About the Historic Places Plan (HiPP)

HiPP Project Overview

The Parks and Recreation Department owns and manages twelve culturally relevant and historically designated resources. The Historic Places Plan (HiPP) will serve as a guide for the department in stewarding these resources to ensure their vibrant integrity and preservation within the community.

The plan will include background research and needs assessments, which will vary greatly for each due to their uniqueness. The research and assessments will provide a base of information that will be used to evaluate each resource with specific departmental strategies and initiatives required to make financially sustainable and data-informed decisions.

The HiPP will be a distinct and standalone plan developed alongside of and used to inform the department’s current Master Plan Update. The aligned process will ensure efficiency and effectiveness in the process for research, community engagement, and staff resources. The aligned outcomes of the plans will be used in current and future departmental, city, county, and state planning initiatives.

The consulting team on the project, Mundus Bishop, is an award-winning landscape architecture firm based in Denver. The consulting team has intimate knowledge about Boulder’s significant places, particularly those with historic value or with natural attributes.

This project is paid for in part by a History Colorado State Historical Fund grant.

Project Information

In March of 2019, BPR applied for a survey and planning grant from History Colorado, State Historical Fund (HC-SHF), to develop this plan. In August of 2019, the department was awarded the full funding request of $190,000 from HC-SHF, with a cash match of $77,000 for a total project budget at $267,000. Following a competitive bidding process, staff selected Mundus Bishop (Landscape Architecture) as the lead consultant with additional contributions by Ratio/HP (Architectural) JVA, Inc., (Structural Engineering) and PaleoWest (Archeological). Each consulting team demonstrates an interdisciplinary approach to historic and cultural resource planning.

Goals of this project include:

  1. Integrate all relevant plans and analyses completed prior to the grant award, and all survey and planning work funded as part of this project, into one concise planning document, including those done to inform capital decisions, programs, and operations.
  1. Separate, define, and integrate Historical & Cultural resources across a variety of departmental practices to balance levels of service, operations and maintenance, financial sustainability, and program quality.
  1. Begin with the end in mind to inform data-driven decision making.
  1. Utilize the final plan to serve as a guiding document for departmental staff to rely on and revisit when engaging in decision making for work related to any of the twelve designated resources.

As outlined, the HiPP will dovetail with the BPR Master Plan update. In addition to this departmental guiding document, the HiPP also supports goals and objectives in two other plans: one city-wide plan and one countywide plan. Specifically, this project supports the objective listed in the City-wide Historic Preservation Plan to, "Ensure the City of Boulder remains a leader in historic preservation through the careful stewardship of its own historic resources and encouragement of the innovative and collaborative approaches to historic preservation." And it supports the county-wide goal within the Boulder Valley Comprehensive Plan to address, "Community Conservation & Preservation" through "Leadership in Preservation: City & County Owned Resources".

Planning work during this project will focus on select features, landscapes, buildings and structures within the following resources. Enlarged HiPP Map

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Location of Historic Places are denoted by a purple dot

Historic Districts:

Buildings/Structures:

Rolling Stock:

Archeological Site:

  • Boyd Smelter Site

The project will be developed over five main phases led by the consultant and core team, with stakeholder’s providing feedback in phase one through three and subject matter recommendations for consideration through phase four and five. Each phase and the project timeline are informed by, and align with, the BPR master plan update. An overview of each phase is presented below.

Phase One: Project Kick Off & Background Research

  • Hold preliminary meetings with interdisciplinary consultant team and city staff and initial consultation with SHF
  • Conduct archival research and collect existing materials on each resource
  • Review goals and objectives for the Historic Places Plan
  • Complete initial site visit for each resource

Phase Two: Assessment and Inventory of Existing Conditions

  • Complete project base mapping for 6 resources
  • Conduct field reconnaissance to record existing conditions of 9 resources
  • Assess current and potential use of all resources
  • Prepare ADA assessment and identify safety/compliance for landscapes/buildings
  • Prepare Existing Condition Assessment Plan

Phase Three: Historic Context Development and Resource Evaluation

  • Develop property history for each resource
  • Assess integrity and identify character-defining features
  • Compile draft historic context statements for each resource
  • Analyze spatial relationship between the landscape, natural resources and built environment, finalize written descriptions for each, and finalize graphic representations with maps for select resources (illustrating significant features)

Phase Four: Treatment Recommendations, Prioritization + Implementation

  • Integrate historic integrity, significance, existing features, overall conditions, and current and future use in treatment recommendations
  • Identify management approaches and align with the city’s Asset Management Program
  • Draft graphic illustrations and sketches detailing recommended treatments and priorities
  • Determine how preservation approaches within the plan align with applicable county, city, and departmental planning documents and initiatives
  • Explore funding strategies and estimate potential proposed costs
  • Develop options for community involvement, programming, and education

Phase Five: Complete Historic Places Plan

  • Compile, illustrate and integrate all resources into the final HiPP plan
  • Prepare final Management Report
  • Include tailored results from the maintenance Condition Assessment Reports, Cultural Landscape Reports, ADA assessments, list of prioritized resources and individual features for management decision making)
  • Prepare final Historic Places Plan

Throughout the HiPP planning process, the department continues to engage with city-wide staff, the Boulder community, stakeholders, and local decision-makers such as PRAB and Landmarks Board (LB) to gather their input on the plan's direction and focus. Due to the technical nature of the plan, the department will focus on informing and consulting with the general community while identifying stakeholders to be involved and collaborate with staff and consultants.

Engagement Window 1 - Project Kick-Off

In June of 2021, staff hosted a combined kick-off meeting for the BPR Master Plan and the HiPP. This window was focused on community awareness of the project, provided background information, and a collection of email addresses to keep interested community members up to date on the project. In addition, the information provided at the in-person meeting was available online.

Stakeholders were invited to participate in a project kick-off meeting in July of 2021 for background information and to request a commitment to the project from the stakeholder members.

Engagement Window 2 - Research, Evaluation, and Awareness

The community was updated on project progress via the project web page. In addition, staff will host an interactive walking tour and scavenger hunt in May to bring awareness of the 12 historic assets that the department owns and highlight the efforts going into the planning and management strategies that are being developed as part of the HiPP. There will be at least one in-person option to interact with staff about the project. The awareness will ensure that the community is aware of the project and can participate by providing feedback about BPR's 12 historic places.

Stakeholders met several times in 2021 to review and contribute technical information about specific properties.

  • August - Glen Huntington Bandshell
  • September - Chautauqua Park and Boyd Smelter
  • November - Fires Station No. 02, Harbeck-Bergheim House, Roney House, and Platt Farmhouse
  • To come in 2022 - Pearl Street Mall, Columbia Cemetery, and 3 Rolling Stock (trains)

Engagement Window 3 - Draft Plan Review

Community members and stakeholders will have the opportunity to review the draft plan online and provide feedback regarding the outcomes. Their feedback will be used to develop the final plan.

Project Updates

Boulder's Parks and Recreation Department (BPR) hosted a scavenger hunt for the community to learn about the Historic Places Plan (HiPP) in May, which was also Historic Preservation Month. The self-guided scavenger hunt was developed as a fun and interactive way to inform community members about BPR’s 12 historic places and the upcoming plan. The main goal was to develop and increase awareness of the HiPP.

Community members had access to the tour and scavenger hunt and could enter a drawing for some fun prizes. The scavenger hunt focused on active family participation via bicycle or on foot with three connecting loops for lots of options. The scavenger hunt was available online or participants could pick up paper copies available at each recreation center from May 9-23.

The scavenger hunt was shared widely on social media and was picked up by Fox31 News on May 9. In addition, eight large banners were placed at each of the sites along the scavenger hunt to identify the location along the route, creating more awareness and interest among the community.

Overall community members shared positive feedback on the scavenger hunt experience and support for the HiPP project with 464 unique visits to the HiPP webpage in April and May 2022 with a large increase in visits the week of May 9.

Staff also hosted a table focused on the HiPP at the Historic Boulder lecture event about Fredrick Law Olmstead Jr on May 18. This targeted outreach to the preservation community provided the opportunity to have in-person conversations with the public about the HiPP.

Additional Parks Recreation Advisory Board, staff, stakeholder, and community engagement are in the planning stages for late summer and fall of 2022. A recent change in staffing has caused a short delay in the planning process as work is re-aligned between staff and consultants.

The project is still anticipated to be completed by the end of 2022.

Phase One through Phase Three of the HiPP produced extensive documentation on existing conditions and historical contexts for resources. One condition of the grant requires staff to select a “sample” resource to address first, across each project phase. The sample staff selected was the Glen Huntington Bandshell. The charts and graphics provided below highlight work completed for the Bandshell during phase one through three, and how these inform BPR’s current and next steps for this site and all other resources.

Condition Assessment Chart Aligns with Character Defining Site Features (full-sized image)
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Condition Assessment Chart Aligns with Character Defining Site Features
Treatment Recommendations Chart is Developed from Assessing Conditions, Future Use and Potential Funding Levels (full-sized image)
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Treatment Recommendations Chart is Developed from Assessing Conditions, Future Use and Potential Funding Levels
Graphic Representations of Existing Site Conditions, Generated from the Chart Above (full-sized image)
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Graphic Representations of Existing Site Conditions, Generated from the Chart Above

Diagram of Proposed Treatments is Informed by the Chart Above (full-sized image)

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Diagram of Proposed Treatments is Informed by the Chart Above



Recommendations proposed for each resource align treatments that inform physical alterations, regular operations and maintenance, community building and funding explorations. This project will not propose specific “options” or “designs” for physical alterations, rather the project documents alignment and acceptance of future planning, community building and operational work at each site. Specifically, for the Bandshell and Pearl Street Pedestrian Mall, work developed through the HiPP may assist in future decisions at each site, should park improvements be funded in November through the Community Culture & Safety tax/ballot measure. In addition to the charts and diagrams highlighted above, consultants are developing renderings to help visually showcase alignment of recommendations. A rendered sketch that highlights proposed treatments to the Bandshell is provided below.

(full-sized image)

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Bandshell Rendering of Proposed Treatments

Currently staff and consultants continue phase four work on remaining resources, which utilize a similar approach as outlined above. Staff will continue to provide regular web updates.