Best Places to Live

Pueblo, CO

Population: 108,073
Jeff Adkins

Pueblo is in the midst of a citywide historic preservation effort. Five neighborhoods are being studied to identify properties that are considered landmarks and develop a history for each area that will ultimately help guide future development by protecting the past.

David Webb, president of a preservation group called Historic Pueblo, says no other city in the country is doing this. Webb says his goal is to place landmark designations, which places certain restrictions on what can be done to the exterior of a property, on half of the historic homes and buildings in the city.

"The first studies were to learn more of the history of the area," Webb says. "One on the Southside explained why things were built and why they were done that way. Ultimately, this will help residents take more pride in areas and make sure their neighborhoods are kept up."

Webb's group focuses as much, if not more, on education efforts as it does actual preservation. Among Historic Pueblo, CO's most popular programs is an annual historic homes tour.

"That way people get the opportunity to see the beautiful structures we have," he says. "They usually get encouraged. It starts to spread. If you see one (historic home) that's fixed up, the next thing you know others are fixing up their homes."

Renovated buildings, pedestrian pathways and the riverwalk have brought many people back to downtown. Residents take great pride in the festivals and cultural attractions in Pueblo. There is also a unique offering of restaurants and food choices in Pueblo.

Number of Properties on the National Register of Historic Places (including districts): 57

Historic Landmarks: Pueblo County Courthouse (1912), Union Avenue Historic District (1800s), Quaker Flour Mill (1869)