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Sheely Drive: Midcentury modern landmark district in Fort Collins

While Fort Collins has never granted Landmark District Designation to any of our old town residential neighborhoods,  it has recognized our earliest midcentury modern neighborhood–the 1600 block of Sheely drive.

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Fort Collins’ Sheely Drive landmark district represents everything 1950s in modern middle class architecture: Winding streets, low roof lines, decks, prominant garages and carports, with architectural attention to views, landscape, and cars. It was Frank Lloyd Wright’s post-war usonia, just south of Prospect and Shields.

From the Fort Collins museum archives http://history.fcgov.com

There are no sidewalks, curbs or gutters in this neighborhood for the automobile age, and it’s probably fitting that Art Sheely started the development. He owned the local dealership, or rather automotive institution. The Ghents, another local car dealer, lived there too.

Sheely is worth a side trip if you want to see some of the best midcentury modern we have. But don’t stop at the district borders. A lot of the coolest houses are just beyond it. So cool, that even in this market, nothing is for sale.

House on Sheely Drive

1901 Sheely Drive

IMG_0217

1801. Note glass balls separating roof from exterior walls (click for large view)

And more historic districts

I know about 2 other historic districts in Fort Collins. Old Town (downtown) has received the city’s Landmark District status, while the area around east Laurel street is registered as a national historic district.

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