Identify, Retain and Preserve
Identifying, retaining, and preserving storefronts--and
their functional and decorative features--that are important
in defining the overall historic character of the building
such as display windows, signs, doors, transoms, kick
plates, corner posts, and entablatures. The removal
of inappropriate, nonhistoric cladding, false mansard
roofs, and other later alterations can help reveal the
historic character of a storefront.
This Moderne storefront has gained significance over time and would be retained and
preserved within the treatment, Rehabilitation. Photo: NPS files.
Removing or radically changing storefronts--and their
features--which are important in defining the overall
historic character of the building so that, as a result,
the character is diminished.
Changing the storefront so that it appears residential
rather than commercial in character.
Removing historic material from the storefront to create
a recessed arcade.
Introducing coach lanterns, mansard designs, wood shakes,
nonoperable shutters, and small-paned windows if they
cannot be documented historically.
Changing the location of a storefront's main entrance.
This photograph shows the impact of inappropriate alterations on
historic storefronts. The storefront on the right has been totally obscured by a "modern" front added in the
1950s. Photo: NPS files.
Protect and Maintain
Protecting and maintaining masonry, wood, and architectural
metals which comprise storefronts through appropriate
treatments such as cleaning, rust removal, limited paint
removal, and reapplication of protective coating systems.
The distinctive 19th century brick and wood storefront has been successfully maintained over time. Photo: NPS files.
Protecting storefronts against arson and vandalism
before work begins by boarding up windows and installing
alarm systems that are keyed into local protection agencies.
Evaluating the existing condition of storefront
materials to determine whether more than protection
and maintenance are required, that is, if repairs to
features will be necessary.
Failing to provide adequate protection of materials
on a cyclical basis so that deterioration of storefront
Permitting entry into the building through unsecured
or broken windows and doors so that interior features
and finishes are damaged by exposure to weather or vandalism.
Stripping storefronts of historic material such as
wood, cast iron, terra cotta, carrara glass, and brick.
Failing to undertake adequate measures to assure the
preservation of the historic storefront.
Repairing storefronts by reinforcing the historic
materials. Repairs will also generally include the limited
replacement in kind--or with compatible substitute materials--of
those extensively deteriorated or missing parts of storefronts
where there are surviving prototypes such as transoms,
kick plates, pilasters, or signs.
In the treatment, Rehabilitation, one option
for replacing missing historic features is to
use pictorial documentation and/or physical evidence
to re-create the historic feature. (a) In this
example, the ornamental cornice of an 1866 limestone
building was missing; and the ground level storefront
had been extensively altered. (b) and (c) Based
on the availability of photographic and other
documentation, the owners were able to accurately
restore the cornice and storefront to their historic
configuration. A substitute material, fiberglass,
was used to fabricate the missing pressed metal
cornice, an acceptable alternative in this project.
All work met the Standards.
Replacing an entire storefront when repair of materials
and limited replacement of its parts are appropriate.
Using substitute material for the replacement parts
that does not convey the same visual appearance as the
surviving parts of the storefront or that is physically
or chemically incompatible.
Replacing in kind an entire storefront that is too
deteriorated to repair--if the overall form and detailing
are still evident--using the physical evidence as a
model. If using the same material is not technically
or economically feasible, then compatible substitute
materials may be considered.
Removing a storefront that is unrepairable and not replacing
it; or replacing it with a new storefront 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
Designing and constructing a new storefront
when the historic storefront is completely missing.
It may be an accurate restoration using historical,
pictorial, and physical documentation; or be a
new design that is compatible with the size, scale,
material, and color of the historic building.
Creating a false historical appearance because
the replaced storefront is based on insufficient
historical, pictorial, and physical documentation.
Introducing a new design that is incompatible
in size, scale, material, and color.
Using inappropriately scaled signs and logos
or other types of signs that obscure, damage,
or destroy remaining character-defining features
of the historic building.