Preservation Glossary

Adaptive re-use: a use for a structure or landscape other than its historic use, normally entailing some modification of the structure or landscape.

Architectural conservation: the science of preserving a historic structure's materials by observing and analyzing their deterioration, determining causes of and solutions to problems, and directing remedial interventions.

Architectural conservator: a specialist in the scientific analysis of historic materials.

Architectural history: the study of architecture through written records and the examination of structures in order to determine their relationship to preceding, contemporary, and subsequent architecture and events. An architectural historian is a historian with advanced training in this specialty.

Archival collection: an accumulation of manuscripts, archival documents, or papers having a shared origin or provenance, or having been assembled around a common topic, format of record, or association (e.g., presidential autographs). The term also refers to the total archival and manuscript holdings of an organization or institution.

Archives: refers to the repository where archives and other historic documents are maintained. See also historic document.

Archivist: a professional responsible for managing and providing access to archival and manuscript collections.

Building: an enclosed structure with walls and a roof, created to serve some residential, industrial, commercial, agricultural, or other human use.

Character-defining feature: a prominent or distinctive aspect, quality, or characteristic of a historic property that contributes significantly to its physical character. Structures, objects, vegetation, spatial relationships, views, furnishings, decorative details, and materials may be such features.

Comprehensive historic preservation planning: the logical organization of preservation information pertaining to the identification, evaluation, registration, and treatment of historic properties and the setting of priorities for accomplishing preservation activities.

Conservation district: Locally designated areas, in which regulations for alteration or removal apply only to specific historic buildings within the boundary.

Cultural landscape: a geographic area, including both cultural and natural resources and the wildlife or domestic animals therein, associated with a historic event, activity, or person or exhibiting other cultural or aesthetic values. There are four general kinds of cultural landscape, not mutually exclusive.

Cyclical maintenance: maintenance performed less frequently than annually; usually involves replacement or at least mending of material.

Historic site: a landscape significant for its association with a historic event, activity, or person.

Historic designed landscape: a landscape significant as a design or work of art; was consciously designed and laid out either by a professional or amateur according to a recognized style or tradition; has a historical association with a significant person, trend or movement in landscape gardening or architecture, or a significant relationship to the theory or practice of landscape architecture.

Historic vernacular landscape: a landscape whose use, construction, or physical layout reflects common traditions, customs, beliefs, or values, which over time is manifested in physical features and materials and their interrelationships, and which reflect the customs and everyday lives of people.

Ethnographic landscape: areas containing a variety of natural and cultural resources that associated people define as heritage resources, including plant and animal communities, geographic features, and structures, each with their own special local names.

Cultural resource: an aspect of a cultural system that is valued by or significantly representative of a culture or that contains significant information about a culture. A cultural resource may be a tangible entity or a cultural practice.

Culture: a system of behaviors (including economic, religious, and social), beliefs (values, ideologies), and social arrangements.

Design: the combination of elements that create the form, plan, space, structure, and style of a historic property.

Design intent: the creative objectives of a designer, architect, landscape architect, engineer, or artist that were applied to the development of a historic property.

Documentation: drawings, photographs, writings, and other media that depict cultural and natural resources.

Evaluation: process by which the significance of a property is judged and eligibility for National Register of Historic Places (or other designation) is determined.

Feature (historic): (1) a prominent or distinctive aspect, quality, or characteristic of a historic property; (2) a historic property.

Feeling (historic): a property's expression of the aesthetic or historic sense of a particular period of time.

Field photography: photography intended for producing documentation.

Field records: notes of measurements taken, field photographs, and other recorded information intended for producing documentation.

Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS)/Historic American Engineering Record (HAER): architectural and engineering documentation programs that produce a thorough archival record of buildings, engineering structures, and cultural landscapes.

Historic character: the sum of all visual aspects, features, materials, and spaces associated with a property's history.

Historical context: an organizing structure created for planning purposes that groups information about historic properties based on common themes, time periods, and geographical areas.

Historic district: a local or national geographically definable area, urban or rural, possessing a significant concentration, linkage, or continuity of sites, landscapes, structures, or objects, united by past events or aesthetically by plan or physical developments. A district may also be composed of individual elements separated geographically but linked by association or history. (See National Register Bulletin 15.)

Historic document: any recorded information in any mediumÐpaper, magnetic tape, film, etc.Ðthat has a direct, physical association with past human event, activity, observation, experience, or idea.

Historic landscape: a cultural landscape associated with events, persons, design styles, or ways of life that are significant in American history, landscape architecture, archeology, engineering, and culture; a landscape listed in or eligible for the National Register of Historic Places.

Historic property: a district, site, structure, or landscape significant in American history, architecture, engineering, archeology, or culture; an umbrella term for all entries in the National Register of Historic Places.

Historic site: the site of a significant event, prehistoric or historic occupation or activity, or structure or landscape whether extant or vanished, where the site itself possesses historical, cultural, or archeological value apart from the value of any existing structure or landscape; see cultural landscape.

Historical architect: specialist in the science and art of architecture with specialized advanced training in the principles, theories, concepts, methods, and techniques of preserving prehistoric and historic structures.

Historical landscape architect: specialist in the science and art of landscape architecture with advanced training in the principles, theories, concepts, methods, and techniques of preserving cultural landscapes.

Historic significance: the meaning or value ascribed to a structure, landscape, object, or site based on the National Register criteria for evaluation. It normally stems from a combination of association and integrity.

In-kind: in the same manner or with something equal in substance having a similar or identical effect.

Integrity: the authenticity of a property's historic identity, evidenced by the survival of physical characteristics that existed during its historic or prehistoric period; the extent to which a property retains its historic appearance.

Intensive survey: a systematic, detailed examination of an area designed to gather information about historic properties sufficient to evaluate them against predetermined criteria of significance within specific historic contexts.

Inventory: a list of cultural resources, usually of a given type and/or in a given area.

Material: the physical elements that were combined or deposited to form a property. Historic material or historic fabric is that from a historically significant period, as opposed to material used to maintain or restore a property following its historic period(s).

Measured drawings: drawings depicting existing conditions or other relevant features of historic structures, landscapes, or objects. Measured drawings are usually produced in ink on archivally stable material, such as polyester film.

National Historic Landmark: a district, site, building, structure, or object of national historical significance, designated by the Secretary of the Interior under authority of the Historic Sites Act of 1935 and entered in the National Register of Historic Places.

National Register of Historic Places: the comprehensive list of districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects of national, regional, state, and local significance in American history, architecture, archeology, engineering, and culture kept by the NPS under authority of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966.

Period of significance: the span of time in which a property attained the significance for which it meets the National Register criteria.

Property type: a grouping of individual properties based on a set of shared physical or associative characteristics.

Protection: action to safeguard a historic property by defending or guarding it from further deterioration, loss, or attack or shielding it from danger or injury.

Provenance: the history of physical custody of an object or collection, and its origin.

Preservation: the act or process of applying measures to sustain the existing form, integrity, an material of a historic structure, landscape or object. Work generally focuses upon the ongoing preservation maintenance and repair of historic materials and features, rather than extensive replacement and new work.

Preservation maintenance: action to mitigate wear and deterioration of a historic property without altering its historic character by protecting its condition, repairing when its condition warrants with the least degree of intervention. Types of preservation maintenance are:

Routine maintenance: usually consists of service activities such as tightening, adjusting, oiling, pruning, etc.

Stabilization: action to render an unsafe, damaged, or deteriorated property stable while retaining its present form.

Reconnaissance study: a synthesis of cultural resource information describing the kinds of cultural resources in a study area and summarizing their significance; sometimes called a cultural resource overview.

Reconstruction: the act or process of depicting, by means of new work, the form, features, and detailing of a non-surviving historic structure or landscape, or any part thereof, for the purpose of replicating its appearance at a specific time and in its historic location.

Rehabilitation: the act or process of making a compatible use for a historic structure through repair, alterations, and additions while preserving those portions or features, which convey its historical, cultural and architectural values.

Repair: action to correct deteriorated, damaged, or faulty materials or features of a structure or landscape.

Reproduction: the construction or fabrication of an accurate copy of an object.

Restoration: the act or process of accurately depicting the form, features, and character of a historic structure, landscape, or object as it appeared at a particular period of time by means of the removal of features from other periods in its history and reconstruction of missing features from the restoration period.

Secretary of the Interior Standards: See

Section l06, or "l06": refers to Section l06 of the National Historic Preservation Act of l966, which requires federal agencies to take into account the effects of their proposed activities on properties included, or eligible for inclusion, in the National Register of Historic Places.

Setting: the physical environment of a historic property; the character of the place in which the property played its historical role.

Sketch plan: a plan, generally not to exact scale although often drawn from measurements, where the features of a structure or landscape are shown in proper relation and proportion to one another.

Special Assessment: Oregon's Special Assessment of Historic Properties program offers a 15- year "freeze" of a property's assessed value (not its tax rate) as an incentive to preserve National Register-listed buildings. Applicants pay a filing fee and agree to follow preservation standards in the maintenance and rehabilitation of their buildings.

State historic preservation officer (SHPO): an official within each state appointed by the governor to administer the state historic preservation program and carry out certain responsibilities relating to federal undertakings within the state.

Structure: a constructed work, usually immovable by nature or design, consciously created to serve some human activity. Examples are buildings of various kinds, monuments, dams, roads, railroad tracks, canals, millraces, bridges, tunnels, locomotives, nautical vessels, stockades, forts and associated earthworks, Indian mounds, ruins, fences, and outdoor sculpture.