Quantcast Chapter 4. Historic Building Maintenance

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4.1 POLICY AND OBJECTIVES.  The National Historic Preservation
Act of 1966 established a federal policy of stewardship for
America's cultural resources, including its historic buildings.
The act requires Federal agencies to identify the historic
buildings they own, to use them wisely, and to maintain them for
the benefit of future generations.  The Navy is committed to
preserving and maintaining its historic buildings, but not to
restoring the buildings to an original or historic appearance.
The National Park Service, as the lead preservation agency of the
federal government, has developed guidelines for the
preservation, stabilization and rehabilitation of historic
buildings, based on standards established by the Secretary of the
4.1.1 Integrity of the Building:  Original, Old, and Modern
Aspects.  Not every old building is historic, and not every
historic building is very old.  Some important historic
structures are neither beautiful nor especially interesting to
look at.  Others have been altered or allowed to deteriorate so
that they no longer qualify as historic.  Certain parts of any
historic structure are more important than other parts.
Even experts may have trouble sorting it all out, so it is
not safe to rely on your own eye or personal taste.  Check the
construction date listed on the facility inventory. A
construction date before 1946 should alert you that the building
may require special historic treatment.  Remember that, in
historic buildings, protecting the building materials is a vital
part of protecting the building.  For this reason, even routine
maintenance tasks need to be done with care.
Historic buildings lose their historic or architectural
qualities if too much of what makes them significant is changed,
lost, or removed.  Additions that are more than fifty years old
may also be historically significant.
Few historic buildings can or should remain completely
unaltered indefinitely.  For many good reasons, it may be
desirable to add modern aspects to an old building: new rooms or
entire building wings, interior partitions, handicapped-access
aids, emergency exits, or modern amenities such as more efficient
heating and air-conditioning systems, updated lighting and
electrical service, even elevators.  Such changes can help to ,
keep a building young if they are made in ways that respect the
character of the building and its materials.  If they are
carelessly done, they can destroy its historic meaning and even
the structure itself.  Alterations and additions should be
installed in a way that does not harm the historic fabric and can


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