<photo>Detail of window arches above a rehabilitated storefront;  Link to National Park Service
STANDARDS FOR REHABILITATION AND GUIDELINES FOR REHABILITATING
<photo>character of a historic town center

Identify    Protect    Repair    Replace    Missing feature   Alterations/Additions

Identify, Retain and Preserve

Recommend
Identifying retaining, and preserving building and landscape features which are important in defining the historic character of the setting. Such features can include roads and streets, furnishings such as lights or benches, vegetation, gardens and yards, adjacent open space such as fields, parks, commons or woodlands, and important views or visual relationships.

drawing of historic town plan showing important relationships between buildings, driveways, walkways, and street trees

As shown in this historic plan, the elements of setting, such as the relationship of buildings to each other, setbacks, fence patterns, views, driveways and walkways, and street trees together create the character of a district or neighborhood. Drawing: NPS files.

Retaining the historic relationship between buildings and landscape features of the setting. For example, preserving the relationship between a town common and its adjacent historic houses, municipal buildings, historic roads, and landscape features.

Not Recommended
Removing or radically changing those features of the setting which are important in defining the historic character.

Destroying the relationship between the buildings and landscape features within the setting by widening existing streets, changing landscape materials or constructing inappropriately located new streets or parking.

Removing or relocating historic buildings or landscape features, thus destroying their historic relationship within the setting.

Protect and Maintain

Recommend
Protecting and maintaining historic building materials and plant features through appropriate cleaning, rust removal, limited paint removal, and reapplication of protective coating systems; and pruning and vegetation management.

photo showing painted  plywood panels used to protect glass storefronts on an urban building awaiting rehabilitation

Urban buildings awaiting rehabilitation often need additional protection from unwanted entry and graffiti. This commercial building uses painted plywood panels to cover its glass storefronts. The upper windows on the street sides have been painted to resemble 19th century sash. Photo: NPS files.

Protecting building and landscape features such as lighting or trees, against arson and vandalism before rehabilitation work begins by erecting protective fencing and installing alarm systems that are keyed into local protection agencies.

Evaluating the overall condition of the building and landscape features to determine whether more than protection and maintenance are required, that is, if repairs to features will be necessary.

Not Recommended
Failing to provide adequate protection of materials on a cyclical basis which results in the deterioration of building and landscape features.

Permitting the building and setting to remain unprotected so that interior or exterior features are damaged.Stripping or removing features from buildings or the setting such as wood siding, iron fencing, terra cotta balusters, or plant material.

Failing to undertake adequate measures to assure the protection of building and landscape features.

Repair

Recommend
Repairing features of the building and landscape by reinforcing the historic materials. Repair will also generally include the replacement in kind--or with a compatible substitute material--of those extensively deteriorated or missing parts of features when there are surviving prototypes such as porch balustrades or paving materials.

photo of a historic cast iron fence that emphasizes the need to retain its character within the neighborhood

The rhythm and regularity of this cast iron fence is so important to its visual character that it could be altered by accidental damage or vandalism, if some of the fence top spikes were broken off. Keeping it in good repair, as shown here, is critical to retention of its character in the setting. Photo: NPS files.

Not Recommended
Replacing an entire feature of the building or landscape when repair of materials and limited replacement of deteriorated or missing parts are appropriate.

Using a substitute material for the replacement part that does not convey the visual appearance of the surviving parts of the building or landscape, or that is physically, chemically, or ecologically incompatible.

Replace

Recommend
Replacing in kind an entire feature of the building or landscape that is too deteriorated to repair-- when the overall form and detailing are still evident --using the physical evidence as a model to guide the new work. If using the same kind of material is not technically or economically feasible, then a compatible substitute material may be considered.

Not Recommended
Removing a feature of the building or landscape that is unrepairable and not replacing it; or replacing it with a new feature that does not convey the same visual appearance.

The following work is highlighted to indicate that it represents the particularly complex technical or design aspects of Rehabilitation projects and should only be considered after the preservation concerns listed above have been addressed.

Design for the Replacement of Missing Historic Features

Recommend
Designing and constructing a new feature of the building or landscape when the historic feature is completely missing, such as row house steps, a porch, a streetlight, or terrace. It may be a restoration based on documentary or physical evidence; or be a new design that is compatible with the historic character of the setting.

Not Recommended
Creating a false historical appearance because the replaced feature is based on insufficient documentary or physical evidence.

Introducing a new building or landscape feature that is out of scale or otherwise inappropriate to the setting's historic character, e.g., replacing picket fencing with chain link fencing.

The following work is highlighted to indicate that it represents the particularly complex technical or design aspects of Rehabilitation projects and should only be considered after the preservation concerns listed above have been addressed.

Alterations/Additions for the New Use

Recommend
Designing required new parking so that it is as unobtrusive as possible, thus minimizing the effect on the historic character of the setting. "Shared" parking should also be planned so that several businesses can utilize one parking area as opposed to introducing random, multiple lots.

Designing and constructing new additions to historic buildings when required by the new use. New work should be compatible with the historic character of the setting in terms of size, scale design, material, color, and texture.

Removing nonsignificant buildings, additions or landscape features which detract from the historic character of the setting.

Not Recommended
Placing parking facilities directly adjacent to historic buildings which result in damage to historic landscape features, such as the removal of plant material, relocation of paths and walkways, or blocking of alleys.

photos of a distinctive rear elevation of a historic building and how it was inappropriately altered by construction of a large-scale new addition

If a rear elevation of a historic building is distinctive and highly visible in the neighborhood, altering it may not meet the Standards. (top left and right) This 3-story brick rowhouse featured a second story gallery and brick kitchen wing characteristic of other residences in the district which backed onto a connecting roadway. (left) In the rehabilitation, the wing and gallery were demolished and a large addition constructed that severely impacted the building's historic form and character. Photo: NPS files.

Introducing new construction into historic districts that is visually incompatible or that destroys historic relationships within the setting.

Removing a historic building, building feature, or landscape feature that is important in defining the historic character of the setting

 

-GUIDELINES-

The Approach

Exterior Materials
Masonry
Wood
Architectural Metals

Exterior Features
Roofs
Windows
Entrances + Porches
Storefronts

Interior Features
Structural System Spaces/Features/Finishes
Mechanical Systems

Site

Setting

Special Requirements
Energy Efficiency
New Additions
Accessibility
Health + Safety

The Standards

 

  HISTORICAL OVERVIEW - PRESERVING - rehabilitating - RESTORING - RECONSTRUCTING

 main - credits - email

Historical Overview