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    Historic board begins endangered site list

    By Sabrina Henderson
    Sentinel and Transcript Newspapers

       The state of Colorado does it, and Golden's Historic Preservation Board wants to follow suit.

    The HPB is in the process of assembling a list of historically endangered sites. The primary focus is on structures in the city limits, although the focus could expand later.

    The reason is HPB's desire to be proactive, according to member Lynda Wentworth.

    "Since I've lived here, HPB finds out about these historic buildings when they are razed and after they are in escrow with the new owner," Wentworth said. "If we had a list of sites, we could make the owner aware of what they owned and could work with them for preservation. Maybe we could find out ahead of time if they were going to sell something."

    Buildings under consideration for this new list have to meet certain criteria, including age (a minimum of 50 years old), whether someone of historical importance lived there or, in the case of a business, whether that business made an impact in the city, architectural style or whether it hosted a special event.

    Wentworth said it's impossible for HBP to save every building in town.

    "The Burgess House was almost lost," Wentworth said. "Had we had an endangered site list, we could have done some preservation work with the owners. We did work with them and restored it."

    Wentworth said properties submitted based on age alone likely won't make the final list.

    "We expect to find a lot of properties," Wentworth said. "When we did the 12th Street district, that was the upper crust of Golden. The Eighth and Ninth street districts were the working man's. Those have characteristics to them. They were valued."

    Properties in use can be submitted for list consideration.

    "There are lots of buildings in use that are eligible to be on this list," Wentworth said. "If it's a residence, state tax credits are available for restoration. If it's a business, federal tax money is available."

    Those interested in suggesting properties can call 303-384-8097. Public hearings will be scheduled later this year.

    "We want people to work with us on the list," Wentworth said. "The more history we can gather, that's wonderful. Even if it's just a sketch, we can help with the collection details. We're coordinators. We're asking a lot of groups to see who has something to put in, to contribute."

    Published Aug. 14, 2002
    E-mail Sabrina Henderson

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