What We Do

Old places are where our lives, memories, and stories began. They connect us to the past, anchor us to the present, and lead us into the future. These places inspire us to create a stronger community, because they belong to all of us.

For 50 years, Historic Boulder has worked to save Boulder’s historic sites; tell the full Boulder story; build stronger communities; and invest in preservation’s future.

Thanks to the passion and dedication of our supporters, we’ve been able to protect hundreds of places. Help us save places that matter—for ourselves, each other, and our future together.

Become a Member Today!

Educate

Education is at the core of our public programming because an informed society is an empowered society. The programs below enable Historic Boulder to foster the spirit and promote the benefits of preservation.

This series combines two of our favorite things: learning history and being outdoors. Local guides lead small groups on easy to moderate treks through scenic and historically significant sites. Thank you to our wonderful partner Suzanne Michot!

We are working on an interactive mobile application that guides walkers through the history of “The Little Rectangle,” Boulder’s Black Neighborhood in the early days. This area was on Goss Street and the south side of Canyon (formerly Water street), has an important story to tell. Volunteer to help with this project! View the tour here.

We have the privilege of partnering with Boulder’s Parks and Recreation Department to bring the past to life at Columbia Cemetery with this one-of-a-kind tour. Visitors can enjoy re-enactments of some of Boulder’s most memorable events and characters, plus readings from psychics, tales from paranormal investigators, and more! This event takes place on even-numbered years in late October – for optimal spookiness, of course.

Our monthly newsletter aims to inform our community about current preservation news, Boulder landmarks, and our event programming. Join our mailing list to have your copy of Historic Happenings sent straight to your inbox!

Our signature winter home tour has been one of Boulder’s favorite holiday traditions for over 30 years. The tour features a handful of great historic homes, centered around a theme, that have been gorgeously decorated for the occasion by local florists. You can also expect historic information, live entertainment, and local artisans.

Looking for local history or preservation resources? Our new Resource Library may be the right place to start. You’ll find links to City preservation guidelines, local history organizations, and even tax credit programs for historic properties.

Advocate

Whether it’s a single project or an entire community, preservation is no small task. By its nature, preservation requires an ongoing commitment that is larger than any individual. This is why working together toward common goals is so important. The preservation people are here for you!

We are currently developing a small grant program that will support owners and stewards of eligible historic properties in rehabilitation, preservation, and restoration efforts. Look out for more details soon!

Boulder’s 1974 Landmark Preservation Ordinance granted local preservation organizations like Historic Boulder the ability to submit landmark applications to the City. We have submitted several applications over the years, and we are proud stewards of this responsibility.

Historic Boulder enjoys its friendly relationship with City Preservation Staff and the Landmarks Board. We often attend Landmarks Board and City Council meetings to keep abreast of preservation decisions, and we have collaborated on numerous research and survey projects over the years.

Rehabilitate

Renovations, remodels, and true preservation projects (wherein the structure is restored as closely as possible to its original state) can all fall under the larger umbrella of rehabilitation. The purpose of all these efforts is to breathe new life into the old, so that it may also serve the future.

We are immensely proud of the special rehabilitation projects that we have taken on in the past. We contribute in a variety of ways, depending on the project, such as historical research, grant writing, overseeing operations, engaging the community, and even hands-on construction work. Some of our past projects include the renovation and designation of The Hannah Barker House, Columbia Cemetery, Mount Saint Gertrude Academy and the Woodward-Baird House.

We are currently working with the Boulder Theater as a fiscal sponsor for restoration on the beautiful art-deco facade.

Historic Boulder holds several easements and covenants on a dozen local landmarks, in order to ensure their proper preservation for generations to come. Some examples include the façade of the Boulder Theater, the grounds and exterior of the Highland School (the City Club building), and the exterior of the Hotel Boulderado. These legal protections require periodic inspections and conversations with the building owners, and our Easement Inspection Program is one of our ongoing volunteer opportunities. We would love for you to join us!

We are developing a small grant program that will support owners and stewards of eligible historic properties in rehabilitation, preservation, and restoration efforts.

Looking for local history or preservation resources? Our new Resource Library may be the right place to start. You’ll find links to City preservation guidelines, local history organizations, and even tax credit programs for historic properties.

Celebrate

All work and no play makes preservation a dull game! We try to celebrate our historic places regularly through annual member parties, exciting programs for the community, and through awards and honors. We hope you are able to join us!

Every year in May, local preservation groups, state historical societies, and business and civic organizations across the United States celebrate Preservation Month through events that promote historic places and heritage tourism, and that demonstrate the social and economic benefits of historic preservation.​

Refer to the Event page for information of activities.

This party is our one opportunity in the year for our members to get together with absolutely no agenda, other than to enjoy each other’s company and nosh on goodies at a Boulder landmark!

Every February Historic Boulder holds an annual membership meeting to welcome incoming members of the Board of Directors and approve the upcoming year’s budget plans.  We gather in a historic building to celebrate and recognize the extraordinary efforts of members of the community  with our Joyce Davies Lifetime Preservation Award, our Volunteer Award and recent  preservation success stories.   We welcome you to become a member!

The contest is intended to showcase the writing, creative and research skills of students in the Boulder Valley Schools using essay themes drawn from Boulder history. Students are encouraged to discover how exploring Boulder’s past can deepen one’s understanding of the present and help us better plan for the future.

Any high school student in the Boulder Valley School District is invited to submit an entry in late fall – theme to be announced this summer. Cash prizes will be awarded to the top 3 entries!

We have the privilege of partnering with Boulder’s Parks and Recreation Department to bring the past to life at Columbia Cemetery with this one-of-a-kind tour. Visitors can enjoy re-enactments of some of Boulder’s most memorable events and characters, plus readings from psychics, tales from paranormal investigators, and more! This event takes place on even-numbered years in late October – for optimal spookiness, of course.

Our signature winter home tour has been one of Boulder’s favorite holiday traditions for over 30 years. The tour features a handful of grand historic homes, centered around a theme, that have been gorgeously decorated for the occasion by local florists. You can also expect historic information, live entertainment, and local artisans.

The highest reward for a man’s toil is not what he gets for it but what he becomes by it.

John Ruskin

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