Historic building rehabilitaton techniques discussed

By Jennifer Peryam - jperyam@limanews.com

WAPAOKONETA — People looking to rehabilitate historic buildings learned methods Thursday to make improvements while still preserving the historical character of the structure.

Frank Quinn, Preservation for Heritage Ohio director, gave a presentation titled “How To Break The Simplest Rules and Look Bad Doing It” at St. Paul United Church of Christ in Wapakoneta. The event was sponsored by Auglaize County Historical Society and was attended by approximately 40 people.

“Rehabilitation is the process of returning a property to a state of utility through repair or alteration,” Quinn said.

He said it makes possible an efficient contemporary use while preserving those portion of the property which are significant to its historic, architectural and cultural values.

Quinn said preservationists take traditional building elements and think how they can be put together to maintain things of properties.

“When you have great elements of a building, do not remove or replace them,” Quinn said.

He shared the 10 common sense guidelines from the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards developed to steer historic building rehabilitation in the right direction.

“The key to a successful rehab project lies in preserving the history while also providing modern amenities,” Quinn said.

One of the main standards is that each property be recognized as a physical record of its time, place and use.

Changes that create a false sense of historical development, such as adding conjectural features of elements from other historic properties will not be undertaken.

He said old windows can be energy efficient and should be weather tight. Knowing mortars of the building also is important that should be softer than the brick, according to Quinn.

Another standard is preserving the distinctive materials, features, finishes and construction techniques that characterize a property.

He said chemical or physical treatments are frowned upon on historic buildings and he also advises not to sandblast historic brick.

New additions, exterior alterations or related new construction will be undertaken to preserve the essential form and integrity of the historic property.


By Jennifer Peryam


Reach Jennifer Peryam at 567-242-0362.

Reach Jennifer Peryam at 567-242-0362.

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