Under CPA, all work on historic resources must comply with the Standards for Rehabilitation as outlined in the United States Secretary of the Interior's Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties (the Standards). This regulation is outlined in the definition of rehabilitation at the beginning of the CPA legislation, which says:
...with respect to historic resources, "rehabilitation" shall comply with the Standards for Rehabilitation stated in the United States Secretary of the Interior's Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties codified in 36 C.F.R. Part 68.
What are the Standards?
The Department of the Interior's website explains that the Standards themselves are not used to make important decisions about which features or portions of a historic resource should be saved and which might be changed. Once these decisions have been made, however, the Standards -- a series of concepts about maintaining, repairing, and replacing historic materials, as well as about designing new additions or making alterations -- can provide consistency and a unifying framework for the work.
What does this mean for CPA projects?
The important thing for CPCs to remember is this: CPA grant awards for rehabilitation work on historic resources should clearly stipulate use of these Standards as a requirement of receiving the grant. This is true whether the work is being done on municipally owned assets, such as a town building, or if the grant is being given to a non-municipal organization. If everything is set out clearly in advance in the grant award, then there is less chance of something going wrong later when the project is underway.
Further Resources . . .
>> The Secretary of the Interior's Illustrated Guidelines for Rehabilitating Historic Buildings
>> The National Trust for Historic Preservation's Weatherization Guide for Older and Historic Buildings
>> The National Trust for Historic Preservation's Historic Windows Resource Guide