<photo>Detail of reconstructed house; Link to National Park Service
STANDARDS FOR RECONSTRUCTION AND GUIDELINES FOR RECONSTRUCTING HISTORIC BUILDINGS
<photo>detail of reconstructed house

Building Exterior

Recommend
Reconstructing a non-surviving building to depict the documented historic appearance. Although traditional building materials such as masonry, wood, and architectural metals are preferable, substitute materials may be used as long as they re-create the historical appearance.

Re-creating the documented design of exterior features such as the roof shape and coverings; architectural detailing; windows; entrances and porches; steps and doors; and their historic spatial relationships and proportions.

Reproducing the appearance of historic paint colors and finishes based on physical and documentary evidence.

Using signs to identify the building as a contemporary re-creation.

photo of reconstructed 1778 Kershaw House at Camden Battlefield, SC

The 1778 Kershaw House, which served as British Headquarters during the Revolutionary War, was burned by Union troops in 1865. In the early 1970s, the house was reconstructed as part of Camden Battlefield, Camden, South Carolina. Built expressly for interpretive purposes, it serves as an illustrative reminder of a past event of national significance. The Standards for Reconstruction call for any re-created building to be clearly identified as a contemporary depiction. This is most often done by means of an exterior sign or plaque, or through an explanatory brochure or exhibit. A guide may inform visitors as well. Photo: NPS files.

Not Recommended
Reconstructing features that cannot be documented historically or for which inadequate documentation exists.

Using substitute materials that do not convey the appearance of the historic building.

Omitting a documented exterior feature; or re-building a feature, but altering its historic design.

Using inappropriate designs or materials that do not convey the historic appearance, such as aluminum storm and screen window combinations.

Using paint colors that cannot be documented through research and investigation to be appropriate to the building or using other undocumented finishes.

Failing to explain that the building is a reconstruction, thus confusing the public understanding.

 

-GUIDELINES-

The Approach

Research + Documentation

Building Exterior

Building Interior

Site

Setting

Special Requirements
Energy Efficiency
Accessibility
Health + Safety

The Standards

 

  HISTORICAL OVERVIEW - PRESERVING - REHABILITATING - RESTORING- reconstructing

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