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Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation


The Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation are national guidelines for the appropriate rehabilitation treatments for historic buildings.  Rehabilitation is defined 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."  Other historic preservation treatments include preservation (maintaining a property's current appearance) and restoration (returning a property to its precise original appearance).  Rehabilitation is the most common and usually the most appropriate treatment for historic properties.


The intent of the Standards is to assist the long-term preservation of a property's significance through the preservation of historic materials and features.  As stated in the definition, the treatment "rehabilitation" assumes that at least some repair or alteration of the historic building will be needed in order to provide for a modern use.  However, these repairs and alterations must not damage or destroy materials, features, or finishes that are important in defining the building's historic character and significance.  The Standards apply to the exterior and the interior, related landscape features and the building's site and environment, and attached or adjacent new construction.  There are ten general standards that are further defined and clarified through detailed guidelines in relation to specific scenarios. More information on the Standards for Rehabilitation can be found at https://www.nps.gov/tps/standards/rehabilitation.htm.


Rebecca Lawin McCarley is thoroughly knowledge of these Standards for Rehabilitation and can help develop a rehabilitation project to take into account these guidelines.  For more information, contact SPARK Consulting.

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Last modified:  January 2021