Founded in 1984, CPI promotes historic preservation in our State by providing information, education, training, expertise, and advocacy. We achieve this mission by partnering with historic property owners, non-profit organizations, educators, and local governments throughout the Rocky Mountain Region.
Colorado Preservation, Inc. administers Colorado’s Most Endangered Places List, presents the annual Saving Places Conference, hosts the Dana Crawford and State Honor Awards recognizing excellence in historic preservation, conducts surveys of historic resources, and maintains an active presence in the state legislature. CPI also assists in grant administration and project management, and undertakes rehabilitation and adaptive use projects that serve as models for preservation statewide.
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, Monta Lee Dakin, in 1996. In 1997, Colorado Preservation, Inc. began the signature Endangered Places Program, which has received the Stephen H. Hart Award from the Colorado Historical Society, as well as national attention. Since then, Colorado Preservation, Inc. has helped over 40 communities with preservation efforts in every region of the state.
Historic properties addressed through our programs include buildings, bridges, wickiups, and teepees, 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 the communities local to the sites.
Today, with a small staff of talented 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 in the years to come.