Technical Preservation Resources
The following are tools and guidance that have been developed by various agencies on the subjects of Historic Preservation and the rehabilitation of historic buildings and sites.
You can also visit the John Hauck House Preservation Library and Resource Room for more resources regarding local history, architecture, and preservation.
Preservation Briefs, produced by Technical Preservation Services at the National Park Service, “provide information on preserving, rehabilitating, and restoring historic buildings. These publications help historic building owners recognize and resolve common problems prior to work. The briefs are especially useful to Historic Preservation Tax Incentives Program applicants because they recommend methods and approaches for rehabilitating historic buildings that are consistent with their historic character.”
They are available mostly in sets through the U.S. Government Bookstore of the Government Printing Office, though a handful are available for purchase as single copies. Each brief is available digitally as PDF files.
There are currently 50 Preservation Briefs on a large range of topics such as masonry, energy efficiency, windows, and storefronts
Preservation Tech Notes are case studies in historic preservation that provide practical information on traditional practices and innovative techniques. They inform readers how to successfully maintain and preserves cultural resources. Tech Notes explore a range of topics, ranging from exterior focus (site, exterior woodwork, masonry), interiors (mechanical systems, finishes, museum collection storage, historic mechanical systems), and building openings (doors, historic glass, and windows).
Please note that each file can be as much as 9 MB is size.
The topics that are covered include:
- Exterior Woodwork
- Historic Glass
- Historic Interior Spaces
- Mechanical Systems
- Museum Collections
- Temporary Protection
The Secretary of the Interior’s (SOI) Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties provides guidance to historic building owners and building managers, preservation consultants, architects, contractors, and project reviewers prior to beginning work on historic properties. The Standards apply not only to historic buildings but also to a wide variety of historic resource types eligible to be listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
The Standards are divided into the 4 treatment areas: preservation, rehabilitation, restoration and reconstruction. Each of these areas has a separate set of Standards and Guidelines The Guidelines provided with each set of standards are intended as an aid to assist in applying the Standards to all types of historic buildings. They are not meant to give case-specific advice or address exceptions or unusual conditions. They address both exterior and interior work on historic buildings.
The majority of projects will use the Secretary of the Interiors Standards for Rehabilitation.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Changes to a property that have acquired historic significance in their own right will be retained and preserved.
- Distinctive materials, features, finishes, and construction techniques or examples of craftsmanship that characterize a property will be preserved.
- 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.
- 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.
- Archeological resources will be protected and preserved in place. If such resources must be disturbed, mitigation measures will be undertaken.
- 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.
- 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.
The SOI is charged, under the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), to establish professional standards and provide guidance for such preservation treatments. These standards apply as regulations only toward projects awarded grants through the Historic Preservation Fund and any other project receiving federal assistance.
A separate regulation, 36 CFR Part 67, deals specifically with certified historic structures, whenever property owners seek certification for federal tax benefits.
Click Here to view the Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties, guidance for using the standards and guidelines, or choosing appropriate treatments for historic properties.
Interpreting the Standards Bulletins explain rehabilitation project decisions made by the National Park Service in its administration of the Historic Preservation Tax Incentives program. Each bulletin references the relevant standards. The bulletins are case-specific and are provided as information only; they are not necessarily applicable beyond the unique facts and circumstances of each case but are a great place to go to if you need help finding creative solutions to a similar issue.
There are over 50 currently published. Some topics include, rooftop additions, new additions, subdividing large interior spaces, and how to get historic railings to meet current code.
Sustainability has become and important aspect of they way we develop our city and the policies that are put in place. As we learned at Fall Forum 2022, the greenest building is the one that’s already built. As historic preservation is the ultimate form of recycling, it is inherently a sustainable practice.
Buildings are the largest consumers of energy in the nation. In recognition of the role the built environment plays in energy use, National Park Service- Technical Preservation Services developed guidance and technical information about how historic properties can incorporate sustainable practices to reduce energy consumption, while maintaining those characteristics that make historic properties significant.
The topics they have covered are:
Additional Resources on Sustainability:
Ohio FastFacts is a publication supported by a grant from the Department of Interior’s Historic Preservation Fund and administered by Ohio History Connection, the State Preservation Office for the State of Ohio.
Articles come from staff at Ohio History Connection’s State Historic Preservation Office, providing instructional aides for numerous facets of historic preservation projects.
Navigate the following helpful topics from trusted source at the Ohio History Connection: