<photo>Detail of window arches above a rehabilitated storefront;  Link to National Park Service
STANDARDS FOR REHABILITATION AND GUIDELINES FOR REHABILITATING
<Photo>Person using accessible ramp

Although the work in these sections is quite often an important aspect of rehabilitation projects, it is usually not part of the overall process of preserving character-defining features (maintenance, repair, replacement); rather, such work is assessed for its potential negative impact on the building's historic character. For this reason, particular care must be taken not to obscure, radically change, damage, or destroy character-defining features in the process of rehabilitation work.


Recommend
Identifying the historic building's character-defining spaces, features, and finishes so that accessibility code-required work will not result in their damage or loss.

photo of accessible elevator entrance next to stairs

A new elevator entrance was
provided next to the stairs to provide universal access to the services inside. Photo: Courtesy, GSA.

Complying with barrier-free access requirements, in such a manner that character-defining spaces, features, and finishes are preserved.

Working with local disability groups, access specialists, and historic preservation specialists to determine the most appropriate solution to access problems.

Providing barrier-free access that promotes independence for the disabled person to the highest degree practicable, while preserving significant historic features.

photo of an automatic door to a museum building

The automatic door to this museum building is a practical solution for universal entry. Photo: NPS files.

Designing new or additional means of access that are compatible with the historic building and its setting.

Not Recommended
Undertaking code-required alterations before identifying those spaces, features, or finishes which are character-defining and must therefore be preserved.

Altering, damaging, or destroying character-defining features in attempting to comply with accessibility requirements.

photo of an access ramp that is incompatible with the character of the historic building in scale and materials

The ramp's scale and materials are inconsistent with the character of the historic building. Photo: NPS files.

Making changes to buildings without first seeking expert advice from access specialists and historic preservationists, to determine solutions.

Making access modifications that do not provide a reasonable balance between independent, safe access and preservation of historic features.

Designing new or additional means of access without considering the impact on the historic building and its 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

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Historical Overview