Detail of restored roof; Link to Parknet
<photo>detail of a row of porch steps

Identify    Protect    Repair    Replace    Remove   Re-Create

Identify, Retain and Preserve

Identifying, retaining, and preserving entrances and porches from the restoration period--and their functional and decorative features--such as doors, fanlights, sidelights, pilasters, entablatures, columns, balustrades, and stairs.

Photo of Villa Lewaro, Irvington-on-Hudson, NY, with its significant porticoed entrance

Located in Irvington-on-Hudson, New York, Villa Lewaro was the home of Madam C.J. Walker, creator of a popular line of African-American hair care products and the woman reputed to be America's first black female millionaire. The three-story structure with its significant porticoed entrance, is the design of Vertner Tandy, New York's first licensed black architect. Photo: HABS Collection, NPS.

Not Recommended
Altering entrances and porch features from the restoration period.

Failing to properly document entrance and porch features from the restoration period which may result in their loss.

Applying paint or other coatings to entrance and porch features or removing them if such treatments cannot be documented to the restoration period.

Changing the type or color of protective surface coatings on entrance and porch features unless the work can be substantiated by historical documentation.

Stripping entrances and porches of sound material such as wood, iron, cast iron, terra cotta, tile and brick.

Protect and Maintain

Protecting and maintaining the masonry, wood, and architectural metals that comprise restoration period entrances and porches through appropriate surface treatments such as cleaning, rust removal, limited paint removal, and re-application of protective coating systems.

photo of early 20th century building with long arcaded entrance

The primary character-defining aspect of this early 20th century building is its long arcaded entrance. If the arcade were to be removed, the exterior visual character of the building would be totally changed. Its repair and preservation are thus critical. Photo: NPS files.

Evaluating the existing condition of materials to determine whether more than protection and maintenance are required, that is, if repairs to entrance and porch features will be necessary.

Not Recommended
Failing to provide adequate protection to materials on a cyclical basis so that deterioration of entrances and porches results.

Failing to undertake adequate measures to assure the protection of historic entrances and porches from the restoration period.


Repairing entrances and porches from the restoration period by reinforcing the historic materials. Repairs will also generally include the limited replacement in kind--or with compatible substitute material--of those extensively deteriorated or missing parts of repeated features where there are surviving prototypes such as balustrades, cornices, entablatures, columns, sidelights, and stairs. The new work should be unobtrusively dated to guide future research and treatment.

photo showing how portions of a 19th century porch were carefully numbered prior to their removal, restoration, and re-installation

Portions of the small porch on an Italianate mansion were carefully numbered prior to Restoration. Some original elements were restored in place, while others had to be removed for repair, then reinstalled. Any element too deteriorated to save was replaced with a new one replicated to match the original design. Photo: Morgan W. Phillips.

Not Recommended
Replacing an entire entrance or porch feature from the restoration period when the repair of materials and limited replacement of parts are appropriate.

Using a substitute material for the replacement part that does not convey the visual appearance of the surviving parts of the entrance and porch or that is physically or chemically incompatible


Replacing in kind an entire entrance or porch from the restoration period that is too deteriorated to repair--if the form and detailing are still evident--using the physical evidence as a model to reproduce the feature. If using the same kind of material is not technically or economically feasible, then a compatible substitute material may be considered. The new work should be unobtrusively dated to guide future research and treatment.

Not Recommended
Removing an entrance or porch feature from the restoration period that is unrepairable and not replacing it; or failing to document the new work.

The following Restoration work is highlighted to indicate that it involves the removal or alteration of existing historic masonry features that would be retained in Preservation and Rehabilitation treatments; and the replacement of missing masonry features from the restoration period using all new materials.

Removing Existing Features from Other Historic Periods

Removing or altering entrances and porches and their features from other historic periods such as a later porch railing or balustrade.

photo series of Meyer May House deterioration and subsequent restoration to its original 1909 appearance

The Meyer May House, Grand Rapids, Michigan, which featured a distinctive low-roofed porch, was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and constructed in 1909 (top left). Over the years, the shape of the house and the porch had become obscured by the addition of more bedrooms upstairs and downstairs in 1922, and later subdivision of the house into apartments (right). In the 1980s, after historians concluded that the original Wright design was more significant than any later changes, the house and the porch were restored to their 1909 appearance based on physical and pictorial evidence (bottom left). Photos: NPS Files.

Documenting materials and features dating from other periods prior to their alteration or removal. If possible, selected examples of these features or materials should be stored to facilitate future research.

Not Recommended
Failing to remove an entrance or porch feature from another period, thus confusing the depiction of the building's significance.

Failing to document entrance or porch features from other historic periods that are removed from the building so that a valuable portion of the historic record is lost.

Re-creating Missing Features from the Restoration Period

Re-creating a missing entrance or porch or its features that existed during the restoration period based on physical or documentary evidence; for example, duplicating a fanlight or porch column.

Not Recommended
Constructing an entrance or porch feature that was part of the original design for the building but was never actually built; or constructing a feature which was thought to have existed during the restoration period, but for which there is insufficient documentation.



The Approach

Exterior Materials
Architectural Metals

Exterior Features
Entrances + Porches

Interior Features
Structural System Spaces/Features/Finishes
Mechanical Systems



Special Requirements
Energy Efficiency
Health + Safety

The Standards



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