Historic Preservation

"To me, historic preservation is a beautiful tapestry that showcases who we were, who we are, and who we can be."

-Meg Tully, former Executive Director of Historic Routt County

large building of brick with people and carriages in front


The Tread of Pioneers Museum serves as an advocate for the practice of Historic Preservation in Routt County and Steamboat Springs. The museum supports the City of Steamboat Springs Historic Preservation program and Historic Routt County; a local non-profit organization whose work directly protects historic places.

The musuem's Lufkin Library Research Center is available for research of historic properties and places. The museum's digital historic photograph collection documents the early history of the valley and its changes, and is available for research as well as reproduction purchases.

The museum's Executive Director regularly writes for various publications and organizations about local heritage subjects, events, and research.

HIstoric Presearvation Related Entites based in Steamboat Springs:

Historic Routt County (HRC) 970-875-1305
Local nonprofit membership organization formally established in 1999. Works throughout Routt County. Meets monthly. A volunteer board and a full-time paid Executive Director implement the following programs:

  • Education & Advocacy: Communicating with the general public, policy makers, and local preservation organizations about the benefits, tools, and incentives available for historic preservation.

  • Designation: Working with willing property owners to write historic register nominations to the Steamboat Springs, Routt County, State and/or National register in order to document, celebrate, and protect their historic places.

  • Projects: Facilitating impactful bricks & mortar projects by helping owners access the funding & expertise needed to achieve their goals.

  • Stewardship: Organizing volunteers to maintain the places on public lands that HRC has saved over the past 20 years.

Steamboat Springs Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) - Historic-Preservation-Commission 970-879-1060
Steamboat Springs was desginated as a Certified Local Government (CLG) commission through the State Historic Preservation Office in 2009. The commission consists of 5 volunteers and one alternate. At least two members must have demonstrated expertise in historic preservation. Members are appointed by City Council with  support from the City planning staff. Meets monthly. According to the City Code, duties include but are not limited to:

  • Advising City Council on implementation of the historic preservation aspects of the Community Plan and other historic preservation issues.

  • Administering and maintaining the Steamboat Springs Register of Historic Places. Designation provides protection of the property from demolition and inappropriate alterations.

  • Reviewing building permit applications for alterations and demolitions to the exterior of any principal or accessory building, structure, object, or site which is designated on the Local Register or is an Eligible Resource.

  • Reviewing development applications that involve alterations and demolitions to the exterior of any principal or accessory building, structure, object, or site which is designated on the Local Register or is an Eligible Resource.

  • Advising and assisting owners of Local Landmarks, Historic Resources, and Historic Districts on the physical and financial aspects of preservation, rehabilitation, restoration, renovation, and re-use of their properties, including but not limited to:

    1. Assisting in identifying available sources of grants, low-interest loans, and other historic preservation programs.

    2. Providing conceptual reviews to owners of properties and sites on the Local Register and Eligible Resources.

    3. Assisting in preparing applications for nomination of properties to the Local, State, or National Registers.

  • Providing outreach and educational opportunities, via lectures, conferences, publications, walking tours, workshops, City website, historical marker programs, and any other means to educate the community on the importance of historic preservation and the historic preservation process.

  • Reviewing State Historic Tax Credit applications for residential properties.

  • Reviewing & commenting on Section 106 proposals.

  • Reviewing State and National Register property nominations in the City.

  • Exercising of such other roles or duties delegated to it by the Colorado Historical Society of the State Historic Preservation Office, subject to the approval of City Council

Routt County Historic Preservation Board (RCHPB): - Historic-Preservation-Board 970-879-0108
Established by the Routt County Commissioners in 1993. Advisory board consists of 5 volunteers with an interest in local history appointed by the Commissioners and supported by County staff. Meets quarterly. Duties include:

  • Reviewing nominations to the Routt County Historic Register and making recommendations for designation to the Commissioners. Designation is honorary.

  • Recording successfully designated privately-held properties in Routt County in the Assessor’s property records.

  • Advocating for historic preservation in the community in partnership with related entities.

Partners in Preservation (PiP)
An ad hoc coalition of members from the preservation related organizations in Steamboat Springs listed above. Meets as needed.
Initially launched in 2007 to address lack of protection for historic resources in the City, the effort resulted in public workshops and presentations and improvements to the City’s preservation ordinance. The group resumed in 2019 to renew the community’s awareness of the importance of preserving and protecting historic resources.