Historic Preservation


In 1859, John Gregory's discovery of gold in a gulch just east of present-day Central City set off a gold rush.  Within two months the population grew to over 15,000 people, all seeking their fortunes.  Central City soon became known as the "Richest Square Mile on Earth."

Due to Central City's importance in Colorado mining history and the remarkable preservation of its buildings, it was named a National Historic Landmark in 1961 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1966.  When the Historic Landmark boundaries were updated in 1991, Central City was noted to have 294 contributing buildings.  Central City's historic buildings are protected by city ordinance, and Central City is a Certified Local Government, a program through the National Park Service and State Historic Preservation Office which confers responsibilities for historic preservation to local communities.

As part of Central City's CLG obligations, regular surveys of historic properties have been conducted, all of which can be viewed in their entirety at City Hall.  To maintain "contributing" status and ensure the integrity of the historic district, any exterior changes or new construction in the historic district are reviewed by the Historic Preservation Commission.  These changes are evaluated based on the Central City Design Guidelines.

Looking to rehabilitate or rebuild your historic rock walls? Central City has funds available to help!

The Historic Preservation Rock Wall Restoration Reimbursement Grant Program offers up to a 50% reimbursement of costs associated with rock wall repair, capped at $5,000 per property.


May 31, 2022 Preliminary Application of Intent Due

August 31, 2022  Final Grant Application Due

Please contact Jamie at jboyle@cityofcentral.co or 303 582 5251 x32 for more information.

Program Flyer

Application of Intent

Final Application

Grant Guide

Reimbursement Request Form

Reference Materials:

Design Guidelines

Looking to paint your historic residence? Central City has funds available to help!

The Historic Preservation Paint Reimbursement Grant Program offers up to a 50% reimbursement of exterior painting and paint preparation costs for work completed by a licensed contractor, or up to 100% reimbursement of exterior paint and paint supplies for work completed by a property owner, capped at $2,000 per property.

Funds are available on a first-come, first-served basis, so submit your application soon!

Rolling Deadlines: March 1, April 1, May 1June 1, July 1August 1, September 1, and October 1, 2022, or until funds are exhausted (whichever comes first).  Total funding allotted for this program is $10,000.

Please contact Jamie at jboyle@cityofcentral.co or 303 582 5251 x32 for more information.


Grant Guide

Reimbursement Form


The following are the pre-approved historic paint palettes for Central City at this time:

Unsure of what colors to choose for your historic property?

The 2022 Design Guidelines contain helpful tips on choosing coordinating colors that will highlight your building's architectural style. See Appendix H, Guidance on Choosing Historic Paint Colors. 

The HPO also has reference books, paint palettes, and other resources available to the public at City Hall. 

Victorian Landmarks are declared by resolution of City Council because of the character of their interior space, which must be substantially intact in terms of (1) original configuration, (2) original volume, (3) original architectural ornamentation and decoration.

  • Teller House, 110 Eureka (January 6, 1993, Reso. 1-93)
  • Williams Stables, 115 Eureka (March 4, 1992, Reso. 11-92)
  • Opera House, 124 Eureka (February 3, 1993, Reso. 2-93)
  • Coeur D'Alene Mine (April 21, 1993, Reso. 15-93)
  • Gold Coin Saloon, 122 Main (February 19, 1992, Reso. 6-92)
  • Clark School, 142 Lawrence (October 23, 1992, Reso. 47-92)

Belvidere Theater

In 2016, Central City gained ownership of the historic Belvidere Theater, one of Colorado Preservation Inc's most endangered places. Since then, the City has been working toward beginning rehabilitation, in order to provide a usable space to the benefit of the community. The first major phase of construction, involving restoration of the façade and the Shoofly Bar portion of the building, is slated to begin in summer of 2022. Learn more about the history, the rehabilitation, and the City's non-profit partner, The Belvidere Foundation, here

Energy Efficiency

Though historic homes are generally designed to be energy efficient –through the careful selection of building materials and thoughtful building design – over time, equipment becomes outdated and maintenance or upgrades are required to ensure continued efficiency. The energy needs of homes might change overtime. In the winter, homes may find benefit from additional insulation against the impacts of more intense winter storms; in the summer, unprecedented temperatures may drive homeowners to consider air conditioning for the first time.

If you are considering any energy efficient improvements check out the Residential Resource Guide for Historic Properties, available under the Partners in Energy tab.