Technical Assistance

By becoming a member of NAPC, you gain access to our extensive technical assistance library – we have been gathering information on historic preservation commissions and historic districts for over 25 years! Below is a just a sample of the numerous articles, research studies, and technical bulletins that we offer on a variety of topics to help commissions operate more effectively and proactively. Most articles are from NAPC’s bi-monthly member newsletter, The Alliance Review.

Preservation Law
Law and the Historic Preservation Commission: Published by Cultural Resources Partnership Notes, this article provides an overview of laws and legal actions pertaining to historic preservation commissions.

For the Record: A Short Guide to Parliamentary Procedure: This document, published by the NAPC, provides a breakdown of proper public meeting procedure and how it applies to historic preservation commissions.

Local Preservation Ordinances (The Alliance Review): This article looks at aspects of creating, amending, and reviewing preservation ordinances, as well as providing information on aspects of historic preservation and conservation overlay zones.

Assessing Economic Hardship Claims (The Alliance Review): This article looks at the components of economic hardship claims and gives advice on how to evaluate the evidence presented within the claim.

Building Codes
Building Codes vs Preservation of Historic Property (The Alliance Review): This article provides insight on how to implement present-day building codes for historic buildings.

Cities “Get Smart” Without State Initiatives (The Alliance Review): This article supplies information on the benefits of using Smart Codes – building codes meant to encourage alteration and reuse of existing buildings – when establishing or amending municipal building codes.

Smart Codes in Your Community (The Alliance Review): This report provides an overview of general laws and regulations that govern the use and reuse of existing buildings. The report also supplies examples of efforts to reduce the complexity of laws and regulations pertaining to existing buildings, and provides possible strategies to implement reinvestment in the existing building infrastructure.

Demolition by Neglect
Establishing a Demolition by Neglect Ordinance (The Alliance Review): This article covers the fundamental legal principles and key components of a demolition by neglect ordinance.

Regulations to Prevent Demolitions & Avoid Taking: Published by the City of Dallas, this document provides the process by which an owner may apply for permission to tear down a neglected building, on what basis the ruling commission must act, and the process by which someone can appeal the commission’s decision.

Sample Ordinances: This document looks at the cities of New York, Detroit, and New Orleans and their respective ordinances pertaining to demolition by neglect.

New Construction
New Exterior Additions to Historic Buildings (The Alliance Review): This article talks about the improvements of and changes to the revised Preservation Brief 14, which deals with how to appropriately apply exterior additions.

Growing Pains: Controlling Additions in Historic Neighborhoods (The Alliance Review): This article presents guidelines, used by the Metro Nashville Historic Zoning Commission, for how different types of additions could be applied to locally-designated buildings.

Regulating New Construction in Historic Districts: Contemporary Design (The Alliance Review): This article reviews Standard 9, which deals with additions, exterior alterations, and infill projects, and looks at ways of effectively interpreting the standard.

Substitute Materials
Why Say “No” to Vinyl Windows: Presented in a pamphlet by the Albany (NY) Landmark Advisory Commission, this document looks at a number of reasons why vinyl windows are a poor replacement for historic wood windows.

Developing a Materials Evaluation Methodology (The Alliance Review): This two part article looks at how to effectively address a number of concerns when evaluating the benefits of substitute materials. These concerns vary in topic, and include durability, price, and sustainability.

Vinyl is Not Final: This article, published by the Kansas State Historical Society, provides information on the many downfalls of vinyl siding as a replacement for historic siding materials.

What Replacement Windows Can’t Replace: The Real Cost of Removing Historic Windows: Published in the APT Bulletin: Journal of Preservation Technology, this article looks at the arguments surrounding replacement windows, and addresses a number of topics concerning such things as the cost of maintenance, sustainability, and energy savings.