Montrose, CO — As a fitting inauguration of the City of Montrose's Historic Register of Historic Places, City Councilors Tuesday approved the designation of the Montrose City Hall, located at 433 South First Street, as a historic property. It is the first property to earn the designation since the program was created last year.
"A lot of work has gone into this, both from the community as well as staff and City Council," said Director of Innovation & Citizen Engagement Virgil Turner. "We're really excited that City Hall is a symbolic first on the registry."
In July 2018, City Councilors unanimously approved a new Historic Preservation, HP, ordinance to update the city's Municipal Code, which gives owners of historic buildings the option to pursue local historic designation for their properties.
The ordinance allowed the city to pursue status as a Certified Local Government, or CLG, allowing the placement of designated buildings on the city's own historic registry. Prior to the ordinance, the City of Montrose was the largest Colorado community without the CLG designation.
(Historic Photo Courtesy Montrose County Historical Society)
Along with the HP ordinance, councilors created the City of Montrose's Historic Preservation Commission and appointed seven members from the community to serve three-year, overlapping terms.
In July 2019, the Historic Preservation Commission recommended to the council that City Hall be added to the city's historic registry.
City Hall "is significant in its association with the history of government in Montrose, having been erected in 1926 as the first building completed specifically to house city offices, continuing in that function today," Tuesday's ordinance reads.
The ordinance also describes the building as "a notable example of the work of local architect J.H. Antrobus and local contractors Okey & Jones," and an example of "high artistic values in decorative brickwork."
"The building reflects the Mission Revival style in the shaped parapets above entrances on the east and south, and an Art Deco influence in its polychromatic ornament," the ordinance reads.
“This is fantastic,” Montrose City Councilor Roy Anderson said Tuesday. “The building is obviously worthy of being a historical site and I think it points out the process that people can utilize for their own property if they so desire. It’s a great thing for our community.”
When a building receives historic designation via the City of Montrose’s registry, the building's owners are then eligible to apply for tax credits and other incentives from both state and federal programs for the preservation and restoration of the building.
The HP ordinance gives building owners the option to apply for designation as a tool for them in pursuing preservation efforts but is not mandatory.
The ordinance states that once a building is designated as a historic property, that designation stays with the building permanently. The program is designed for buildings that are 50 years and older.
For more information about historic preservation visit: CityofMontrose.org/History.
For more city news visit CityOfMontrose.org.