Do you know the difference between preservation and restoration? The National Trust for Historic Preservation, a leading organization dedicated to saving America’s historic places and revitalizing communities, offers the following glossary of preservation terms:
Preserve: To maintain a structure’s existing form through careful maintenance and repair.
Reconstruct: To re-create an historic building that has been damaged or destroyed; to erect a new structure resembling the old using historical, archaeological and architectural documents.
Rehabilitate: To repair a structure and make it usable again while preserving those portions or features of the property that are historically and culturally significant. For example, rehabilitation might include updating the kitchen while retaining the historic stairwell and fireplaces. This is the most common approach for private homes.
Remodel: To change a building without regard for its distinctive features or style. This often involves changing the appearance of a structure by removing or covering original details and substituting new materials and forms.
Renovate: To repair a structure and make it usable again without attempting to restore its historic appearance or duplicate original construction methods.
Restore: To return a building to its form and condition from a specified time in the past using materials that are as similar as possible to the original materials.
Stabilize: To protect a building from deterioration by making it structurally secure while maintaining its current form.