4.7 ELECTRICAL SYSTEMS AND WIRING. New lighting and electrical
systems should not intrude visually or physically on old
materials and features. Wiring can often be fished through
existing chases, or unobtrusively surface-mounted if necessary.
Electrical outlets should be mounted in plaster walls rather than
in historic baseboards. If wiring cannot be concealed, use
metallic surface raceways, carefully attached to avoid damaging
historic materials, and painted in the same finish colors as the
adjacent surfaces. Run the wires in inconspicuous places--along
molding edges, for instance, rather than across flat wall
surfaces. Remove inactive telephone wires. Run new wires at
floor level rather than on top of baseboards.
Do not surface-mount junction boxes on walls and exteriors.
Keep wiring to a minimum on exposed surfaces, especially on the
exterior of the building.
(See Figure 4-15.) High-intensity
modern lighting systems are not appropriate for use on a historic
Historic ornamental lighting fixtures, such as chandeliers
and sconces, should be retained as part of the building fabric.
Often, they can be rewired and used for general illumination or
indirect lighting. If you find piping for old gas lighting
fixtures (often left in place when electricity was added), try to
use the piping as conduit for electrical wires for the new
lighting system. This avoids having to cut and repair original
finishes. Check the ceiling mounting system for chandeliers any
time the ceiling is open and accessible, and repair any weakened
conditions. Old knob-and-tube wiring (sometimes found in attics
or concealed areas) should be replaced. Inspect old wiring for
fraying or rubbing against structural members.
4.8 ROOFS AND COVERINGS, WATER DRAINAGE. Besides being a
historic buildings most important protection from the elements,
the roof is one of the building's most important historic design
features. Its shape, features (such as cresting, dormers,
cupolas, and chimneys) , and the size, color, and patterning of
the roofing material, are all "character-defining" elements that
must be preserved.
Do not change roof shapes or add features such as
skylights, especially if they will be visible from the
Preserve historic roofing materials and repair in-kind
when possible. Copper, lead, lead-coated copper, tin,
terne, stainless steel, galvanized iron roofing materials,
as well as metal shingles, are readily available.
o Replace only the damaged sections.
o Use replacement materials that are identical to the
originals in color, size, finish, and reflectivity.