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
EXPOSED STRUCTURAL ELEMENTS:Look Inside the Building
This graphic Number 3 is non-navigational These are before and after images of the interior of a mill building. In the top image, the character-defining structural system is shown prior to rehabilitation work. The bottom image shows how the project took into account--and respected--the unique industrial structural character of the building in its conversion to retail shops. Photos: NPS files.

Look at the Building's Individual Space
Look at the Building's Related Spaces
Look at the Building's Interior Features
Look at the Building's Surface Materials + Finishes
Look at the Building's Exposed Structural Elements
Visual Character Check List checklist
Walk Through Historic Buildings

ASK
Can features of the structural system that are exposed to view, such as load-bearing brick walls, cast iron columns, roof trusses, posts and beams, vigas, or stone foundation walls, be important in defining the building's interior visual character. Yes.

LOOK + IDENTIFY
The visible posts seen above have a distinctive character of their own, besides serving a structural function. Shown below, the unique industrial structural character of a mill building was preserved in a successful conversion to retail shops during an overall rehabilitation.

WHAT IF VISIBLE STRUCTURAL FEATURES ARE ALTERED?
Answer: If these visible posts had been altered or hidden, the existing industrial character would have been lost. In fact, the exposed structure is an attractive component of the new interior design.

WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?
Preserve character-defining structural features in the process of rehabilitation!

This ends the instructional portion of the training program. NOW, Try the QUIZ?

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Identifying Visual Character