Rehabilitation as a Treatment

Rehabilitation is defined as the act or process of making possible a compatible use for a property through repair, alterations, and additions while preserving those portions or features which convey its historical, cultural, or architectural values.

Standards for Preservation

Standards for Rehabilitation

Standards for Rehabilitation
(for historic tax credit projects)

Standards for Restoration

Standards for Reconstruction

History of the Standards

Guidelines for the Treatment
of Historic Properties

Guidelines for the Treatment
of Cultural Landscapes

Guidelines for Rehabilitating
Historic Buildings

Guidelines on Sustainability

Guidelines on Flood Adaptation for Rehabilitating Historic Buildings

View down a historic commercial street

Standards for Rehabilitation

Please note: For the Historic Preservation Tax Incentives Program use the Standards for Rehabilitation that are codified separately in 36 CFR 67 and are regulatory for the review of rehabilitation work for that program.

The Standards will be applied taking into consideration the economic and technical feasibility of each project.

  1. A property will be used as it was historically or be given a new use that requires minimal change to its distinctive materials, features, spaces and spatial relationships.
  2. The historic character of a property will be retained and preserved. The removal of distinctive materials or alteration of features, spaces and spatial relationships that characterize a property will be avoided.
  3. Each property will be recognized as a physical record of its time, place and use. Changes that create a false sense of historical development, such as adding conjectural features or elements from other historic properties, will not be undertaken.
  4. Changes to a property that have acquired historic significance in their own right will be retained and preserved.
  5. Distinctive materials, features, finishes and construction techniques or examples of craftsmanship that characterize a property will be preserved.
  6. Deteriorated historic features will be repaired rather than replaced. Where the severity of deterioration requires replacement of a distinctive feature, the new feature will match the old in design, color, texture and, where possible, materials. Replacement of missing features will be substantiated by documentary and physical evidence.
  7. Chemical or physical treatments, if appropriate, will be undertaken using the gentlest means possible. Treatments that cause damage to historic materials will not be used.
  8. Archeological resources will be protected and preserved in place. If such resources must be disturbed, mitigation measures will be undertaken.
  9. New additions, exterior alterations or related new construction will not destroy historic materials, features and spatial relationships that characterize the property. The new work will be differentiated from the old and will be compatible with the historic materials, features, size, scale and proportion, and massing to protect the integrity of the property and its environment.
  10. New additions and adjacent or related new construction will be undertaken in such a manner that, if removed in the future, the essential form and integrity of the historic property and its environment would be unimpaired.

Rehabilitation as a treatment

When repair and replacement of deteriorated features are necessary; when alterations or additions to the property are planned for a new or continued use; and when its depiction at a particular period of time is not appropriate, Rehabilitation may be considered as a treatment.

The Guidelines for the Treatment of Historic Properties illustrate the practical application of these treatment standards to historic properties.

The Guidelines for the Treatment of Cultural Landscapes apply these treatment standards to historic cultural landscapes.