The Historical Society receives many questions about the preservation and/or restoration of buildings. Most of our volunteer staff don't have the specialized expertise needed to answer these types of queries. Accordingly, the following links have been provided to give an authoritative source for answers to some of the more commonly asked questions.
The Secretary Of The Interior's Standards
The Secretary of the Interior's Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties are common sense historic preservation principles in non-technical language. They promote historic preservation best practices that will help to protect our Nation's irreplaceable cultural resources.
The Standards offer four distinct approaches to the treatment of historic properties: preservation, rehabilitation, restoration, and reconstruction. Guidelines for each approach offer general design and technical recommendations to assist in applying the Standards to a specific property. Together, they provide a framework and guidance for decision-making about work or changes to a historic property.
The National Park Service's Technical Preservation Service's office publishes state-of-the-art information about caring for historic buildings. The publications are used by historic preservation professionals; Federal, State, and local government officials and historic property owners. Many local preservation commissions nationwide have adopted the Secretary's Standards and Guidelines, and information from the Preservation Briefs is referenced in architectural specifications.
The collection includes Standards and Guidelines, leaflets and books on using the Historic Preservation Tax Incentives, reports on conserving fragile historic building materials, case studies on specific structures, and a wealth of technical guidance on preserving historic buildings and landscapes. Many of the publications are available for purchase through the Government Printing Office. Others are available free of charge. Technical Preservation Services also works with partners to co-publish materials that are available through those partners.
Please visit the following links for further information on obtaining materials.
The Secretary of the Interior's Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties
Technical Preservation Services
The National Register Of Historic Places
The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the Nation's historic places worthy of preservation. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America's historic and archaeological resources.
A National Register designation mandates that a property must be considered in the planning of federal or federally assisted projects impacting the registered property, and qualifies it for financial assistance from governmental funds for historic preservation when these funds are available.
The National Register web site offers general information about the program, specific information about registered properties, guidelines for nominating properties, and publications. You can also search to find out if a home is listed on the National Register. To access the National Register website, click the following link:
National Register of Historic Places - National Park Service
The National Register of Historic Places can also be contacted by mail or telephone as follows:
National Register of Historic Places
National Park Service
P.O. Box 37127
Washington, District of Columbia 20013
Phone: (202) 354-2213
The Virginia Department Of Historic Resources
The Virginia Department of Historic Resources is the State Historic Preservation Office. Their mission is to foster, encourage, and support the stewardship of Virginia's significant historic architectural, archaeological, and cultural resources. All requests for listing on the National Register must go through this office. You can visit their web site for more information by clicking on the following link:
Register Information - Virginia Department of Historic Resources.
The National Trust For Historic Preservation
The National Trust for Historic Preservation helps thousands of people each month answer their preservation questions. This assistance takes many forms, including contact information, answers to frequently asked questions, and publications on specific subjects. You can visit the National Trust web site by clicking on the following link:
PreservationNation - National Trust for Historic Preservation
USDA National Agricultural Library
Historic Preservation Resources provides web links to more than fifty full-text "how to" information guides and manuals on general and technical aspects of historic preservation. It includes web links to specialty resources on historic barns, farms, bridges, schools, battlefields, landscapes, lighthouses, interiors, exteriors, preservation techniques, and other facts of historic preservation.
USDA National Agricultural Library - Rural Information Center: Historic Preservation Resources