There are some significant benefits to creating a historic district as opposed to individually landmarking specific properties within a given area. The Loomis Addition neighborhood already has several individually landmarked properties. But creating a district will provide benefits beyond what those current property owners are now entitled to.
Benefits will be available to property owners that wouldn’t otherwise qualify
To “landmark” a property means giving a special designation to it that will not only help it to retain it’s historic character, but that will also enable the property owner to take advantage of significant financial benefits from both the City and the State. But in order to be landmarked, a property has to have a certain level of integrity and significance. Some houses come close, but they’re not quite there. In preservationist lingo these houses are “contributing” (to a district) but not “individually eligible” (for designation on their own).
This house on West Oak is a 1-story with a front porch, pitched roofline, and the classic exposed rafters of a Craftsman style bungalow. But because it was covered in steel siding some time in the 1960s and the original open front porch was enclosed, it no longer has quite the same character that it once had. This house would contribute to a historic district because it retains a lot of its original character, but it cannot be individually landmarked because the siding and front porch damage its integrity.
While a landmarked house would be eligible for State tax credits (up to $50,000 over ten years) and zero interest loans from the City (up to $7,500 every year) this “contributing” house would only be eligible for financial incentives if it were in a historic district.
There are many properties in this situation in the Loomis Addition.
All of the dark blue lots in the map above indicate properties that have already been individually designated as historic landmarks by the City of Fort Collins. All of the light blue blocks indicate properties that are eligible to become historic landmarks on their own. But all of the green blocks show houses that have some, but not enough, integrity to become landmarks. They could contribute to a historic district, but the only other way that they could be considered for landmark designation would be if the owners were to restore their property back to its original character. (Which, in the case of the example above, would mean removing the steel siding and opening the front porch back up.)
Forming a historic district in the Loomis Addition could enable as many as 74 property owners to take advantage of financial benefits that they otherwise wouldn’t qualify for.