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Posted on: March 4, 2021

City Earns Grant To Survey Neighborhood and Celebrate/Preserve Mexican-American Heritage

Montrose, CO — The City of Montrose has been selected to receive $25,000 from History Colorado to prepare a historic context survey to inform historic preservation efforts in Montrose’s Tortilla Flats neighborhood, located on the city’s northwest side. The project is an initiative of the City’s Historic Preservation Commission (HPC). 


A historic context survey of the Tortilla Flats neighborhood will provide insight into the history of the neighborhood, identify its significant resources, and plan for how to best recognize and potentially designate the neighborhood. Community participation and partnerships with other organizations will be integral during the survey process.


The Tortilla Flats Neighborhood Photovoice Project, which was led by the Hispanic Affairs Project in partnership with the City of Montrose, served as inspiration for the City’s Historic Preservation Commission to pursue this historic context survey project. Many photos in the Photovoice Project conveyed stories about the rich history of the neighborhood, such as a photo of La Raza Park that recounted the neighborhood's effort to build it.


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The city was awarded the grant by History Colorado through the Certified Local Government (CLG) Subgrant Program.


The project follows the completion of Montrose’s City-Wide Historic Resources Survey Plan in 2020, which was previously funded by the CLG Subgrant Program. The survey plan was one of the first projects the city pursued after designation as a Certified Local Government and one of the first directives of the newly established HPC. 


That plan prioritizes the surveying of historic neighborhoods and resources in the city. Additional surveying of the Tortilla Flats neighborhood to determine eligibility for various types of designations was recommended in the plan and is a top priority of the HPC.


"We hope that this will lead to some sort of formal historical designation for the neighborhood that will be beneficial to its residents," said Jon Horn, Chair of the Montrose HPC. "How this will work out is not yet known and will be determined by the research that the grant funds.  We hope this will be something that the residents of the neighborhood will be excited about, and we look forward to working with them."


The city will solicit proposals from qualified historic and/or cultural resources consultants that meet the U.S. Secretary of the Interior's Professional Qualification Standards and that are knowledgeable of and have experience with its Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties. 


"This is an exciting opportunity for the City of Montrose to better understand our community's historical roots and to explore the eligibility of the Tortilla Flats neighborhood, including its cultural contributions to Montrose, for various types of historical designation,” said Kendall Cramer, the city's innovation and citizen engagement community program manager. “As Montrose continues to grow, the balance between preserving our past while welcoming new development will be critical." 


The project is slated to kick off this summer. 


About the program: “Through the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), History Colorado (HC) administers the U.S. Department of Interior’s Historic Preservation Fund (HPF) Program in cooperation with the National Park Service (NPS), an office of the U.S. Department of Interior.” (2021 CLG Subgrant Program Manual)


For other city news visit CityOfMontrose.org.

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