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Researching Fort Collins Architecture

Masonic Temple The preservation of Fort Collins historic buildings has enhanced the beauty of our town and attracted many people to our city. Building owners continue to recognize the importance of preserving their buildings and listing their properties as Local Historic Landmarks and/or nominating their properties to the Colorado State Register of Historic Properties and the National Register of Historic Places. The Historic Designations Database provides a complete listing of the properties already listed.

Fort Collins architecture is not neatly categorized into architectural styles, a term used to describe the relationship between buildings which have certain common characteristics. These characteristics may be the architectural elements and ornamentation of the building or the formal organization of its space. Therefore many of Fort Colllins buildings are classified as vernacular and bear details of two or more styles. Vernacular architecture is based on popular culture, ethnic heritage, and geographic trends. Generally, local Fort Collins builders and carpenters used elements of the "high style" architecture and building plans designed by the Eastern United States architectural elite, and then translated these styles or plans into their own stylistic versions. Therefore to describe our architecture, one must research architectural styles and elements of our region and the United States in general.

To assist you in this research, our volunteers are entering historic data into our Building Databases. We hope you will contribute to this database by donating or allowing us to copy written or photographic materials pertaining to our built environment. Additionally, the following links are provided to assist you in finding other local, regional, and national architectural information:

Fort Collins Historic Building Contexts and Surveys Architectural Styles, Elements, and Glossaries Researching the History of Your Building

Reference Tools
Research the History of Your Building
(PDF format/184K)

Tax Assessor Records - The Larimer County Tax Assessor Records from 1948-1990 have been donated to the Local History Archive.

Avery House Historic Designations - This is a list of Fort Collins Historic Properties that are listed as local landmarks, or on the Colorado State Register of Historic Properties, and/or on the National Register of Historic Places.

Old Town Building Survey - This collection presently contains a very limited amount of architectural information from the archive's collections pertaining only to "Old Town" buildings.

Building Permits - This collection contains building permits dating from 1920-1949.

Building Records - This collection contains building records dating from around the turn of the 20th century and a selection from the 1950s.

Do you have a Mail Order House? - View tips to find out if your home was built from a kit that arrived by mail.

Historic Home Tours - View brochures from past Poudre Landmarks Foundation Historic Homes Tours.

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