Historic Building Interior
The review of a tax credit application includes both the exterior
and the interior of a historic building. The interior floor plan,
the arrangement and sequence of spaces, and features and finishes
are individually and collectively important in defining the historic
character of a building and should be preserved. Prior to beginning
rehabilitation it is always recommended that the interior spaces and
features--whether finished or unfinished--be identified and evaluated to determine their significance and to ensure that they are repaired and retained.
Typically, some interior spaces, features and finishes have more
significance than others, since most buildings are comprised of
both primary and secondary spaces. Generally, front areas of a building
are more important than the back; lower floors are more important
than upper floors; and visible and public areas are more important
than obscured and private areas. Whenever possible, major alterations
should be undertaken in secondary spaces to preserve the historic
character of the building.
To meet the Standards for Rehabilitation, any changes
or additions made to the interior of a historic building during
work should not result in damaging, destroying or obscuring those
character-defining spaces and features identified at the beginning
of work. The distinctive interior character should remain at the completion
of the rehabilitation.
Features, Finishes + Spaces
Historic interior features and finishes, such as doors, transoms, trim, stairs, mantels, wood, plaster and brick, are also major elements that help define historic character. Whenever possible they should be retained and repaired.
This elegant lobby (above, left) with its decorative plastered walls and ceilings, marble flooring and wainscoting, as well as less formal spaces with beadboard walls and simple wood trim (above, right), can define the interior character of finished historic spaces.
Photos: NPS files