In response to the loss of many great structures in the 1950’s and 60’s, the federal government passed the Historic Preservation Act of 1966, which created a number of provisions to protect the nation’s cultural resources.  Certainly there are some historic structures which deserve to be treated to the highest degree of preservation (Independence Hall, Mount Vernon, Monticello) but the law’s creators realized that although many buildings and sites can be considered “historic”,  not all of them can  or should be treated to the same degree as the home of our founding fathers.  There needed to be a continuum of ways to treat the operational farms, the  downtown shopping districts, the ruins and the ghost towns. That continuum is are referred to in short-hand as The Treatments.

The Treatments are defined by the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Historic Preservation–essentially there are four ways an historic structure can be treated. Hover your cursor over the underlined word to see an expanded definition.  Click on the underlined to be taken the Technical Preservation Services site.

  1. PRESERVATION: You are Preserving as much of the existing form and fabric as possible but keeping it in a maintainable condition.
  2. REHABILITATION: You are finding a new, but compatible use for an historic structure. You’re retaining as much historic fabric as possible, and making changes that are sympathetic to the character defining features of a building.  Try your hand at determining a structure’s CDF’s by completing this online practice provided by the NPS’ Technical Preservation Services.
  3. RESTORATION: You’re adding or removing features to restore a structure’s appearance to what it looked like at a significant point in its history.  You need to have  strong documentary evidence, such as photographs, drawing and physical clues, to pursue this treatment so to ensure the physical form is historically accurate. If you don’t have that evidence, you’re likely going to preserve the structure’s existing form.
  4. RECONSTRUCTION: Got HABS drawings but no building? You might be able to reconstruct it.  This treatment requires the greatest amount of documentary evidence to recreate a structure and is probably the treatment least likely to happen in a National Park.

Stuccoing the D.R. Miller House at Antietam NB
dr-millerCheck out this informative video on how “struck” stucco was rehabilitated at the D.H Miller House at Antietam National Battlefield in Maryland:
How to Restore & Weatherize Your Historic Home Windows with Duffy Hoffman
Duffy HoffmanWednesday, May 29, 2013 – 6:00pm-7:30pm at the Historic Harrisburg Resource Center Historic Harrisburg Association Harrisburg, PA Duffy is the owner of Hoffman Preservation & Restoration and a third-generation craftsman with more than 25 years experience in preservation trades. Duffy is also one of the founders of the “Window preservation Standards Collaborative”, a group focused on setting the ...
Duffy Hoffman Presents a Window Work Shop with David Gibney
Duffy HoffmanWindow Restoration & Weatherization – June 21-23, 2013 Elizabethville, PA Have you Ever… Wondered if you can save those old wood windows? Considered the difference in cost between restoration of your old sash versus replacing them with new windows? Wanted to restore your building but don’t know how to hire a contractor? Painted your house only to find that you need to re-paint two years later? Wanted ...

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