Northern New England is home to incredible examples of historic architecture. Our courthouses, schools, churches, theaters, and even commercial buildings give our communities character and remind us of our past and the people who built our towns and cities.
At Ganneston, we take the responsibility of historic renovation seriously. We have successfully completed a number of historic renovation projects, and we are proud to be able to play a part in helping preserve our state’s history.
In many cases, historic renovation may also include repurposing or reuse of a property. With our experience in the public sector and commercial building, our team has the knowledge, skills and established partnerships to make your historic renovation or reuse project a success.
What Is Historic Renovation?
Renovating historic buildings requires a unique approach that considers whether the property is a historic landmark or located in a historic district. It is essential to follow historic preservation standards and guidelines to conform to historic ordinances, Maine Preservation and the National Park Service Secretary of the Interior’s Standards in preserving, rehabilitating, restoring and reconstructing. This is especially important when securing historic tax credits.
Our team has the experience and expertise to successfully navigate the challenges of historic renovation.
Considerations When Renovating a Historic Building in Maine
There are several things to consider when renovating a historic building:
- The age of the property and its historical significance: Has the building changed over time? If so, those changes may have acquired historic significance in their own right and may need to be retained and preserved.
- The condition of the property: Have there been leaks, floods or fires that have affected the foundation and structural integrity of the building? What is the condition of the building envelope? Do the HVAC, plumbing, electrical and life safety systems need to be updated or replaced?
- The current use of the property and the proposed use: What is the building being used for now and what do you want to use it for after the renovation? Is there a large difference between these uses?
- Accessibility: Does the use of the property need to allow accessibility for people with disabilities?
- Parking and other site issues: Does the property have enough parking? If not, will there be ways to add parking to the site?
- Zoning and code requirements: Will the building meet requirements or will waivers need to be obtained?
Challenges That Accompany Historic Renovation Construction
Completing a renovation project for a historic building is not without its challenges. Because of the age and significance of the property, you may need a construction company that can handle:
Matching and Preserving Original Material
Ideally, you’ll be able to preserve the original materials used to create the structure. In some cases, it is necessary to source materials that match the existing ones on the property.
Maintaining the Integrity of the Original Facade
The facade of a historic building is often one of the most important features. Maintaining the integrity of the original facade while still making necessary changes or additions to bring the building into the modern era is essential.
Working Within Historic Guidelines and Restrictions
There are guidelines and restrictions that come with renovating a historic property. Before beginning work, you will need approvals from the municipality, Maine Preservation and National Park Service.
Start Your Maine Historic Renovation Project Today
Northern New England is rich in history, and our team at Ganneston is proud to help preserve that history through our work in historic renovation. If you have a historic property that you are interested in renovating, we would be happy to discuss your project.