Now more than ever, individuals are taking advantage of older neighborhoods that are in need of revitalization. By restoring and reselling, these older neighborhoods can become new again. When dealing with a historic building or house, there’s an important balance to strike between completely changing the building and preserving the history as much as possible. For many, historic preservation is important for keeping the culture and feel of a neighborhood alive. With the help of an architect it is possible to keep the charm and history that an old building brings, while still keeping up with modern standards to create something appealing to buyers or visitors.
Why you need an architect for historic preservation
There are many misconceptions about architects and historic preservation, but working with an architect can actually improve the quality of your project, save you time and money, and help protect your historic property. An architect will give you peace of mind that your project is getting done exactly as you envisioned. Preservation architects prepare thorough plans for work on historic buildings to preserve the most important features of the building and avoid any damage.
With a quick Google search it’s simple to find dozens of architecture firms that specialize in historic preservation. These individuals are trained experts that are able to guide you through your preservation project. Architects are knowledgeable about everything from government codes to critical flaws in design. These skills can be extremely beneficial in the initial planning phases of a historic preservation project; it minimizes the potential need to backtrack and alter the plan due to a certain code or complication.
Something to keep in mind
When thinking about historic preservation, many assume that architects will completely change the structure and ruin the history. However, the goal of historic preservation is to maintain the look of the building while making it safer and more usable space. In fact, architects make it possible for historic buildings to stand the test of time for years and years to come.
Preservation is about more than just keeping an old building looking beautiful. In large part, it is about adapting an old building to employ modern standards that will allow it to last for decades more. For example, some modifications to an older building include adding wheelchair ramps to make it more accessible, installing safety rails and reinforcing flooring to meet today’s safety standards, and reinforcing walls to make it more resilient. Architects assess what the building has and what it needs to get up to code and create a more positive user experience.
Finding the perfect architect
The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has chapters in every state and region in the United States, and each chapter has individuals who have experience in historic preservation. Click here to find the perfect architect for your historic preservation project in your state.
Photo Credit: Hotel Henry, Richardson Olmsted Complex, Buffalo NY, Architect: Deborah Berke Partners