FACT: Historic preservation laws are intended to manage change in a responsible way, not to prevent change. The Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation, a nationally accepted set of guidelines for evaluating change in historic structures, specifies only that the most significant, or “character-defining” features should be preserved, and new additions to a historic building should be compatible with the existing architecture. These Standards do not require that every doorknob and light switch be saved. Rather, they specify that historic features that are deteriorated should be repaired if possible – while allowing for replacement when the severity of damage leaves no other reasonable option.
Have you preserved any of your home’s ”character defining” features? Tell us about them in the comments section below. We’d love to hear how you preserved your home and demonstrated that character counts!
This is the second article in a four-part series entitled May Monday Mythbusters. Check in with us again on Monday, May 21, when we explore the rights of property owners.
Photo courtesy of Frozencapybara.