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The mission of the Historic Resources Committee (HRC) is to identify, understand, and preserve architectural heritage, both nationally and internationally. HRC is engaged in promoting the role of the historic architect within the profession through the development of information and knowledge among members, allied professional organizations, and the public.

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Storefront windows

  • 1.  Storefront windows

    Posted 28 days ago

    I review Certificate of Appropriateness (COA) applications for a National Register district. A restaurant owner submitted an application to replace the large glass panes in the storefront with operable windows. The existing glass is not original and likely was installed in the last 30 years, well after the end of the Period of Significance.


    Is anyone aware of a historic building, or contributing building in a historic district, where this has been done, proposed, or approved by a local historic preservation board?


    Mike Davenport, AIA

    Community Development

    Denver, Colorado



    Sent from Mail for Windows 10



  • 2.  RE: Storefront windows

    Posted 26 days ago
    The answer is no. I was on the Historic District Commission in Kalamazoo MI for 20 years.
    To do a better job here we need to see the existing situation and the drawing of the suggested change (pictures).
    Just the concept of changing the function of the storefront windows is wrong.
    Have they even read the Sec of the Interior Standards?


  • 3.  RE: Storefront windows

    Posted 26 days ago



    Thank you for your response. The local historic design guidelines, the Secretary of Interior Standards, and the storefront windows being a character-defining feature have all been raised regarding this proposal. Because so many restaurants are now opening up their front facades, it seemed worthwhile to do some research on what has been the experience of other historic boards with this type of request.


    Mike Davenport, AIA



    Sent from Mail for Windows 10



  • 4.  RE: Storefront windows

    Posted 23 days ago

    Contact Preservation Planner Marissa Moshier at the City of Orange, CA. They have done a great job with this issue, particularly at the award-winning Urth Café on the southwest quadrant of the Plaza at Chapman and Glassell.



    Robert Jay Chattel, AIA, President

    Chattel, Inc. | Historic Preservation Consultants

    13417 Ventura Blvd

    Sherman Oaks, CA 91423-3938

    office: 818-788-7954 x3

    mobile: 818-421-7167



     Los Angeles


    website | blog | facebook | instagram



  • 5.  RE: Storefront windows

    Posted 25 days ago
    You might want to reach out to the City of Boston's Back Bay Architectural Commission (BBAC) for advice.  The Back Bay is primarily a residential district but the principal shopping streets are also subject to review.  Key takeaway:  this is an 'architectural' district rather than a historic district, which allows leeway for creative signage, storefronts, etc.
    See https://www.boston.gov/historic-district/back-bay-architectural-district.

    Jack Glassman AIA, LEED AP
    Historical Architect
    National Park Service
    Charlestown MA


  • 6.  RE: Storefront windows

    Posted 15 days ago

    If you or any of your colleagues are a member of the National Alliance of Preservation Commissions, I recommend doing a search of the NAPC-L Listserv archive or putting out another call for information from the group. There were a couple conversations last fall about the installation of retractable storefronts due to COVID; it might be interesting to see how those cases worked out. In the end, I think it will come down to the design of the storefront. "Operable windows" can mean a lot of different things for storefronts. I've seen some interesting ones that might work with historic commercial buildings, but it all depends on the significance/character of the property.

    Good luck with your search!

    Barbara Howard Assoc. AIA
    Minneapolis MN


  • 7.  RE: Storefront windows

    Posted 13 days ago
    As long as we're on the subject of storefronts: Has anyone garnered "contributing" status to an existing historic district by exposing original, hidden cast iron columns and installing new glass and doors, per the original configuration?  (Note: second floor facade maintains original appearance.)--

    Nan Anderson, FAIA     

    Principal Dreamer





  • 8.  RE: Storefront windows

    Posted 11 days ago
    I have taken 1950’s (ugly) residential style limestone off a historic front in a local Hist. District in Downtown Kalamazoo MI.

    We restored what was left and added to it what was needed.

    Luckily, there was a twin storefront next to it that was more near original.

    Nelson Breech Nave, AIA, Architect
    269-207-3063 (cell)
    269-343-0040 (office)