Detail of restored roof; Link to Parknet
<photo>detail of significant storefront

Identify    Protect    Repair    Replace    Remove   Re-Create

Identify, Retain and Preserve

Identifying, retaining, and preserving storefronts from the restoration period--and their functional and decorative features--such as display windows, signs, doors, transoms, kick plates, corner posts, and entablatures.

photo of a distinctive early 20th century storefront in Anaconda, MT

The Club Moderne, in Anaconda, Montana, is an early 20th century storefront. It reflects the exceptional historic detailing associated with pigmented structural glass--polished-mirror finish, rounded corners, and horizontal polychrome bands. Photo: Jet Lowe, HAER Collection, NPS.

Not Recommended
Altering storefronts--and their features--from the restoration period.

Failing to properly document storefront features from the restoration period which may result in their loss.

Applying paint or other coatings to storefront features or removing them if such treatments cannot be documented to the restoration period.

Changing the type or color of protective surface coatings on storefront features unless the work can be substantiated by historical documentation.

Protect and Maintain

Protecting and maintaining masonry, wood, and architectural metals which comprise restoration period storefronts through appropriate treatments such as cleaning, rust removal, limited paint removal, and reapplication of protective coating systems.

Protecting storefronts against arson and vandalism before restoration work begins by boarding up windows and installing alarm systems that are keyed into local protection agencies.

Evaluating the existing condition of storefront materials to determine whether more than protection and maintenance are required, that is, if repairs to features will be necessary.

Not Recommended
Failing to provide adequate protection of materials on a cyclical basis so that deterioration of storefront features results.

Permitting entry into the building through unsecured or broken windows and doors so that interior features and finishes are damaged by exposure to weather or vandalism.

Stripping storefronts of historic material from the restoration period such as wood, cast iron, terra cotta, carrara glass, and brick.

Failing to undertake adequate measures to assure the protection of storefront materials from the restoration period.


Repairing storefronts from the restoration period by reinforcing the historic materials. Repairs will also generally include the limited replacement in kind--or with compatible substitute materials--of those extensively deteriorated or missing parts of storefronts where there are surviving prototypes such as transoms, kick plates, pilasters, or signs. The new work should be unobtrusively dated to guide future research and treatment.

photo showing how a new wooden component can be successfully pieced-in to the historic wooden column

Rather than replace an entire wooden column on a historic storefront, a new wooden component can be pieced-in and successfully repaired, as seen in this column base. Photo: NPS files.

Not Recommended
Replacing an entire storefront feature from the restoration period when repair of materials and limited replacement of its parts are appropriate.

Using substitute material for the replacement part that does not convey the same visual appearance as the surviving parts of the storefront or that is physically or chemically incompatible


Replacing in kind a storefront from the restoration period that is too deteriorated to repair--if the overall form and detailing are still evident--using the physical evidence as a model. If using the same material is not technically or economically feasible, then compatible substitute materials may be considered. The new work should be unobtrusively dated to guide future research and treatment.

Not Recommended
Removing a storefront feature from the restoration period that is unrepairable, and not replacing it; or failing to document the new work.

The following Restoration work is highlighted to indicate that it involves the removal or alteration of existing historic storefront features that would be retained in Preservation and Rehabilitation treatments; and the replacement of missing storefront features from the restoration period using all new materials..

Removing Existing Features from Other Historic Periods

Removing or altering storefronts and their features from other historic periods such as inappropriate cladding or signage.

photo showing removal of later changes to a 19th century storefront during Restoration

Storefronts of the 1940s, 50s, and 60s were frequently installed by attaching studs or a metal grid over an early front and applying new covering materals. Later materials are being removed here to reveal the 19th entury storefront columns. Photo: Bob Dunn.

Documenting materials and features dating from other periods prior to their alteration or removal. If possible, selected examples of these features or materials should be stored to facilitate future research.

Not Recommended
Failing to remove a storefront feature from another period, thus confusing the depiction of the building's significance.

Failing to document storefront features from other historic periods that are removed from the building so that a valuable portion of the historic record is lost.

Re-creating Missing Features from the Restoration Period

Re-creating a missing storefront or storefront feature that existed during the restoration period based on physical or documentary evidence; for example, duplicating a display window or transom.

historical photograph of a 19th century storefront in Georgetown, CO

This historical photograph of a 19th century storefront in Georgetown, Colorado, features a half-story false front across the top. The double door is flanked by two large mullioned windows. The documentary information would be of great value within a Restoration project. Photo: Library of Congress, Denver Public Library Collection.

Not Recommended
Constructing a storefront feature that was part of the original design for the building but was never actually built; or constructing a feature which was thought to have existed during the restoration period, but for which there is insufficient documentation.



The Approach

Exterior Materials
Architectural Metals

Exterior Features
Entrances + Porches

Interior Features
Structural System Spaces/Features/Finishes
Mechanical Systems



Special Requirements
Energy Efficiency
Health + Safety

The Standards



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Historical Overview