Preservation | Rehabilitation | Restoration | Reconstruction | Renovation | Remodeling

These words all have to do with existing buildings, and sometimes are used interchangeably, but they really have important and different meanings. Perhaps the best definitions for the first four are offered by the National Park Service and are as follows:
  • Preservation focuses on the maintenance and repair of existing historic materials and retention of a property's form as it has evolved over time.
  • 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.
  • Restoration depicts a property at a particular period of time in its history, while removing evidence of other periods.
  • Reconstruction re-creates vanished or non-surviving portions of a property for interpretive purposes.
NPS goes on to add: The choice of treatment depends on a variety of factors, including the property's historical significance, physical condition, proposed use, and intended interpretation.
  • Renovation: To restore the usefulness and condition of a building by repairing, altering, or adding, but without necessarily being sensitive to the character-defining features.
  • Remodeling: To change the structure, shape or appearance of something. As applied to a building it involves removal of original details and addition of new components that are out of character with the original.
Whatever your old building project, Old Line Architects has the experience to help! Be it feasibility study, condition assessment, design, or tax credit filing assistance, Old Line is passionate about old buildings!

For interested readers, The National Park Service’s web site: has a wealth of additional information about treatments and also important information about the tax credit application process.
© 2015 Old Line Architects Contact