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Historic Renovation: Preserving a Piece of History in Your Community

Maggie Kearns

January 27, 2020

Due to shifts in trends and interests of the current day, character-rich, historic structures in communities across the nation have renewed interest and investment behind them. Whether it’s restoring these structures to their former glory or transforming them into something else entirely, historic renovations take extra time, effort, and coordination.

Doing The Research

It is vital to the success and authenticity of historic renovations to begin by doing research. Before digging into the project, it’s important to first gather information to understand the history and style of the surrounding community. Then, dig deeper into the specifics; discover what era the structure was built in, original architects, original style, and any updates since. Marrying this information with the overarching goal of the current renovation will result in project success!

Finding Funding

There are many places to look when searching for funding on historic renovation projects. The first place is the Federal Historic Preservation Tax Incentives program in coordination with the state preservation office. This program was created to incentivize private investment in historic renovation projects. Through the program’s history it has proven to be a very effective job creation and community revitalization tool.

 

Beyond Federal funding, there are numerous places to search for project funding, including:

  • State funding sources
  • Private-sector philanthropies
  • Corporate foundations
  • Family foundations
  • Community trusts
  • & many more!

Regulations and Requirements

The Secretary of the Interior has set specific standards and guidelines for the treatment of historic properties as governed under the National Park Service. Each set of standards will apply to a specific property type. This also depends on the structure’s significance, physical condition, and extent of documentation. Additionally, there are specific guidelines for rehabilitation, restoration, and reconstruction projects.

 

Understanding if the property or area is listed on the historic registry is the first step. Those properties not listed, can be added based on their age and significance. In addition, it’s important to understand if the property or area is listed on any local historic charters set forth by the local governments or zoning boards. There may also be standards and regulations set by local and state preservation organizations or societies. Adhering to these requirements and working with representatives in the community will ensure the historic integrity of the structure is preserved.

Historic Renovation or New-Build?

Before you get to the design and renovation phases of a historic renovation there are many more steps than your average new-build project. Is the extra time and effort worth it? We think so! You are preserving a piece of history within your community for generations to come!

 

Historic renovation also allows a structure to get more use out of original materials – even if they need mended and restored along the way. Some of these materials can no longer be found in typical new-build applications today. It’s true what they say, they don’t build them like they used to! Historic renovations are great opportunities to reuse and eliminate waste materials that would have become the byproduct of a new-build.

ms + Historic Renovation Projects

Through our history we have complied quite a portfolio of historic renovation projects. The varied aspects of historic renovation projects means we are often calling upon local specialized experts to strengthen our team. From bridges to gymnasiums and all the hotels and apartments in between, we’ve seen it all. Some of our favorites include:

 

Historic renovations are a way to preserve the history and beauty of significant buildings, bridges, and other landmarks in your community; preserving them for generations to come.

 

Do you have a favorite historic structure in your community? Share it with us on Twitter or Facebook.