About Colorado Preservation, Inc.

Our Mission, Our Vision and Our Work:  

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Colorado Preservation, Inc. promotes historic preservation statewide by providing advocacy, education, outreach and preservation services to communities and individuals.  Our vision is to engage citizens statewide to honor and protect their heritage, to lead them to build a sustainable future with historic places and to inspire them to prioritize the past as legacy.

We were founded in 1984 as a 501(c)3 donor-supported nonprofit organization guided by a 15 member Board of Directors and managed by a full-time staff of four.  We are best known for five key programs:

  • Our annual Saving Places® Conference, which is largest statewide preservation conference in the country
  • Our Most Endangered Places Program
  • The annual Dana Crawford and State Honor Awards celebration
  • Our Preservation Services program providing grant writing, grant administration, project and easements management.
  • Advocacy efforts with the state legislature and others.

We do our work by collaborating with leaders in local and county government and nonprofit organizations and by engaging historic property owners and interested citizens.  We have a diverse portfolio of successes including hands-on development and extensive surveys which serve as models for preservation statewide.

We are proud to help Coloradans save the historic places that matter to them and hope you will join us.

Our History:

Founded in 1984 as Preservation Action Colorado, 43 citizens interested in preserving our state’s built heritage started this organization to encourage preservation efforts statewide. A year later with a new name, Colorado Preservation, Inc., and a 501(c)3 non-profit status, grassroots volunteers worked to define our role as an effective preservation organization with education programs, public policy advocacy, and a newsletter. In the ensuing years, the list of accomplishments has grown, thanks to the continuing dedication of our many partners around the state, committed executive directors, talented staff, and an all-volunteer working board.

The first conference was held in 1985, the first Awards Dinner presented in 1988 with the addition of the Dana Crawford Award for Excellence in Historic Preservation in 1990, and the initial Colorado Preservation Directory published in 1996.  In 1986, our public policy committee began efforts that culminated, in 1990, with the passage of the State Income Tax Credit for Historic Rehabilitation.  Colorado Preservation, Inc. was instrumental in strengthening this legislation with its reauthorization in 1999.  With funding from the National Trust for Historic Preservation and matching fundraising efforts, Colorado Preservation, Inc. hired its first executive director in 1996.  In 1997, Colorado Preservation, Inc. began the signature Endangered Places Program, which has received both national attention and the Stephen H. Hart Award from the Colorado Historical Society (History Colorado.) Since then, Colorado Preservation, Inc. has helped dozens of communities with their preservation efforts in every region of the state.

We have worked with myriad properties, people and projects through our programs including buildings, bridges, wickiups and teepees, heritage orchards, rolling stock, industrial archaeological sites and ditches. These sites and structures connect us to the spirit of those who have shaped our distinctive Colorado character. Their value is especially evidenced in the passionate and persistent work displayed by local communities leaders and organizations.

Today, with a small staff of dedicated professionals, our growth in programs and membership is accelerating. With the continued dedication of our Board of Directors, staff, volunteers and partner organizations, Colorado Preservation, Inc. will further promote and advance historic preservation throughout the state of Colorado for years to come.

Annual Reports

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Tax Information

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Donate to CPI

We hope you will extend your appreciation for Colorado's past into an investment in its future by making a tax-deductible gift today.

Featured Project

4 Bar 4 Ranch

Homesteaded in 1895 by Dick McQueary to provide a stop for the Georgetown Stage Line, the 320-acre 4 Bar 4 Ranch has strong ties to Grand County and Colorado's heritage. The Georgetown Stage Line traveled on the road through the 4 Bar 4 Ranch from Idaho Springs to Hot Sulphur Springs over Berthoud Pass. In 1895 a roadhouse and stage stop were constructed on the ranch. The hotel and barn were constructed using trees from the Ranch property, and the hotel remained open for travelers coming over Berthoud Pass by horseback and wagon until 1913. With the coming of the automobile, the roadway over Berthoud Pass and through the 4 Bar 4 Ranch was considered an integral part of the Trans-Continental “Midland Trail” highway. Following the closing of the stage line, the ranch continued to host travelers until 1912 or 1913 when it was purchased and converted into a Ford Motor Company . Ford vehicles were sold here until 1917, when Harry Larkin purchased the ranch site. Today emergency efforts are underway to ensure it survives through the winter. Donations are in need. To learn more, contact Jennifer Orrigo Charles at jorrigocharlges@coloradopreservation.org.

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