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
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SURFACE MATERIALS AND FINISHES:Look Inside the Building
This graphic Number 3 is non-navigational This is an image of an interior column featuring real marble at the base, imitation marble patterns on the plaster surface, and a tile floor surface that uses small mosaic tiles arranged to form geometric designs in several different colors. Photo: 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
Are these surface materials and finishes key contributors to the interior visual character? Yes.

LOOK + IDENTIFY
Distinctive surface materials and finishes can include patterned or inlaid designs in the wood flooring, stenciling, imitation marble or wood grain, wallpapering, tinwork, or tile floors. This example is a striking combination of real marble at the base of the column, imitation marble patterns on the plaster surface of the column, and a tile floor surface that uses small mosaic tiles arranged to form geometric designs in several different colors.

 

 This is an image of an office building corridor with glazed walls, oak trim, and marble wainscotting, typical of those found in the late 19th and early 20th century office buildings.  Preserving corridors that display simple detailing, should be a priority in rehabilitation projects involving commercial buildings. Photo: NPS files.

LOOK at this office building corridor with its glazed walls, oak trim, and marble wainscotting. Here, the plainness of surface materials and finishes are an essential aspect of its historic character.

WHAT IF SURFACE FINISHES ARE ALTERED? Elegant or plain, any treatment that harms character-defining finishes is inappropriate!

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


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Identifying Visual Character