Architectural metal features--such as cast iron
facades, porches, and steps; sheet metal cornices,
siding, roofs, roof cresting and storefronts;
and cast or rolled metal doors, window sash, entablatures,
and hardware--are often highly decorative and
may be important in defining the overall character
of historic American buildings.
Metals commonly used in historic buildings include
lead, tin, zinc, copper, bronze, brass, iron,
steel, and to a lesser extent, nickel alloys,
stainless steel and aluminum. Historic metal building
components were often created by highly skilled,
local artisans, and by the late 19th century,
many of these components were prefabricated and
readily available from catalogs in standardized
sizes and designs.