Historic Preservation and Building Restoration in Houston

Historical building restoration
The historical restoration and preservation in Houston of a meaningful building is a process of patience and planning. It involves a great deal of research and discovery in the supported evidence of the origin and nature of the structures significance and rightful material properties. Establishing a baseline of authenticity is essential part of the validation and preservation treatment of the valued treasure. For most historical properties have experienced some level of maintenance or repair in its past that was not consistent with the standards or practices of historical restoration and preservation in Houston.

Acceptable Historical Restoration and Preservation in Houston
Treatment Assessments & Process Methods

Preservation – Provides for the regular maintenance and repair of the monuments historical materials and structural form over a extended period of time.

Rehabilitation – This is commonly the process to add or alter specific material features of the building to increase authenticity of the elements depicting the historical character.

Restoration – Is the process of restoring the authenticity to the historical structure by means of removal of disingenuous materials associated with other periods of time.

Reproduction – The reconstruction of the historical property due to the inability to salvage the materials of the property or the vanishing of portions that must be reconstructed through the interpretation of its historical characteristics.

Historic Preservation Houston

Houston Designated Historic Districts

In 2010 the City of Houston developed and passed into law the Historic Preservation Ordinance which was created for the intended purpose of preserving neighborhood architectural history by classifying a specific area of a community as significant. These 20 + designated historic districts are mapped out and available at the City of Houston Planning & Development Department. They are classified as either contributing structures or noncontributing structures to the culture, architectural and historical significance of the historic district.

The restrictive guidelines are governed by a document called the Historic Preservation Web Manual, which is the policies, procedures and codes that administrate this specialty renovation field.

Deed restrictions become another significant factor in complying with local historical preservation standards. When there is a conflict of standard construction specifications between the deed restrictions and the COA, the most stringent standard requirements will be the prevailing code.

Hybrid Restoration

Many home historical restorations do not follow the strict guidelines and standard of historical restoration and preservation. Instead much like the principles of good design and general remodeling, they introduce different period architectural features and products into the historic space. There are no hard and fast rules for blending architectural period elements other then the tasteful unification of design features instead of focusing on authenticity.

This practice is actually more common today then the pursuit of authentic historical restoration. This is due to many factors such as the economics of restoration and the scarcity of master tradesmen that are skilled enough in this specialty field. The reproduction of historical components continues to become increasingly high priced and difficult to timely obtain. In addition, most of the building codes require bringing renovation projects up to code when modified during major renovations. This can lead to a myriad of complicated and enormous unexpected modifications.

These renovation guidelines and restrictive conditions can be complicated and confusing to obtain. We are available to assist you with your historic renovation and preservation needs.