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For Historic Properties

In addition to educational programs and events, Preservation Dallas provides resources, such as access to surveys and research, to document the historic and cultural value of Dallas’ historic buildings and older neighborhoods.

COMMON TERMS
PRESERVATION
Focuses on the maintenance and repair of existing historic materials and retention of a property’s form as it has evolved over time.
RESTORATION
Depicts a property at a particular period of time in its history, while removing evidence of other periods.
REHABILITATION
Acknowledges the need to alter or add to a historic property to meet continuing or changing uses while retaining the property’s historic character.
RECONSTRUCTION
Re-creates vanished or non-surviving portions of a property for interpretive purposes.

From "Four Approaches to the Treatment of Historic Properties" NPS
PROPERTY TIER SYSTEM OVERVIEW
TIER ONE
Property is “an exceptional example of its type or style.” Considered eligible for the US Department of the Interior’s National Register of Historic Places.
TIER TWO
This property is also eligible for the listing on the US Department of the Interior’s National Register of Historic Places. It is a good example of its style. However, over the years, it might have been added to or altered.
TIER THREE
The changes and alterations applied to this type of property have also altered its integrity. They are no longer eligible for listing on the registry.
TIER FOUR
This type of property is neither historically nor architecturally significant. It might be in the vicinity of a property that is, however. Tier Four properties are usually within a historic district adjacent to a Tier One, Two, or Three. It is important to still maintain the public space (street, property trees, sidewalks) in scale and keeping with the district.

City of Dallas Preservation Documents

The City of Dallas Historic Preservation Ordinance provides specific information on changing, restoring, or preserving a historic structure and should always be referred to before beginning a project. Here is a list of helpful support documents.

Certificate of Appropriateness
Historic Preservation Ordinance
Google map with districts + Properties
City of Dallas Landmarks
see tax incentive documents

see historical designations

Discover Dallas

Discover Dallas! surveyed 28 Dallas neighborhoods, documenting properties built before 1965. The goal is to provide residents with information that will enable them to restore and rehabilitate houses appropriately for their neighborhood and to preserve each home’s distinctive characteristics.

download neighborhood Directory
see discover dallas survey


Swiss Avenue
Kessler Park


Determining the Style of Your Home

If you are unsure of the style of your home, the best place to start is by knowing when it was built. Housing styles have obviously changed over the years, and by knowing when your home was originally constructed it will help you narrow down the style. A great reference book on the topic is A Field Guide to American Houses by Virginia Savage McAlester and Lee McAlester. It is available in the resource library at the Wilson House. There are countless other books on the topic too, so never hesitate to stop by and do some research!

Field Guide to American Houses


building research

Resources



Windows

Windows are just as historic as the rest of a building. Historic windows showcase the era of the property while maintaining the overall appearance of a historic building.
more details


Paint

Paint is never meant to last forever. This section contains resources on how to deal with exterior paint on a historic property.
more details


Landscaping

Identifying, retaining, and preserving the existing spatial organization and land patterns of the landscape as they have evolved over time is very important in landscape preservation.
more details


Signage

Preserving historic signage is preserving the social and cultural link that is often associated with the property it stands on.
more details


Siding

Although siding is an afterthought to many people, handcrafted structural siding is an important historical item. It showcases the skill of its builders, the technology of the period, and the materials used.
more details


Additions

There are many schools of thought on adding additions to a historic property. There are three main guidelines for addition - preserving buildings features and form, be compatible, and differentiate from the historic building.
more details

Going Green

On a global scale, people are becoming more concerned with the state of the physical world. In his book Conservation and Sustainability in Historic Cities, Dennis Rodwell explains that the historic city and historic structures play a large role in achieving better environmental health. He discusses that when historic buildings were constructed, they were done so with vernacular materials, cutting down on environmental impact. Buildings were also constructed by hand, cutting down on pollution. People are again returning to the cities and the historic buildings that were erected during the area’s peak. Historic buildings are the key to environmental health in the future. The United States Green Building Council has launched a “regreen” program aimed at residential restoration and renovation projects. The guidelines are an excellent resource for research as well as lay out some important facts about sustainable remodeling and restoration. Part of the USGBC’s LEED program encompasses Neighborhood Development and Historic Preservation. This program is geared more at large scale residential and commercial projects, however the resources and tips it provides are great even if you’re a do-it-yourself type of person!

The USGBC offers resources for ways to make your historic home both green and energy efficient. Oftentimes it is much easier to retrofit a historic property for today’s energy standards than you would think. The resources provided below offer check lists, things to look for, and additional research options to bring your property into today’s energy efficient world.

USGBC Resource Link
how to improve energy efficiency
heating, ventilating, cooling historic buildings

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