Buildings and Architecture

Guidelines on Flood Adaptation for Rehabilitating Historic Buildings

(US National Park Service) 

This document provides information on the adaptation of historic buildings due to the increased risk of flooding United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization found that 35% of UNESCO World Heritage Sites are at risk of damage caused by a flood. This worldwide issue also has a significant impact in the United States. These guidelines meet the standards for the Secretary of the Interior’s rehabilitation program and should be included in all preservation plans. 

Preservation Easements

Another form of land use for preservation is through easements. Historic preservation easements are legal agreements that protect the property’s significance. Often found in the form of a deed, easements are voluntary. If an owner chooses a preservation easement, they place restrictions on the development or changes to the property to maintain the historic character. The restrictions are then transferred to an organization dedicated to enforcement. The organization may inspect the property periodically to ensure the owner is maintaining easement restrictions. Property owners maintain full ownership, but are assured the proper preservation work is happening. As an incentive, owners may qualify for tax credits in the amount of the easement. After an easement is created and restrictions are recorded, the property is protected in perpetuity. The easement stays with the property throughout new ownership. Other terms used for preservation easements are covenants of restrictions (Fisher, 2010). 

Easements can be used on a wide variety of properties, from single family homes to complexes of buildings to farmland. They can also be personalized and worked to address site-specific concerns and goals.