Historically, fencing in Palestine included wood, iron, brick and a mix of wood and metal mesh.
Original fencing and walls should be preserved and repaired whenever possible using in kind materials that match color, texture, scale and design. When this is not possible or desirable due to environmental conditions or unavailability of historic materials, historically compatible materials should be used.
Building style and period of construction usually defines the character of fencing and walls.
- Repairing deteriorated, broken, missing sections of fence using in-kind materials.
- Exactly copying existing features, such as wood picket or post designs.
- When a fence cannot be repaired or replaced exactly, using a fence design that is historically compatible with the design of the building.
- Using synthetic or man-made materials.
- Using welded steel fencing, sheet metal fencing, or hurricane fencing.
- Using unplastered concrete block, adobe, or poured concrete walls or other historically incompatible materials.
- Placing fence taller than 3 feet in height at the front property line.
Outbuildings provide secondary uses on a historic property. Historic properties once often included outbuildings of many types such as smoke houses, chicken coops, servants quarters and carriage barns. Those most likely to be still standing are garages, sheds, guest houses and garage apartments. The preservation of outbuildings contribute to the understanding of historic life styles and historic building techniques.
- Repairing outbuildings using in kind materials that match existing texture and pattern of historic materials.
- Ensuring that non-historic elements such as carports are compatible with historic buildings and do not block the view of historic buildings or historic outbuildings.
- Repairing outbuildings with synthetic materials.
- Installing pre-fabricated outbuildings not compatible with the period and style of historic buildings.
Entries, Porches, and Balconies
Entrances are important for their location, materials and detailing. Roof form, arrangement, and the placement of posts and stairs are primary features of porches. Entries that are historically appropriate will be compatible with the type originally in place at a specific building. A historic photograph taken over 50 years ago that shows the building can provide information on and entry size, shape, design and detailing used in the historic period. Keeping and maintaining entrances and porches helps create a sense of community in a residential neighborhood, and a historically appropriate entrance provides for commercial properties a sense of quality that contributes to increased business.
- Maintaining and repairing porches and entries present in the historic period.
- Replicating missing elements based on historic photographs or other documentation using the same materials, size, design and scale as those originally present.
- Retaining, repairing and maintaining decorative trim and elements.
- Replacing only wood that is too rotted to repair.
- Removing original entries or changing their size, design or materials.
- Use of synthetic or substitute materials instead of original materials.
- Replacement of historic elements with modern storefronts.
Walls define the aesthetic tastes and budget of the original owner, the skill of the designer and builder, the level of technology available when the building was built. Whenever possible, original exterior wall materials and decorative detailing (including brackets, endboards, gable returns, entablatures, pilasters, cornices and quoins) of historic properties should be preserved and repaired. Repairing damaged wood, brick, stone, metal, terra cotta, tile, adobe, stucco or other original material is preferred over replacement.
- Maintaining and repairing using like materials, whether they be masonry, wood or metal.
- Keeping natural brick or stone unpainted.
- Matching the type, size, texture and color of brick, stone, tile, concrete or other masonry material used (and any grout or mortar present) to repair a historic property to match the original as closely as possible.
- Matching wood siding selected for repairs for width, milling profile, texture and general appearance to match the original.
- Keeping historically appropriate smooth wood finish.
- Using gentle cleaning techniques.
- Installing synthetic, non-traditional materials such as aluminum or vinyl siding, , T-111 siding, plywood, concrete or synthetic brick, concrete block, synthetic block materials, Hardiplank, Drivet, lava stone or other non-traditional substitutes.
- Using wood with a raised grain because wood siding and trim historically did not have raised grain
- Murals should not be painted on the exterior walls of historic buildings as these obscure original materials and craftsmanship and detract from the historic character of a building.
- Using harsh cleaning techniques, such as sandblasting, high pressure spray, or wire brush.
Overall foundation height and height of exterior foundation walls are important character-defining elements of historic buildings and care should be taken when repairing foundations and their exterior walls to maintain the foundation height of the historic building and utilize construction methods compatible with the historic methods.
- Repair and maintain elements of the foundation using materials that are an exact match for existing elements.
- Although often not visible from the street, maintenance and periodic inspection of building structure and foundation helps ensure building longevity.
- Failure to maintain foundation and structural system, resulting in loss to property value.
- Changing structural system and visible foundation features in ways that remove historic material.
Walks, Drives, and Parking
Historically, walkways in Palestine were native stone, concrete, brick, gravel, earth or grass. While driveways are often thought of as 20th century inventions made necessary by the automobile, driveways have been a feature of historic properties as long as there have been horses, wagons and carriages.
While additional parking was not often a historic feature, the need for additional parking is often a reality. Despite this need, additional parking can easily detract from the historic character of a landmark or district, so must be designed carefully and with approval.
- Keeping and maintaining walks and driveways that are original concrete, brick, stone, crushed rock or gravel
- Choosing locally occurring iron stone instead of other varieties.
- Replacing non-historic walks and driveways with historically appropriate replacements when repair or replacement is needed.
- Carefully matching historic masonry in color and texture when conducting repair.
- Locating additional parking at rear of building, and screening it.
- Using historically appropriate fencing and landscaping to make additional parking less noticeable.
- Using synthetic or non-traditional materials such as: asphalt, broken tile set in concrete, poured concrete laid without dividing seams, rough concrete blocks, rounded concrete paving stones or rip-rap.
- Constructing additional parking that is obvious from the street
Often historic commercial buildings featured small signs presenting business name and address painted directly on the storefront display window, front entry door, upper floor entry door or upper story office window.
Residential properties generally did not have signs, but when necessary should be of a historically compatible style.
The Palestine Main Street Advisory Board has full authority over new signs and alterations to existing signage in the Main Street Overlay District.
- Placing signs within the sign band of the exterior walls of historic buildings.
- Uncluttered and straightforward signs.
- Maintaining and repairing existing historic signs when possible.
- Using lettering , design, and materials compatible with the style and period of the building.
- Using materials and design not historically compatible with the building.
- Using internally lighted signs, except where lighting was present historically, as in neon signs.
Windows and Doors
The placement and relationship of the size of windows and doors within and to wall surfaces and the type of windows and doors historically present are important character defining elements. Their placement, size, shape, function, detailing and structure are associated with different architectural styles, building traditions and historical periods. A photograph over 50 years old can provide information on window and door size, shape, pane pattern, details and even shutters used in the historic period.
Historic windows were designed to be easily repaired, and repair is usually less costly than replacement windows. Using storm windows with historic windows can increase energy efficiency without damaging the character of the building.
Since windows and doors are such important features, conducting any repair or replacement that involves changes or replacement of historic windows , doors, or related features without a Certificate of Appropriateness can result in penalties.
- Protecting and maintaining the wood and metals that comprise the frame, sash, muntins and surrounds of windows in historic buildings
- Repair and caulk windows to ensure working order.
- Replace working parts that cannot be repaired with appropriate new parts.
- Retaining original doors and entries.
- Retaining original door and window hardware.
- Removing original windows and replacing with aluminum, vinyl, or other window types or materials.
- Changing the function or pane pattern
- Installing a different sized window.
Roof shape, pitch and materials are associated with certain architectural styles and are important character defining features of historic buildings. However, few historic buildings retain their historic roof materials. Changes in fire codes, and prohibitive costs and unavailability of certain historic materials have resulted in replacement of original roof materials.
Residential wood shingle roofs have largely been replaced with composition shingle materials. Most slate roofs, which were never in widespread use, also have been replaced with composition shingle or metal roofing. Metal plate roofing was popular in the 19th century and may survive on some roofs in Palestine. Most roofs in Palestine are now composition shingle, asphalt shingle, wood or slate. Chimneys built of brick or stone are another important feature of historic buildings and are most visible at the roofline. The materials and detailing of original chimneys help define the character and style of historic buildings.
Commercial roofs are generally not visible from the street, usually being hidden by the parapet wall. Some types of roofing are costly to replace or have become unavailable. When considering changing roof type, it is helpful and necessary to contact the HPO or HLC to help find an appropriate roof material within a reasonable budget.
PLEASE REMEMBER: Changing roof design, shape, materials or features requires a Certificate of Appropriateness. Since roofing is a substantial investment, please be sure to gain approval before work begins.
- Preserving and maintaining historic roof materials.
- Keeping historic roof pitch, shape and original elements such as cresting, dormers, finials, etc.
- Repairing and maintaining chimneys.
- Investing in a quality roof to help ensure the building will stay in good repair.
- Matching the roof with the style and function of the building.
- Replacing a non-historically compatible roof with a historic one based upon historic photographs.
- Changing form, shape, elements or details of a historic roof.
- Changing roof materials. Although many types of metal roof have recently become an accepted residential roofing material, during the historic period, many profiles of sheet metal were originally associated with agricultural buildings.
- Using shingles with a different profile than was historically available.