IconicHouses.org

toolkit - preservation resources

What is significant about your home?

Significance varies greatly within the larger category of what is considered Modern. Is your home prototypical? Part of a planned housing tract? Does it still have all of its original features and materials intact?

Learn to Identify the Visual Character of a Building

Technical Preservation Services/ NPS
Developed in 1999
Accessed 09.20.2018

This is a three-part walkthrough guide by Technical Preservation Services for identifying and understanding the distinctive visual character of an historic building with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for rehabilitation in mind. It was developed out of the TPS’ Preservation Brief 17 on the subject of Identifying Architectural Character. Ideally, the guide is consulted before any kind of rehabilitation work begins so that character-defining features aren’t accidentally lost or ‘upgraded’ in the process. The main concepts here are continuity and authenticity, not necessarily of material, but of design elements which define historic character. In their own words: The approach...is intended to make the layman look at a historic building as a set of tangible materials and features, not as any particular style.

Published by Technical Preservation Services, part of the National Park Service.
Online illustrated toolkit/guide format.

Identifying Character Defining Elements of Interiors

Technical Preservation Services’ Preservation Brief 18
Published October 1988
Accessed 09.20.2018

Technical Preservation Services’ Preservation Brief 18 focuses on identifying and preserving character defining elements of an historic interior. This could include floorplans and arrangement of space or features and finishes. The Brief assists in identifying interior elements, assessing damage and offers 10 recommendations for approaching an interior rehabilitation. As with the others in the series, this Brief considers the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation as a basis for judgement.

Published by Technical Preservation Services, part of the National Park Service; written by H. Ward Jandl.
Web version of a Preservation Brief, also available in printed format.