Buildings with historic designations have unique challenges. In addition to the usual construction issues, these projects require the approval of and coordination with governmental historic preservation agencies to ensure that the building improvements meet their requirements. Generally, this means the work must be consistent with US Department of the Interior standards for historic structures and a three part process is followed to obtain the approval of the regulatory agencies.
Approvals to proceed (Part 2) usually must be received before any site work or construction begins. Sometimes an owner must be prepared to wait several months or longer for a decision. Getting the application right the first time goes a long way toward shortening that timeline.
We have plenty of experience helping clients navigate the historic designation approvals as part of successful restoration or adaptive reuse projects.
For example, buildings may be listed on the National Register of Historic Places, designated with Landmark status or located in a designated historic district. For certain projects with federal funding, an assessment must be performed to show that the project will not have a significant impact on an historic structure. States and cities may have their own separate lists and oversight agencies. Each can have different standards and criteria for classifying a property as historic. To complicate things further, some buildings may be listed on more than one registry requiring separate approvals.
Use of state or federal historic tax credits or grants from historic preservation agencies to finance these projects requires strict adherence to the Department of Interior standards. An owner who wishes to restore an historic building by fixing what has been damaged may have to compromise the original plan to stay within a requirement that certain aspects of the building be preserved.
Inspections by these agencies occur periodically during construction. Historic consultants are often part of the development team.
Below are some of our Historic Structures projects: