Follow 2 Design Pros On A History-Loving Tour Of Fort Collins


Portrait of Annie and Jordan Obermann of Forge & Bow Dwellings

Photo by Clayton Jenkins Photography.

Since launching Forge & Bow Dwellings in 2016, husband-and-wife Jordan and Annie Obermann have been thoughtfully renovating Fort Collins’ historic homes and replacing unsalvageable abodes with new builds that respect the character of their surroundings. “Our aim is to be timeless,” Annie says. Who better then to take us on a tour of Fort Collins’ design destinations, classic and new?

Fort Collins old town area with flowery shrubs and bicycles, suggested by Forge & Bow Dwellings

Photo by Tim O'Hara.

Wooden stools in bar area of Union Bar & Soda Fountain, suggested by Forge & Bow Dwellings

Photo by Phoco.

Shelves displaying red vases and butterflies in glass cases, suggested by Forge & Bow Dwellings

Photo by Sarah Ford Photography.

Bar and restaurant area of the Armstong Hotel, with botanical wallpaper and a modern chandelier

Photo courtesy The Armstrong Hotel.

10 a.m. We like to start the day at Mugs, our favorite breakfast spot just steps away from the office. This café has an eclectic feel thanks to the old building’s high ceilings, big corner window and brick walls.

11 a.m. For great architecture, head west up Mountain Avenue, where you’ll pass a wide variety of beautiful old homes, from the 1879 Avery House, which you can tour, to the 1904 Edwards House. From May through September, you can even peep them from a restored historic trolley ride. 

1 p.m. Go to Old Town and browse the shops along College Avenue, making sure to stop at The Cupboard for cooking tools, tableware, small home decor and delicious foods from pastas and olive oils to handmade chocolates and vintage candy.

2 p.m. Head to Antique Row and browse our favorite troves: A&J Antique Mall for verified antiques, including substantial furniture pieces, Front Range Antique Mall for accessories and treasures, and Vintage Marketplace, which has amazing retro tableware from the 1940s through the ’70s. 

3 p.m. Take an ice cream break at Union Bar & Soda Fountain. The playful eatery’s architecture and interior design, created by local firm VFLA Architecture + Interiors, merges modern furnishings with traditional details inspired by the neighboring historic Union Pacific railroad station. 

4 p.m. Hop in the car and head to the Fort Collins outpost of beloved Colorado furniture store HW Home, where you can shop a globally sourced collection of unique pieces that you won’t see in your neighbors’ homes. 

7 p.m. We love to sip wine while watching the sun sink behind the mountains at the Elizabeth Hotel. And if you’re looking to stay the night in a historic property, head over to the Armstrong Hotel, whose recently renovated rooms make it a perfect spot in the heart of town.