Overall page navigation start option: INTRODUCTION: What is the Historic Character? STEP ONE: Identify the building's overall visual aspects STEP TWO: Identify the close range visual aspects STEP THREE: Identify the interior visual aspects Introduction to Identify the Historic Character QUIZ
A distance learning site by Technical Preservation Services, National Park Service
Exterior Materials: Look at the Building from a Distance
Graphic Number 1, non-navigational This is an image of a house with wood siding, shingles, cut outs, and applied ornamentation in the gable ends and on the porches. The contrasting paint colors create a dark and light pattern that also draws attention to the exterior materials. Photo: NPS files.
Look at the Building's Interior Space
Look at the Building's Roof + Roof Features
Look at the Building's Openings
Look at the Building's Projections + Recesses
Look at the Building's Trim + Secondary Features
Visual Character Check List checklist
Walk Through Historic Buildings

ASK
When you look at this historic house, do the exterior building materials serve to define the visual character from a distance? Yes.

LOOK + IDENTIFY
You can see the playful ways wood has been used here – horizontal siding, shingles, cut outs, and applied ornamentation in the gable ends and on the porches. The contrasting paint colors create a dark and light pattern that also draws attention to the exterior materials.

WHAT IF THE MATERIALS ARE ALTERED? When the color and patterning or texture of the exterior materials are dominant, they should not be altered. For example, if the wood were painted a single color, the decorative wood detailing would tend to "drop out."

WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?
Preserve character-defining exterior materials during rehabilitation!


Identify HOME | TPS HOME
visual character