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Historic tax credits
Green restorations : sustainable building and historic homes
Aaron Lubeck.
Gabriola Island, BC : New Society Publishers, 2010.
People are usually told that they can either restore and maintain a historic house or they can make it energy efficient, but not both. Lubeck, a restoration and preservation consultant in North Carolina, disagrees, and explains techniques and materials for incorporating energy efficiency into restoration projects. He begins by describing the often conflicting movements of sustainability, preservation, and dollars and sense. Then he walks through: bathrooms, kitchens, living spaces, attics, and the exterior. His final section, on systems, looks at structure, envelope, windows, plumbing, HVAC, and electrical. He includes photographs, diagrams, charts, and other visual aids. Distributed in the US by Consortium Books Sales and Distribution. Annotation ©2010 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
     
Preventive conservation for historic house museums
Jane Merritt and Julie A. Reilly ; with chapter contributions by Lucy Lawliss and Rebecca L. Stevens.
Lanham : AltaMira Press, c2010.
Preventive Conservation and the Historic House describes the care routines that a historic house should practice to protect the site and its collections from damage, wear, deterioration, and catastrophic loss.
     
Havana revisited : an architectural heritage
Cathryn Griffith ; translations by Dick Cluster.
New York : W.W. Norton & Co., c2010.
Interpreting the present in light of the past, eleven renowned architects, historians, scholars, preservationists, and urban planners in Cuba and the United States provide a rigorous examination of Havana old and new that provokes exploration of the ways we look at all cities. These authoritative policy makers and thinkers raise issues of how the most important city in Spanish colonial America developed and changed over several centuries and the extent to which it is being restored and preserved today. More than 350 illustrations juxtapose historical colored postcard images of Havana with recent digital color photographs of the same views. The imagery, based on years of exhaustive research and investigation, draws from Cathryn Griffith’s collection of more than 600 postcards of Havana from 1900 to 1930, over 3,000 photographs made there during multiple trips since April 2003, and extensive interviews with experts in Havana and the United States.
     
Neues Museum
Friederike von Rauch, David Chipperfield ; [Herausgeber / Editor, Andres Lepik].
Ostfildern : Hatje/Cantz 2009.
The Neues Museum--an important mid-nineteenth century example of Neoclassical architecture and the centerpiece of Berlin's Museum Island--was badly damaged during World War II. From 1997-2009, British architect David Chipperfield worked to restore the structure--which was originally completed by Friedrich August Stueler in 1859--to its pre-war function. Located behind the Altes Museum, the space housed the Egyptian Collection. Chipperfield's controversial plans followed a principle of conservation (or amalgamation) rather than reconstruction; he preserved the skeleton of the original building, with its elaborate finishes, attractive brickwork, frescoes and ornamentation, merging and contrasting these characteristics with his own subtle interpolations of clean white lines and quiet geometrical structures. The results are astounding, setting new standards in the field and opening up exciting possibilities for museum conversions. This volume celebrates Chipperfield's work in a series of beautiful images by the Berlin-based architectural photographer Friederike von Rauch. Von Rauch is well known for her unusual and exacting approach to architectural photography: eschewing digital technology and only using natural light, she presents a crisp and vibrant series of images that eloquently tell the story of Chipperfield's unorthodox but successful restoration.
     

Financial incentives to renovate historic buildings are available from state and federal sources. Programs that provide tax credits have been a boon to St. Louis developers. $170 million in credits were issued in Missouri in 2006 with much of that going to buildings in St. Louis old neighborhoods.

Using a variety of tax incentives a developer can recover significant costs of a renovation. The credits supplement a project so that careful preservation and restoration is financially feasible. Renovating a building is usually more expensive than building new and this program alleviates some of the financial risk for developers, making historic rehab a competitive market reality.

Buildings need to qualify for the tax credit programs and can do that in a variety of ways. The most common is to be named a contributing building in a recognized historic district. Buildings with this designation need not be significant in their own rightthe purpose of the tax credit program is to preserve Americas historic past, and each building in an historic neighborhood contributes to that fabric.

Windows are a key element in appropriate historic renovation. There is no one single element that expresses the historic nature of the building as well as windows.

Original windows should be thoroughly repaired whenever possible.

If repair is not feasible, new windows should closely match the original. The material, size, pane configuration, color, and trim details need to match.    

Developers need to follow rehabilitation standards to earn the credits. Standards apply to both the exterior and interior of the buildings depending on which tax incentive program is used. The general intent of historic standards is that a building be preserved as it was originally, taking into consideration economic and technical feasibility. Alterations are kept to a minimum.

St. Louis has many historic buildings. These programs can help preserve them into the next century.

Article by: St. Louis Public Library staff