Solar Panels on Historic Properties: On a Flat Roof

solar panels on top of an historic hotel
Left, solar panels create a new sawtooth feature on the roof of a historic hotel. Right, after lowering the angle of the panels, they are no longer visible from this vantage point.

Old Hilton Hotel, New Mexico

In this project, solar panels were installed on the rooftop of a historic hotel building that is a large and prominent landmark in the community. Initially, the panels were set at an angle that created a new sawtooth feature that detracted from the roofline and distinctive cornice detail. Because this building can be seen from many vantage points and from some distance, the addition of the panels had a significant impact on the building. As a result, the angle of the panels was changed to reduce their prominence. Though still visible from some locations, the sawtooth effect has been eliminated and the decorative cornice remains the dominant feature of the roofline.

solar panels on top of an historic hotel

The original angle of the solar panels (left) was lowered (right) to maintain the prominence of the roofline and cornice. Only the very top of the panels can still be seen.

Last updated: April 18, 2022