Old Town buddies divided on growing the new historic district


Some Old Town Fort Collins residents hope to shield the man or woman in their loved neighborhood via establishing it as a metropolis-distinctive ancient district.

The potential designation might be a way to keep the outward appearance of ancient homes that supply the vicinity its particular look and appeal, supporters say.

However, different community residents fear the proposed Loomis Addition Historic District might complicate efforts to transform their houses, even those who are not historical, with the aid of adding a layer of bureaucratic oversight and doubtlessly extra fees.


Old Town buddies divided on growing the new historic district 1

For buddies lobbying for the historic district, it’s a remember of maintaining the integrity of the Loomis Addition as well as a broader vicinity that has visible several modest old homes demolished in current years and changed with structures they are saying are out of scale for the community.

“Our intention is to maintain the historic man or woman and attraction of this region,” stated Gina Janett, a longtime network activist and member of a set exploring the possibility of setting up a district.

Some citizens see the proposed district as a manner for historical upkeep fanatics to control what neighbors can do with their homes.

“I don’t consider this group,” stated Andy Milbauer, an outspoken critic of the proposed district.

Milbauer and his husband went thru a 9-month metropolis overview procedure three years ago earlier than receiving permission from the Landmark Preservation Commission to rip down their structurally unsound, 106-yr-vintage house. They replaced it with one this is similar in outward appearance but designed internally for contemporary dwelling.

“We have quite a few issues approximately the historical district and the ancient protection system,” he stated. “We’re fine now: Our issue is what effect this will have on each other house within the neighborhood.”

The Loomis Addition

The location known as the Loomis Addition covers 15 blocks. It is bordered by Laporte Avenue at the north, Whitcomb Street on the east, Mulberry Street on the south, and Washington Street at the west.

The subdivision became platted in 1887, making it one of the earliest annexations to the original metropolis of Fort Collins.

The addition turned into platted by means of Abner Loomis, a longtime network chief who came to Northern Colorado in 1859. Loomis had numerous enterprise pursuits, consisting of farming, livestock and land improvement. He served on the primary board of Larimer County commissioners.

Loomis Avenue, which runs through the subdivision, become named in his honor in 1900.

Houses within the Loomis Addition feature a ramification of residential architectural styles, including single-tale cottages built for center-class families, stately two-tale affairs on Mountain Avenue and a few mansions.
The Loomis Addition plat of 1887.

The streets are wide and lined with towering bushes. Dirt alleys and outbuildings are commonplace inside the place. The Fort Collins Municipal Railway’s historic trolley runs along Mountain Avenue during the summer time.

About 85% of homes within the addition have been built earlier than World War II, and greater than 94% are extra than 50 years old, in accordance with a 2017 historic survey of the vicinity. Dozens of area homes are eligible to be listed on the local, kingdom and federal registers of ancient places, in keeping with the survey.

The McMillen-Patterson House, 121 N. Grant St., is at the National Register of Historic Places. The residence changed into built in 1887 and given away as a part of-venture Loomis used to promote the sale of masses in the new subdivision.

The Loomis Addition has 309 person homes, in line with the historical survey. Most houses had been built between 1890 and 1925.
What a historical district manner

A historic district is described as a cluster of homes and structures that are traditionally linked with the aid of beyond events, human beings, architecture, and physical improvement.

Fort Collins has five ancient districts containing greater than 800 residences, said Karen McWilliams, manager of the metropolis’s Historic Preservation Division.

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Old Town and the Laurel School Neighborhood are blanketed by way of countrywide historical districts. Local districts cover Old Town and the Sheely Drive and Whitcomb Street neighborhoods.

Buildings within a district are taken into consideration both contributing, meaning they have got the historical or architectural significance, or noncontributing. Noncontributing homes lack importance or they have got had exterior modifications to the volume they are not eligible for landmark designation.