By Jill Carstens
Perhaps acting in the nick of time as neighboring areas experience the demolition of potentially historic homes in favor of new development, Historic Denver invited Globeville residents to a recent meeting to share information about a forthcoming report on the historic context of Globeville and options for historic recognition.
“We were also seeking to gauge community interest in exploring historic recognition options for Globeville,” Historic Denver’s interim president, Andrea Burns, said.
Based on the effects of the I-70 expansion, Historic Denver, acting as a consulting party, has worked with the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) to create a report that will offer research validating the historic significance of Globeville.
A specific section of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 requires that all federal agencies take into account the effects of their projects on historic and archaeological resources. If it is determined that a project will adversely affect an area, the agency must mitigate the adverse effects. As this report is being compiled, the community of Globeville is being asked for input about preservation.
“There are a variety of designations that offer a range of historic recognition, anywhere from a cultural designation, which simply recognizes and shares an area’s history with the public, to a full historic district, which can prevent sites from demolition,” said Michael Flowers, director of preservation for Historic Denver.
Since its inception as a municipality in 1891, Globeville has almost always been an industrial area, bordered first by the railways and then bisected by I-25 and I-70. Its residents have represented diverse immigrant populations from its first Eastern European community members working the smelter and rail yards to a predominantly Hispanic population.
The legacy of those original residents is reflected in a smattering of Slavic, German and Polish churches and lodges still standing from the turn of the last century.
“The options for designation and how they work can get complicated so it is vital for community members to attend an informational meeting. I encourage renters as well as property owners to participate in this process as they can offer unique perspectives and are sometimes some of the longest-standing residents of an area,” Burns added.
The community input is critical for providing details and information that CDOT and other consulting parties may not be privy to. Some of the questions that were put forth in the report included: Do you agree with the findings for historic resources? Is there a resource that has not been identified? How would a particular designation affect my property?
As gentrification creeps closer, historic designation could help low-income groups stave off displacement. Historic designation has been known to stabilize home and rent rates, rather than permitting new development to take over, which can increase the cost of living for everyone and displace an area’s original inhabitants. Historic designation can, however, sometimes be restrictive for property owners, as the process to make adjustments to the properties now has historic regulations attached to it. The process of getting a district designated can take time.
“When a historic district is proposed, in our experience, it is usually after a few years of conversations and meetings among the community,” Burns said. The G.E.S. Gazette will provide updates on the process as the report becomes available.
Readers of this paper can glean more historic anecdotes about Globeville in Mary Lou Egan’s history column. You can learn more about the process of the report at link to this article at gesgazette.com.
For questions about the process or to find out about the next informational meeting, contact Michael Flowers at Historic Denver firstname.lastname@example.org or 303-534-5288 ext. 7.