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Silverton Historic District

Silverton, Colorado
County of San Juan.
on Route 550
National Register Number: 66000255
Resource type: District.
Property type: Historic District: Historical. The threat level was Watch in
2006.
Congressional District: CO-3 Certified Local Government: NO
This NHL offers public access.
Please contact the NHL directly for visitor information.
Current use/information: 1-888-872-4607; www.durangotrain.com; 970-387-5654.

Statement of Significance (as of designation - July 4, 1961):
Silverton, one of the two principal mining towns in southwestern Colorado, was an important silver-producing area. The town, established in 1874, the same year that mining began in the vicinity, was important in the economic development of the Rocky Mountain area in the late-19th century. A number of significant buildings from the mining era survive.

Condition:
The business district of the town is in excellent physical condition, with only a few cosmetic changes. However, the tiny picturesque mountain community of 500 residents has been "discovered" and property values have increased dramatically. A striking number of houses have constructed on the edge of the town. Lots on "Shrine Hill," a slope on the edge of town, are being sold. Development there is especially threatening because the development in the large area will be highly visible from the rest of the town. The town has no design guidelines. The Town Trustees have asked the San Juan Regional Planning Commission to write architectural zoning ordinances for the Town's differing zoning districts.

Unplanned growth is a threat. The Planning Commission has written a draft ordinance for Shrine Hill, which is scheduled to be finalized in mid 2006. The Town received a grant from the State Historical Fund to conduct a survey to determine which buildings contribute to the NHL district.

Recommendation/Change since last report:
Unplanned growth can severely damage the integrity of the NHL, as well as the quality of life of the residents. The Town is encouraged to take control of the potentially damaging situation by establishing zoning ordinances and design guidelines. Establishing a preservation commission would also be helpful.


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