Historical restoration involves restoring an object or structure with an eye to its historical character rather than just restoring its functionality. This process can be performed on houses, gardens, cars, and other various objects. This procedure is often done by a specialty contractor with specialized training in historic restoration.
Why Perform Historic Restoration?
There are many reasons why you should perform a historic restoration. A structure or object suffers from a lack of upkeep for a prolonged period, and the goal is to restore it to its former glory. For example, a vintage home that has been allowed to fall apart may return to its previous condition via restoration.
Some also perform historic restorations when something has gotten radically altered, aiming to return it to its original state.
Based on the example earlier, historic restoration might be performed on the house divided into apartments with dropped ceilings and other significant modifications—all of which have compromised the character of the property. And these can include anything from covering wainscoting with drywall to installing carpets on wooden floors.
How do Contractors Perform Historic Restoration?
Contractors can perform historic restorations in several ways. Some used conventional methods when the actual object was made, keeping it close to its original state. Alternatively, contractors may fabricate replications or replacements for severely damaged or missing parts using original techniques if they can’t find replacements made during the same period as those objects.
They may also use period-appropriate paint, finishes, and other items. As accurate as this process is, it can be expensive. After all, it involves tedious detailed work, research, and labor.
Meanwhile, other contractors try to maintain an object’s character via modern methods. And this restoration method is often cheaper and less time-consuming. Despite this, it can still perform well, creating an authentic look and feel that many people adore.
But some activities may prevent certain buildings from being listed as historical landmarks or interfere with museums’ acceptance of an object’s authenticity.
Historic restoration, overall, can be gratifying. Specialists often enjoy doing background research before delving into the restoration of buildings or objects. It helps them learn more about the periods in which the structure or item was created and the techniques used by the artisans of the same time.
Pinpointing sources for everything from manufactured mechanical cart parts to drawers salvaged from other homes during the period can also be enjoyable. Overall, the restoration of buildings and objects while watching their transformation can be a fascinating, educational, and fun process.
Preserving History Through Structures
Old structures are solid witnesses to a city’s aesthetic and cultural history, giving individuals a sense of place and connection to the place’s past. The same buildings may also represent something famous or vital to those living or visiting a city.
Acknowledging the importance of old structures to the public and the nation’s heritage, Congress enacted the “National Historic Preservation Act” back in 1966. Lawmakers made this act possible to save historic buildings.
They explained that preserving these irreplaceable heritages is within the public interest. And that their important legacy of the following will be maintained and enriched for the future generations:
Historic Restoration Offers Several Benefits for Local Communities
Not only is historic restoration a crucial investment in the present, but also in the future! For restorationists, safeguarding history through a structure or an object’s remains is enough to justify their efforts. But there are other more observable reasons why it matters for those without prior involvement with such actions.
What are the Economic Benefits of Historic Restoration?
Historical restoration is a robust economic engine, providing jobs, boosting household income, increasing the tax base, and raising thousands for the tourism industry. Below are more economic benefits of historic restoration.
Historic Restoration Creates More Jobs
Since rehabilitation and restoration buildings work with pre-existing materials, projects are often labor-intensive, creating more job opportunities than new construction. While the costs of these projects are comparable to building new structures, the economic benefit is much more significant from restoration tasks through the creation of local jobs.
It Promotes Heritage Tourism
No matter their roots, many individuals share the same fascination with the sites where history took place and the stories they can experience by visiting these historical areas. And this can benefit any country, town, or even village! After all, heritage tourists, whose visits often focus on historical sites, spend billions of dollars annually and are one of the fastest-growing groups of tourists.
Their travels alone provide millions of tax dollars and billions to the tourism industry.
Historic Restoration Revitalizes Communities.
Any town’s downtown area represents the local community’s social standing and economic engine. Therefore, reinvesting and revitalizing these streets are the most fruitful economic development program most places can do. It’s shown that substantive and prosperous revitalization results from restoration-based projects.
What are the Cultural Benefits of Historic Restoration?
Historical restorations keep local communities stunning, lively, and a fantastic place to live in—giving people a stake in their surroundings. They connect people with their history and with each other. And there’s no better teacher than history itself, and knowing the history of an area and its historical sites fosters a person’s sense of belonging and pride.
After all, old buildings and historic sites typically present the human scale of history. Plus, they tell us a lot about the cultures that made them. They also tell stories about the practices and events from which our society grew.
Overall, historical restoration is critical in stabilizing local communities and bringing their people together. Historic structures give a sense of stability and a link with the past that many can experience.
What’s the Aesthetic Importance of Older Structures?
Older structures are usually made with unique and variable materials like marble or heart pine. And these might have detailing and features you wouldn’t find in today’s homes, such as decorative facades and copper lining.
Many individuals feel that older structures have a unique identity and distinctive character, making them more appealing than their modern counterparts. There’s also an added benefit of retaining and maintaining old craft methods.
What are the Environmental Benefits of Historic Restoration?
Restoring buildings is safer for the environment and is the more reliable option. They’re usually more environmentally friendly to rehabilitate and maintain. And it gives people a chance to improve existing infrastructures rather than destroying and replacing them.
Moreover, it has the unique triple effect on limited resources by throwing away materials and energy, replacing them with fresh materials, and expanding their transport energy. Each existing structure is a massive investment of energy, time, money, and resources. And if any of these get destroyed, that investment often goes to waste.
Finally, active historical restoration efforts can curb a few of the detrimental effects of suburban sprawl, such as increased traffic, energy used, and overall environmental degradation. Safeguarding the historic cores of these places and reinvesting in them can help people reduce the adverse effects of growth.
What are the Educational Benefits of Historic Restoration?
Historical restorations offer limitless educational opportunities. Whether for teachers, community partners, or students, participating in the practice promotes the importance of the action. And it also reinforces historical education by actively allowing everyone involved to participate in its upkeep and protection.
Aside from that, since historical restoration occurs in various sets and settings, it gives students ample chances to learn real-world lessons beyond history. And these include disciplines such as economics or building crafts.
Four Methods of Preserving Historic Structures
Below are the four methods used in preserving historical structures.
- Rehabilitation. This process adds or alters a property to update its current uses but keeps its historical character unchanged.
- Preservation. It maintains how the building looked from its prime to now, keeping all historical elements intact.
- Restoration. This technique involves restoring structures to how they existed at a specific moment in history.
- Reconstruction. If there are missing parts, you can recreate these to match what existed before they got lost. And specialists often do this with the help of old photographs.
Historic Restoration in Connecticut
Historical restoration is a skill involving conventional and modern construction techniques in preserving dated buildings. In a way, it protects and safeguards the historic elements of buildings and communities.
Therefore, it’s crucial to find a capable team in CT to restore while maintaining the original integrity and appeal of a structure. Here at Mitchell Restoration, we know how to work with anyone, from building owners to architects, to restore historic structures to their former glory.
Our skilled workers and artisans have years of experience working with different materials, ranging from slate to cornice fabrications, preserving historical structures successfully! You can see our extensive and accomplished projects displayed on many landmarks, from churches to government buildings across Torrington to Winchester and all of Connecticut.
So if you’re looking for a historic restoration for your property, give us a call!