Two county properties designated landmarks

Posted 5/28/10

Douglas County continued a long-standing tradition with recognition for two historic properties designated local landmarks by county commissioners. …

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Two county properties designated landmarks


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 landmarking.”

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


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