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
ROOF and ROOF FEATURES: Look at the Building From a Distance
Graphic Number 1, non-navigational This is an image of a historic building with a highly visible roof, with stone dormers, decorative metalwork and patterned red and black slatework. Photo: NPS files.
Look at the Building's Shape
Look at the Building's Openings
Look at the Building's Projections + Recesses
Look at the Building's Exterior Materials
Look at the Building's Trim + Secondary Features
Look at the Building's Site
Visual Character Check List checklist
Walk Through Historic Buildings

ASK
Is the roof an important visual aspect of this large, freestanding historic building? Yes.

LOOK + IDENTIFY
The windows and decorative stone work are distinctive, but the roof and roof features dominate. This roof is not only highly visible, it has elaborate stone dormers, decorative metalwork, and slatework. The red and black slates of differing sizes and shapes are laid in patterns that extend around the entire roof.

WHAT IF THE ROOF IS ALTERED?
Any changes to the roof form, patterned slate work, or other roofing details would damage the visual character of the building.

WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?
Preserve a character-defining roof and roof features in the process of rehabilitating a historic building for a continuing or new use!


This is an image of a residential building with a steep roof and related features, such as the dormers and chimneys. Photo: NPS files.

Now LOOK carefully at the steep roof of this house because it is crucial to understanding the overall visual character of the exterior. You can see how the patterned tin work, six dormers, and two chimneys reinforce its prominence. Changes to the roof, such as removing or alterating the dormers, would change the character of this building. Preserve it!

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Identifying the Visual Character