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
BUILDING SITE: Look at the Building from a Distance
Graphic Number 1, non-navigational This is an image of an urban house with a visually distinctive front yard which includes the iron fence along the sidewalk, the curved walk leading to the porch, and the various plantings. Photo: NPS files.
Look at the Building's Shape
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 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
Does this building site – or yard – contribute to the overall visual character from a distance? Yes.

LOOK + IDENTIFY
The design and materials of this little landscape, which includes the iron fence along the sidewalk, the curved walk leading to the porch, and the various plantings are all essential components of the historic property as a whole.

WHAT IF THE BUILDING SITE IS ALTERED?  In a district where parking spaces are in great demand, front yards are sometimes converted to off-street parking. In this case, the building site would essentially be destroyed and, as a result, the visual character of the historic property would be completely changed.


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

 

Go to STEP TWO

 

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Identifying Visual Character