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.
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.
Altering storefronts--and their features--from the restoration
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
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.
Failing to provide adequate protection of materials
on a cyclical basis so that deterioration of storefront
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
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.
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.
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
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
Removing or altering storefronts and their
features from other historic periods such as inappropriate
cladding or signage.
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
Failing to remove a storefront feature from another
period, thus confusing the depiction of the building's
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.
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.
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.