Douglas County continued a long-standing tradition with recognition for two historic properties designated local landmarks by county commissioners. …
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Douglas County continued a long-standing tradition with
recognition for two historic properties designated local landmarks
by county commissioners.
On May 25, commissioners presented landmark plaques to the Lucas
Dairy/Sady Springs Ranch and the Lowell OV Ranch, the county’s most
recently landmarked properties. The presentation, in honor of May
as National Archaeology and Historic Preservation Month, highlights
the county’s commitment to historic preservation.
“The Douglas County community has a high level of interest in
and support for the preservation of our heritage and history,” said
Wendy Holmes, Douglas County public affairs director. “The county
has a long-standing, dedicated effort toward property
A historic landmark designation can be the first step toward
gaining designation as a state landmark, said Judy Hammer, Douglas
County historic preservation board administrator. Douglas County
has 28 designated landmarks, one of which is on the state registry
and five on the national registry, she said.
“The local landmark program is voluntary and places no
restrictions on landmarked property,” Hammer said. “It basically
encourages preservation. The best part about it is that it
documents history related to that site or structure.”
The county’s landmark program has been in place since 1998 as a
way to foster preservation of the historic and cultural heritage of
the county. Recognition is earmarked for sites of historical,
cultural and architectural significance. Included among the
county’s historic landmarks are the Franktown Cemetery, Hilltop
School and the Louviers Village Club.
When a property gains historic landmark status, property owners
are encouraged to preserve the integrity of the site, with no
excavation around any historic discoveries. The designation also
leverages the site to qualify for tax credits and state historical
funds, Hammer said.
Property owners seeking historic landmark status can apply to
the county at no cost. The economic impact surrounding a landmarked
property can extend beyond the boundaries of the site, Hammer said,
citing the historical landmark status on properties within Denver’s
Lower Downtown region as an example of how historic status can
trigger revitalization in the region.
“Studies have shown commercial activity and economic prosperity
are enhanced through landmark designation,” Hammer said. “Because
by preserving historic structures it seems to attract people to
live in or adjacent to those areas. You get a nice variety of the
build environment by preserving those structures.”
As the latest property to gain landmark status, the Lowell Ranch
joins an elite group of properties. The ranch is one of a handful
of properties which also meets the qualifications as a centennial
farm. A centennial farm is one that is consistently owned by the
same family for 100 years.
Lowell Ranch is in the process of seeking state historic
landmark status, Hammer said.
“It is the only one of its kind in Douglas County with the
Douglas County landmark designation,” she said.
For more information about the county’s historic landmark
program or for links to the county’s designated landmarks, visit
the website at www.douglas.co.us/historic.
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