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Restoration and Preservation

Old buildings are restored and preserved for the future generations for many reasons. The simplest is the desire of a building owner to occupy a space reminiscent of earlier times.

Historically speaking, a building may deserve to be restored and protected for many other reasons, such as its extreme age relative to the geographical region in which it exists, its high artistic and aesthetic value, unique characteristics that represent a noted school of design, connections to historical events or great men of history, significance as an integral part of an historical neighborhood, etc.
An old building can undergo many facelifts, and the most historically significant period for the building may not be from the time it was built. Perhaps it was when it was occupied by an important historical figure or possibly from a period when a historical occurrence took place like a signing of a treaty. Therefore, the type of work most desired on an old building could be preservation, restoration, or rehabilitation.

In this, we strive to adhere as closely as feasible to the guidelines laid out in the Secretary of Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties. These Standards are particularly important to building owners who are seeking federal grants or tax credits or other similar assistance on their historic properties, since following the Standards is usually required to get approvals for these programs. The Secretary of Interior’s Standards provide guidelines for four treatments: preservation, restoration, rehabilitation, and reconstruction.

In historic preservation, one is protecting, stabilizing, and maintaining the existing materials and structure of a historic place while preserving its heritage value. As much of the original materials are left in place as possible, while maintaining and repairing the surrounding elements to match existing.
In historic restoration, one determines the building’s period of greatest significance and performs the actions and processes necessary to restore, recover, and/or reveal the architectural design and fabric of that particular period, while protecting its heritage value.

Historic Rehabilitation encompasses those actions and processes that make it possible to adapt a historical building for a compatible, contemporary use, while protecting its heritage value.

With reconstruction, one is rebuilding a non-surviving building, structure, site, or object with all new materials, for the purpose of replicating its appearance at a specific period of time in the history of the entity.

Durable Restoration personnel are experts in the preservation and restoration process, as exemplified by the award winning Frank Lloyd Wright Westcott project. We bring this same expertise, attention to detail and care to every project we do, no matter how modest or how extensive.

Featured Project: Steeple Square, Dubuque, IA

steeple square in iowa copper spire when viewed from below
steeple square, dubuque, iowa, close-up
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