HPC Application Portal

What does it mean to be in a historic district?


Central City has been part of a National Historic Landmark District since 1961.  The Central City-Black Hawk-Nevadaville District has been recognized as nationally significant for its remarkable mining history and exceptional degree of historic and architectural integrity retained over the decades.

Maintaining our historic buildings and resources is vital to Central City’s unique identity and connects us to our heritage.

Owning property within the historic district comes with responsibilities as well as opportunities.  Any exterior changes or new construction on properties within the historic district must be granted a Certificate of Appropriateness by the Historic Preservation Commission before a building permit can be issued or work can begin.  This applies to all property in the historic district, whether new or historic.

The Central City Design Guidelines provide the parameters by which the Historic Preservation Commission makes their decisions.  The Design Guidelines were developed to ensure that the historic character of Central City is preserved while allowing for changes to be made for twenty-first century living.

Property owners within the historic district are eligible for incentives such as state and federal tax credits for the rehabilitation of their historic buildings.

Please contact the Historic Preservation Officer for more information about applying for a Certificate of Appropriateness or incentive programs. Click here for a brochure on the building process in Central City.

Any changes to exterior paint colors must be approved by the HPO or the HPC.

  • Repainting in the same color and finish as the existing requires NO approval.
  • Painting in colors from the pre-approved historic paint palettes requires HPO approval.
  • Painting in any other colors requires HPC approval.

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


Submit this application to the HPO at compliance@cityofcentral.co for exterior paint projects using pre-approved historic colors. 

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. 

Check out Central City's Paint Reimbursement Grant Program!

Certificates of Appropriateness

Commercial - $500.00

New Residential - $100.00

Existing Residential - Free

Federal and state laws provide tax incentives for historic preservation projects that follow the Secretary of Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation.


Colorado provides Historic Preservation Tax Credits for both residential and commercial properties.  All tax credits are now reviewed by History Colorado.

Preservation Tax Credit Fact Sheet

Tax Credit Application Forms


Since January 1, 2020, qualified expenditures on residential properties in Central City will receive at 35% tax credit.  Qualified expenditures must be at least $5,000, and the maximum credit available for each project is $50,000.

Residential Properties Brochure


Qualified expenditures on commercial properties in Central City will receive a 35% tax credit for project expenditures of $2 million or less.

All qualified expenditures above $2 million will receive a 30% tax credit.

Credits must be reserved on a first come-first served basis.  The maximum credit available for each project is $1 million.

Commercial Properties Brochure



Qualified expenditures on the rehabilitation of historic, income-producing properties will receive a 20% tax credit.

Federal Tax Incentives Information

Federal Tax Credit Brochure

Federal Rehabilitation Credit FAQ