When I recently attended the Massachusetts Historic Preservation Conference the first session I signed up for sounded enticing: Current Challenges in Applying the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation. The blurb in the program mentioned what you’d expect about how the “Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties promote consistent and responsible preservation practices and help to protect the historic features that define the character of significant cultural resources.” It went on to advertise that expert panelists would present case studies that dealt with the challenges of adaptive re-use: energy efficiency, sustainability, code compliance, and accessibility. ‘Sign me up,’ I thought, ‘this is what I’m all about!’ The repurposing of existing buildings for new or continued use is the most important issue on the horizon of the built environment today. And preserving the “historic features that define the character of significant cultural resources” is a challenge close to the heart of those engaged in such endeavors.
About the author
Ward Hamilton is a recognized expert in historic preservation and the owner of Olde Mohawk Historic Preservation. He provides consulting and contracting services to clients in Greater Boston and throughout New England.