What Is Historic Restoration in Architecture?

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What Is Historic Restoration in Architecture?

Though the United States is a young nation compared to many countries in Europe and Asia, there are many historic structures that hold lasting cultural significance. As these buildings age, they will eventually need to be restored and updated by teams of architects, engineers, and contractors.

What Is Historic Restoration?

Historic restoration preserves buildings while making them structurally sound, energy-efficient, and adapted to modern needs. It’s a highly proactive approach: a historic restoration architecture firm will investigate all the building’s possible issues that may not be obvious to property owners and real estate developers. Restoration projects address rot, termite and pest infestation, poorly designed adaptive reuses and/or interior renovations, and other environmental and aging factors that compromise historic buildings.

Historic restoration isn’t simply “fixing” or improving an old building; architects will research the building’s source materials and original blueprints to identify potential underlying issues and ensure that the updates will blend in with the existing structure.

Key Benefits of Sustaining Historic Structures

Each region of the U.S. has culturally relevant properties and landmarks that reflect the history of their communities. Though these buildings were groundbreaking when constructed, they will eventually need restorations to protect their value and, more importantly, ensure occupants’ safety. By improving the longevity of historic structures, preservation projects honor the time and resources that were invested in them while adapting the structure for continued, safe use.

Historic restoration can:

  • Increase energy efficiency
  • Improve plumbing and HVAC systems
  • Increase cost-savings for building owners
  • Create a healthier, safer indoor environment
  • Bring a structure to modern systems as needed for the intended adaptive reuse

The Pascal Architects Method

Pascal Architects’ approach to historic restoration is rooted in problem-seeking—we investigate not only surface-level structural issues, but also the problems that could arise in the future or even from certain restoration techniques. The environment, materials, building use, and other factors are considered from our initial research to project completion. We work to find the best restoration method that doesn’t compromise a structure’s original materials or design; our team is always up for this challenge and is backed by decades of creative problem-solving in historic restoration.

As a teaching firm, not only do we instill historic preservation and restoration to future architects, but we are also dedicated to educating our clients throughout the process. This gives them true ownership of the restoration process and an in-depth understanding of the why behind our decisions. Pascal Architects has worked with commercial clients and public agencies in New Orleans, New York, and Fort Worth to preserve historic structures. To see examples of our work in various industries, check out some of our case studies. If you’d like to team up with our historic restoration firm, contact us to discuss your project today.

Image courtesy of Renelibrary of Wikimedia Commons.