We regularly turn to the same trusted local, state, and national sources for technical guidance, preservation standards, and funding information. You may find some of the same sources helpful as you plan your project.
In addition to the “Thoughts…” series Bero Architecture has developed the following compilation of basic, preservation related, resources.
The Secretary of the Interior’s Standards and Guidelines for the Treatment of Historic Properties, developed by the National Park Service, offer a best-practice approach to the four treatments covered (preservation, rehabilitation, restoration, and reconstruction). In some cases (e.g., tax credit or state grant projects), adherence to the standards is mandated; even when not compulsory, they provide a useful framework for projects involving historic buildings.
The office of the Secretary of the Interior has also published Illustrated Guidelines on Sustainability for Rehabilitating Historic Buildings. This link to the National Park Service’s website for Technical Preservation Services has a link to the Guideline PDF. If you have difficulty finding it, you can get the PDF here.
Preservation Briefs, produced by the National Park Service, are a source of technical information on the appropriate care, restoration and maintenance of historic buildings, materials, and landscapes. The briefs provide detailed guidance on topics such as painting historic buildings, roofing, window repair, and porch preservation.
Each state and U.S. Territory has its own State Historic Preservation Office, charged with administering federal and state preservation policies and programs. In New York, ours is a division of the state Office of Parks, Recreation, & Historic Preservation, commonly referred to as SHPO (pronounced “shippo”).
SHPO’s website offers information about state preservation programs and processes, including tax credits and environmental review.
You’ll also find a database of National Register-listed properties with online access to scanned nominations.
SHPO’s publishes this tri-annual newsletter to assist and inform the Certified Local Government community around New York State. Each issue generally deals with a single topic. Current issues are downloadable as PDF’s from Certified Local Government Portal.
SHPO publishes guidlines for working with masonry and mortar. Mortar mixes, repointing, methods of cleaning masonry, and moisture are discussed.(more...)
Many places to learn about preserving and maintaining church buildings(more...)
The state and federal government encourage the preservation and rehabilitation of historic buildings by allowing income tax credits for the rehabilitation of certain historic properties. The following links explain the incentive system.
Looking for funding for your project? The following sources provide grants for preservation planning and/or rehabilitation projects. Please also see our Thoughts on Preservation Funding.
A list of information sources for old house owners on general work, architectural styles, masonry, paint colors, and insulation(more...)
The National Trust for Historic Preservation is a nonprofit organization that provides resources and advocacy to save historic places and revitalize communities. Their website includes a wealth of information on national preservation issues such as tear-downs chain drugstores, and historic schools. Some of our favorites issues discussed are:
Provides information about making historic buildings more energy efficient without jeopardizing character, and advice on ways to sensitively improve the performance of windows, mechanical systems, insulation, and roofing.
Describes ways we can preserve architectural features while making historic building lead safe. without tearing out contributing features like wood windows, fancy woodwork, or original siding. It also addresses the EPA’s renovation, repair, and painting rule for old buildings.
How can a shiny new vinyl replacement window not be better than an ugly and hard to open wood window? People make their decision to replace old windows based on looks, the experience of their friends, and what their vinyl window sales person tells them. The National Trust has published page to push more evidence-based information about the sustainability, cost-effectiveness, and maintenance-techniques to keep old windows out of landfills and contributing to the architectural quality of their buildings. There are also options to tell Congress that you support energy efficiency incentives, and to tell your friends you believe wood windows are better than vinyl. The Learn More page seems like a good place to start understanding the real differences between wood and vinyl windows. When you’re done with that, check out these articles we have about similar topics: