Historic Preservation

Girl Riding DonkeyUnlike many small communities whose buildings show a high degree of architectural uniformity, Manitou Springs has adopted many architectural styles, from the Victorian to the Modern, and from the rustic to the artfully ornamented.

Committed to preserving this heterogeneity, which is such a part of the city’s character and history, Manitou Springs’ citizens established the Historic Preservation Commission in 1979. The first Local Historic Preservation District was established in 1980 and the first Design Review Guidelines followed in 1981. The Historic Preservation Commission (HPC), is charged with:

..."the protection, enhancement, and perpetuation of districts of historic and cultural significance and to instill and foster civic pride in the legacy and achievements of the past."

Walking Tours

Learn more about your local historic district and have some fun doing it! Find information about Historic Plaque Walking Tours (PDF). There are two tours of the 31 Historic Interpretive Plaques installed by the Historic Preservation Commission at significant sites throughout Manitou Springs.

Manitou Springs Maintenance Grant Program for Historic Properties

The City of Manitou Springs has created a small grant program to help owners of properties in the Historic District with costs of exterior maintenance. Named the “Vicky Bunsen Doucette Memorial Mini-Grant for Maintenance of Historic Properties,” the program is named for a Manitou Springs Historic Preservation Commissioner and well-known member of the statewide historic preservation community. Vicky and her husband Don moved to Manitou Springs after they married and Vicky retired as a preservation planner for the City of Westminster, Colorado. As part of establishing their lives in Manitou Springs (which they had frequently visited and loved), Vicky became active in her community and volunteered to serve on the Historic Preservation Commission. During her time on the Commission, she advocated for more outreach, volunteered for a number of projects, and made many friends.

The creation of a grant and loan program to support historic property owners was one of her passions. Unfortunately, Vicky passed away in 2012 from breast cancer at the age of 56 before her advocacy for the grant/loan program could be realized. The City is establishing this program in her honor and as an expression of the profound effect her short tenure on the Commission had on everyone who worked with her.

The goal of the program is to help owners of historic properties with costs of exterior maintenance and repair while providing a financial incentive for retaining the historic building fabric within the Manitou Springs Historic Preservation District. Reimbursement grants for up to $500 each are now available on a first come-first served basis. Download the Grant Packet (PDF) or obtain a copy by visiting the Manitou Springs Planning Department in City Hall or calling 719-685-4398.

Colorado Historic Preservation Tax Credit for Residential & Commercial Properties

There is an additional 5% credit for properties within a disaster declaration area for 6 years after the declaration!

Important Information for Applicants

Pre-Application appointments are now being required a minimum of 10 business days prior to submission deadline. See the Historic Preservation 2018 Calendars.

  • Local Historic Designation or Change
  • Material Change of Appearance Certification (Demolition)
  • Material Change of Appearance Certification (Exterior/Remodel/New), National Register Nomination, Comprehensive Site Plan

Please call the Planning Department at 719-685-4398 to schedule your appointment.

Preservation by Topic Index

Visit the Preservation by Topic index for information available on the National Park Service’s website. The index is a finding aid for online and printed technical preservation information developed on the subjects of historic preservation, cultural landscapes, and the rehabilitation of historic buildings. The documents you can access through this index are a valuable resource for anyone undertaking many types of historic preservation projects.