Professionals in Architecture, Adaptive Reuse, Space Planning and Lighting Design . We strive for excellence within real-world limitations ...because design matters. Weller & Michal Architects Inc. 603-827-3840
Weller & Michal Architects

Restoring a French Second Empire Facade

The Colony Block was built in the French Second Empire style, which became briefly but widely popular for both commercial and civil buildings in the Northeast during the reign of Napoleon III in France. A characteristic feature of this short-lived style was the articulation of a large mansard-roofed top story with numerous decorative elements. In this example, every dormer window is framed and trimmed differently.

The Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation are ten basic principles created to help preserve the distinctive character of historic buildings and sites, while allowing for reasonable change to meet new needs. The Standards (36 CFR Part 67) apply to historic buildings of all periods, styles, types, materials, and sizes. They apply to both the exterior and the interior of historic buildings. The Standards also encompass related landscape features and the building’s site and environment as well as attached, adjacent, or related new construction. Rehabilitation projects must meet the Standards, as interpreted by the National Park Service, to qualify as “certified rehabilitations” eligible for the 20% rehabilitation tax credit.

Detailed photographic surveys of existing conditions preceded the preparation of specifications for the restoration of historic façade features. Older masonry buildings use mortar types and materials, such as this brownstone, that are not in common use today. Renovation specifications must be clear about the use of compatible patching and repair materials. A bucket truck was used by the architects for close-up inspection of façade conditions.

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