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
INTERIOR FEATURES: Look Inside the Building
This graphic Number 3 is non-navigational This is an image of a modest iron stairway that is an important interior feature and an important visual component of the building. Photo: NPS files.
Look at the Building's Interior 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

Does this interior feature seem to be an integral part of the architecture of the historic building, as opposed to its furniture? And is it part of the interior visual character? Yes.

Distinctive interior features can include fireplace mantles, plaster ceiling medallions, or paneling, or interior features like hardware, lighting fixtures, bank tellers cages, and decorative elevator doors. Of course, a large and ornamental open stairway that dominates the visual character of an entire building would be identified as architecturally significant. But this modest iron stairway is just as important an interior feature and an important visual component of the building.

Removing the lacy side panels to install solid panels would jeopardize the visual character, as would overpainting the iron stairway with black or some other color paint.

Preserve character-defining interior features in the process of rehabilitating a historic building for a continuing or new use!

This is an image of a radiator with decorative grillage that should be retained and preserved, as is. Photo: NPS files.

LOOK for special interior features that are important in defining the character of interior rooms and spaces, such as radiators that have specially-designed bases, piping, and decorative grillage. They may have been painted with several colors to highlight their integral, cast-in details. Overpainting and concealing distinctive aspects of earlier heating and plumbing devices will change their visual character.

Identifying Visual Character HOME | TPS HOME
Identifying Visual Character