of the settlement period such as cross-cultural marriage and cohabitation.

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Evidence of Program's Success

"Your grant administration is very accurate and you always keep us informed every step of the way. Early on when you met with us personally, I had a good feeling about what you could help us with, and that feeling was very true. It seems you have a love of Boggsville as we do, and you seem like one of our Bent County Boggsville Lovers. Your goals and plans are very reasonable and you always explain what you are doing. Communication with us is superb, whether it be a zoom meeting, teleconference, or a personal meeting. Your partnership with us in invaluable and appreciated." - Kathleen Tomlin, Administrator, Bent Historical Society

Fund Stewardship

Class

Arts, Culture & Humanities 

Beneficiaries

General population

Description

We serve as a fiscal agent and can hold custodial funds or endowments for the benefit of other entities with programs supporting Colorado history and preservation.

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Evidence of Program's Success

The Colorado Historical Foundation has performed fund stewardship since 1965. Total restricted and custodial funds in our care as of the end of last fiscal year totaled over $6 million.

Preservation Loans

Class

Community Development 

Beneficiaries

General population

Description

Through a $3 million revolving loan fund, we offer flexible, low-rate financing for historic property redevelopment projects throughout Colorado. The five-year loans can be used to bolster grant funding, tax credits, and other forms of public or private financing. Our goal through this program is to increase historic preservation's positive impact on communities throughout Colorado by enhancing their local pride of place. Added benefits include local job stimulation, new business opportunities, living spaces and gathering places within the walls of Colorado's historic buildings. We recognize traditional investors may be hesitant or unable to embark on what might be perceived as complex or risky historic preservation projects, and our program helps bridge that gap. This program was seeded by a History Colorado State Historical Fund Grant.

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Evidence of Program's Success

Over $8.6 million in funding has been approved to support 24 historic property redevelopment projects, making it possible to leverage grants and other forms of private and public investment in historic preservation projects throughout Colorado. During 2020-2021, the Foundation received more than 30 inquiries about financing for upcoming historic preservation projects throughout the state.

"Roughly two months prior to the scheduled closing date, it became apparent that we were not going to be able to meet the deadline to close on our project with our full funding secured, and instead we would need to find intermediary funding to close on the building while our full financial closing was taking shape. The CHF not only stepped up to provide funding towards the acquisition on short notice, but they agreed to subordinate to another lender in order to do so, which few other lenders would do. Their low interest rates also mean that our carrying costs are manageable while we work towards our financial closing, allowing us to proceed with our closing as planned without raising additional funding. It is not an exaggeration to say that without the Revolving Loan Fund, the Fuel & Iron Project would never have taken shape." - Nathan Stern, Co-Developer, Fuel & Iron Project (Pueblo)

Key aspects of this profile information have been reviewed by Community First Foundation staff. Each organization is exclusively responsible for the content that appears on the profile page. Community First Foundation offers general guidance as to the purpose of each area but does not require or encourage charities to include anything in particular in each section.