Time Machine Tuesday: Colorado’s Historic Grain Elevators and Silos

A century ago much of Colorado was dotted with grain elevators, silos, and other agricultural structures. They were found on both the Eastern Plains and the Western Slope. Today many of these have been lost, but efforts are being made to preserve and reuse some of these structures. Grain elevators and silos were built for […]

CHNC and the Online Historic Newspaper Landscape

With over 1.7 million digitized pages representing nearly 400 newspaper titles stretching back to Colorado’s beginnings as a territory, the Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection (CHNC) is undoubtedly one of the best ways to research Colorado history, as well as broader history with a distinctly Coloradan flavor. There are other historical newspaper resources available online whose […]

Colfax: Metro Denver’s Most Famous (or Infamous!) Street

The Colorado State Library is located on Colfax Avenue, as is the State Capitol. It’s one of the city’s busiest thoroughfares, with a colorful reputation and an intriguing history. The earliest settlers in the Denver area knew it as Grand Avenue or the Golden Road, but residents advocating for Colorado statehood dubbed it Colfax in […]

The Architecture of the CU Boulder Campus

New to our library’s collection is Body & Soul: A Partnership of Architecture and Academics at the University of Colorado Boulder. Written by Campus Architect Emeritus Bill Deno, this book updates an original edition Deno and the University published in 1994 (which can also be found in our library collection). Deno calls the new edition […]

State Capitol Tours

Summer is a great time to tour the State Capitol building. Whether you’re looking for a fun educational activity with your kids, or you’re just curious yourself, a tour of the Capitol is a great way to learn about Colorado’s history and government and enjoy the statehouse’s beautiful architecture. Each year, nearly 70,000 people tour […]

The Legacy of Dearfield, Colorado

Inspired by the writings of Booker T. Washington, Oliver Toussaint Jackson established a farming colony for African-Americans in Weld County in 1910. When one of Jackson’s supporters remarked that the farm fields “will be very dear to us,” the name Dearfield was born. Dearfield’s population grew to about 200 residents, and by the end of […]

Colorado’s Most Endangered Places

Every February, Colorado Preservation Inc. (CPI) releases their annual list of Colorado’s Most Endangered Places. The program brings awareness to historic buildings, landscapes, or archaeological sites around Colorado that are in danger of demolition, neglect, modification, or development. This year’s endangered places, highlighting the history of southern Colorado, are: Adobe Potato Cellars of the San […]

Colorado Downtown Streets

Safety, walkability, transportation, and aesthetic design are all important components of planning a downtown commercial area, whether in a large city or a small town. Downtowns and “Main Streets” can, if well planned, boost tourism and enhance quality of life for residents. Therefore the Colorado Department of Local Affairs, the Colorado Department of Public Health […]

Building History Research

If you’re the proud owner of a historic property, or if there’s a particular building that speaks to you, you may be interested in finding more about its history. Who lived in your house and what were their stories? Or, what were the previous uses of your commercial or public building? If you’re wondering how […]

Denver Landmarks & Historic Districts

Over the last few months you may have read the news articles about the proposed development of Larimer Square, Denver’s first designated historic district. This week, it was back in the news when the National Trust for Historic Preservation added Larimer Square to its annual list of “America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places.” For the […]

May is Historic Preservation Month

All this month communities across the nation are celebrating their unique places and stories. What events are happening in Colorado? Check out History Colorado’s list of Preservation Month events, including tours, lectures, festivals, workshops, and more. Our library receives lots of questions about historic preservation in Colorado. Some of the most frequently asked questions include: […]

Time Machine Tuesday: Native American Rock Art

Petroglyphs in Mesa Verde National Park. If you are exploring the rural areas of western Colorado you may see some examples of rock art created by prehistoric cultures.  According to the Colorado Historical Society’s 1984 publication Northwest Colorado Prehistoric Context,  “rock art sites are of two types: pictograph and petroglyphs.  Rock art panels can range […]

Surveying Historic Properties

What are the hidden stories behind the buildings in your community? How can you determine which ones should be preserved as part of your community’s heritage?  One of the tools that historic preservationists use to answer these questions is the historic survey.  Surveying historic properties can mean anything from what is known as the “windshield […]

Historic Preservation Tax Credits

This month’s Colorado Heritage magazine contains a Q & A about historic preservation tax credits in Colorado. These credits, both state and federal, are designed to encourage property owners to repair, renovate, and preserve historic buildings by helping them save money on their taxes.  In our library we have a number of resources that explain […]

The Buildings of Auraria

The Auraria Higher Education Center (or Auraria Campus, as it is often known) is quite unique among Colorado’s college campuses.  This inner-city campus is home to not one, but three separate higher education institutions: the Community College of Denver, Metropolitan State University of Denver, and the University of Colorado Denver.  Auraria is also unique for […]

Main Street Revitalization Act

In 2014 the Colorado Legislature passed HB14-1311, the “Colorado Job Creation and Main Street Revitalization Act,” which provided tax credits for Colorado communities to use to boost economic development — including job creation and tourism — while preserving the community’s unique historic commercial structures.  So how has it been doing so far?  According to the Colorado […]

Georgetown's Hotel de Paris

If you’re headed to the mountains this summer and are looking for some interesting history, stop in Georgetown — right off I-70 — and tour the Hotel de Paris.  The hotel’s founder, Louis Dupuy, was born in France and arrived in Denver in 1869.  He opened the hotel in 1875, and from that year until […]

The Governor’s Residence at the Boettcher Mansion

The Colorado governor’s mansion, officially named the Governor’s Residence at the Boettcher Mansion, is the “White House” of Colorado.  It is the official residence for Colorado governors as well as the site of many official state functions.  (Where it differs from the White House, however, is that the governor does not have his office there […]

State Capitol Dome

The Capitol Dome is again being revealed as the scaffolding has been slowly removed over the past several months.  So what was this project all about, and what will be the final result?  The Colorado Department of Personnel and Administration, who is overseeing the restoration, has issued this Fact Sheet, which includes a brief description of […]

May is Archaeology & Historic Preservation Month!

The month of May has been designated as Archaeology & Historic Preservation Month to bring awareness to the importance of preserving the past for the future.  Many events will take place throughout the month to celebrate our historic places.  For background information on Archaeology & Historic Preservation Month and a list of events, see this webpage […]