Restoration refers to the process of returning a building to its condition at a specific time period, often to its original condition. Restoration of a building is appropriate when portions of a structure’s historic integrity are lost or where its importance at a particular historic time period was particularly significant. The decision to restore should be made carefully, however, for it means ignoring the natural evolution of a building and recreating conditions of a former time period. If a building has a past of great significance, then restoration may be justified.

A guiding principle of good restoration practice is that an original element, even if it is in poor condition, is preferable to an element that has been replicated. Restoration work should not be based on speculation about what a historical element should have been, but should be developed from actual evidence, even if limited.

As stated in the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Restoration, repair or replacement of missing architectural features should be based on accurate duplication of features, substantiated by historic, physical, or pictorial evidence, rather than on conjectural designs or the availability of different architectural elements from other buildings or structures.[1]


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     pp. 194-5.

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