Introduction to Historic Preservation and
Secretary of the Interiorís Standards
Applying the Standards
Canton Preservation Goals
INTRODUCTION TO HISTORIC
PRESERVATION AND REHABILITATION
Architecture is an art form, but it cannot be preserved
in a climate controlled museum environment like fine art and decorative
art. Some historic buildings are preserved in museum-like settings at
Colonial Williamsburg or similar restorations, but the vast majority of
historic buildings have to evolve to survive. Empty buildings become
deteriorated buildings and tomorrowís vacant lots. Consequently, most
work on historic buildings is defined as rehabilitation rather than
The federal government defines rehabilitation as the
"process of returning a property to a state of utility, through
repair or alteration, which makes possible an efficient contemporary use
while preserving those portions and features of the property which are
significant to its historic, architectural, and cultural values."
The key to a successful rehabilitation is respecting
the historic character of the building and preserving as many of the
original historic materials and details as possible. Alterations should be
easily reversible to allow a future owner to return the building to its
original configuration. Owning a historic building or structure is a
privilege and responsibility. Owners of historic properties should view
themselves as temporary caretakers of a communityís architectural
SECRETARY OF INTERIORíS STANDARDS
The Canton Design Guidelines are written to be
consistent with the Secretary of the Interiorís Standards for
Rehabilitation. These federal standards are used to determine the
appropriateness of work treatments for every project taking advantage of
either federal grant-in-aids or preservation tax incentives. The Standards
for Rehabilitation should be referenced by property owners and design
professionals during the planning process.
SECRETARY OF INTERIORíS STANDARDS FOR
A property shall be used for its historic purpose
or be placed in a new use that requires minimal change to the defining
characteristics of the building and its site and environment.
The historic character of a property shall be
retained and preserved. The removal of historic materials or
alteration of features and spaces that characterize a property shall
Each property shall 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
architectural elements from other buildings, shall not be undertaken.
Most properties change over time; those changes
that have acquired historic significance in their own right shall be
retained and preserved.
Distinctive features, finishes, and construction
techniques or examples of craftsmanship that characterize a historic
property shall be preserved.
Deteriorated historic features shall be repaired
rather than replaced. Where the severity of deterioration requires
replacement of a distinctive feature, the new feature shall match the
old in design, color, texture, and other visual qualities and, where
possible, materials. Replacement of missing features shall be
substantiated by documentary, physical, or pictorial evidence.
Chemical or physical treatments, such as
sandblasting, that cause damage to historic materials shall not be
used. The surface cleaning of structures, if appropriate, shall be
undertaken using the gentlest means possible.
Significant archeological resources affected by a
project shall be protected and preserved. If such resources must be
disturbed, mitigation measures shall be undertaken.
New additions, exterior alterations, or related new
construction shall not destroy historic materials that characterize
the property. The new work shall be differentiated from the old and
shall be compatible with the massing, size, scale, and architectural
features to protect the integrity of the property and its environment.
New additions and adjacent or related new
construction shall 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.
APPLYING THE STANDARDS
The Standards for Rehabilitation include basic
steps in making recommendations. Keeping these steps in mind during the
planning process will insure a successful rehabilitation project, during
the review process.
Applying the Secretary of Interiorís Standards
Identify, Retain and Preserve the form,
materials, and detailing that define the character of the historic
Protect and Maintain the character-defining
aspects of the historic property with the least intervention possible
and before undertaking other work. Protection includes regular
Repair is the step beyond protect and
maintain. It includes patching, piecing-in, splicing, and
consolidating. Repairing also includes limited in-kind replacement.
Replacement is the last resort in the
preservation process and is appropriate only if the missing feature
cannot reasonably be repaired. Replace with the same material, if
possible, but a substitute material may be necessary
Design for Missing Features should be based
on the documented historic appearance of the property. If no
documentation exists, a new design is appropriate if it respects the
size, scale, and material of the property.
Alterations/Additions to Historic Buildings
are sometimes needed to insure continued use, but they should not
radically change, obscure, or destroy character-defining spaces,
materials, features, or finishes.
CANTON PRESERVATION GOALS
Cantonís preservation goals are outlined in the
Statement of Purpose in the Canton Preservation Ordinance. The goals of
the Canton Preservation Ordinance are similar to the goals of many
historic communities across the nation.
Effect and accomplish the protection, enhancement
and perpetuation of landmarks, landmark sites and historic districts
which represent distinctive elements of the Cityís cultural, social,
economic, political and architectural history;
Safeguard the Cityís historic, aesthetic and
cultural heritage, as embodied and reflected in such landmarks, land-
mark sites and historic districts;
Foster civic pride in the accomplishments of the
Insure the harmonious, orderly and efficient growth
and development of the City;
Stabilize the economy of the City through the
continued use and revitalization of its landmarks, landmark sites and
Protect and enhance the Cityís attractions to
tourists and visitors and the support and stimulus to business and
industry thereby provided;
Promote the use of landmarks, landmark sites and
historic districts for the education, pleasure and welfare of the
people of the City of Canton.
The Canton Design Guidelines will assist the
city in fulfilling the goals outlined in the Canton Preservation Ordinance
by providing guidance for owners of historic properties, design
professionals, and members of the Canton Preservation Commission.
Preserving Cantonís historic resources is essential to maintaining
Cantonís unique identity and special sense of place.