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Historic renovation and re-use are particularly delicate forms of
architecture. They demand active research and a desire to understand a
building's contribution yesterday as well as its potential contribution in the
The historic renovation of homes and buildings has become a very popular
movement across North America. The National Trust for Historic
Preservation (http://www.nationaltrust.org/) provides
grants and guidance to organizations and individuals who are interested in
renovating and/or preserving historical buildings.
Hartford, Conn. / Northside Institutions
Neighborhood Alliance, Inc.
The Victorian Lady was constructed in 1890 as
a single-family home in the then-affluent neighborhood of Asylum Hill. The Queen
Anne-style home drew the attention and admiration of its neighbors, among them
Mark Twain and Harriet Beecher Stowe.
For property owners looking to permanently protect their historic
properties, one of the most effective legal tools available is the
preservation easement a private legal interest conveyed by a
property owner to a preservation organization or to a government entity.
Some Simple Guidelines to Follow when Restoring or Renovating Your
- Try to retain the original character of the house -
don't "over-restore" the building.
- Pay attention to details.
- Try to stick to materials that were used when your house was built.
- Keep elements like color, flooring, within the same historical period as
- Understand and respect as far as possible the original uses of rooms.
- If fencing your property, look at genuine old fences, observe the way
they are designed and constructed.
- Garden design will best complement your work on the building if you keep it
in period with the house. Use plants and garden layouts of the time.
- Additions and alterations should be in the manner and materials of the
period in which your house was built.
- Remember that it's a house, not a museum. Live in it and enjoy it and,
at the right time, pass it on to someone else.