In Fort Collins, What are the Boundaries of Old Town?

Old Town, Fort Collins, Colorado. 

It’s the most sought after and popular spot to live in town. Now, a lot of people are mad for Midtown. They seek south Fort Collins, and some even go crazy for Campus West. But I think one thing is clear—in Fort Collins, Old Town is the place to be.

But where do the boundaries of this section of town lie? This is an oft debated topic. And being the ‘in-the-know” longtime resident of the Choice City that I am, I know one thing for sure—you’ll get different answers with almost every different person you ask.

Case in point…my social media survey.

As you can see, opinions differ.

The one thing people tend to agree on is that Prospect is the southern border of Old Town Fort Collins.

Disagreements come when referring to the other sides. I think the Poudre River is a very reasonable choice for the northern border.

To the west, some would say Shields, others say Taft Hill.

A big reason why there is debate on this is because for at least some of the borders, the feel of Old Town crosses what many consider to be the boundary. When I cross Shields on Maple, it still has an Old Town feel.

Consider Mountain Avenue, or even Oak or Magnolia. You are going to tell me that those streets, just west of Shields aren’t in Old Town?

Doesn’t City Park feel like it is part of Old Town? The Trolley departs from well west of Shields Street. But, as is listed on its website, The Fort Collins Municipal Railway starts in City Park and goes to Old Town. It doesn’t say that it goes through Old Town.


Carol, who commented a few times from my Facebook page and is another person who knows this area and knows it well, was helpful enough to attach a link.

It goes to a page that looks pretty official, and draws the boundaries in opaque ink that makes it pretty clear where the boundaries are, pictured below.

COOL LINK – Old Town Neighborhoods Plan

City of Fort Collins, Colorado Old Town Neighborhoods Plan

This makes it abundantly clear as to where the boundaries are, yet eliminates a few areas that are just north of Prospect, or as they are affectionately known around here “NoPro”. So the official word is in, but the word on the street sometimes is contradictory.

Why is this important?

Two Reasons—Style Points and Perceived Property Value

Style Points

Hipsters live in Old Town. It is pretty much across the board considered to be the coolest place to live in this very cool town. You can have style points in any other area of town, but Old Town earns you the most. Argue all you like. I’m standing firm on this point—Old Town is the height of cool concerning places to live in Fort Collins.

Perceived Property Value

The closer you are to Old Town, the more perceived ‘location value’ your property will probably have. So, if you are just across the line, just outside of Old Town, a good Realtor®/writer might describe your home as “Walking distance to Old Town Square with a true Old Town feel.” If you are selling your home and can be connected to Old Town in any way shape or form, I say, go for it. It is a thing. A confirmed thing.

Let the debate continue!

As the city becomes more connected, as bike paths are improved, the Mason Corridor is completed and the population grows, can the size of Old Town grow with it? Can the borders be extended? If enough people come to believe that a section that is not in the Old Town Neighborhood Plan is actually Old Town, does that falsehood become truth?

For me, it doesn’t matter. I feel the spirit of Old Town all over the place. Just like I feel the hospitality of Steamboat outside of Ski Town, U.S.A; just like I feel the solitude of the Rawah Wilderness from time to time on a dirt offshoot of Poudre Trail. What makes Old Town Old Town is not a certain kind of building, or a certain date of construction, no. What makes Old Town is the attitude you find there. And you’ll find that attitude throughout Fort Collins; throughout Colorado; and increasingly, throughout the country and world.

So I say, let Old Town grow! There’s plenty for all of us!

Please comment here or on any of my social media. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic!

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