Historical Restoration FAQ
Q: “How does the maintenance of historic buildings differ from that of modern buildings?”
A: Depending on the specific situation, there can be great differences. Maintenance of historic properties typically involves a greater awareness of the historic fabric of the building, with concurrent working processes that are designed to protect and preserve the surfaces for the future. This involves the use of minimally invasive procedures by experienced technicians trained in the application process, so that the historic patina is not damaged. Where the aim with modern buildings is to maintain the ‘as new’ appearance of the surfaces, with historic structures or sculpture, the aim can be to preserve the surfaces ‘as is’ or restore them to their former glory.
Q: “What are the different technical approaches one can take to preserve historical landmarks?”
A: When faced with the degradation of a historic building or sculpture, one must choose between conservation, preservation and restoration. Often, this choice is made by the architect or conservator of the project. Which route is taken depends on many factors including, but not limited to the current state of the building, if it is a public or private property, whether it is a designated historic landmark, etc.
- Conservation is the least invasive treatment, where the current state of the historic fabric is treated to stop further damage and protected from further degradation
- Preservation requires more steps and seeks to repair damage while at the same time preserving as much of the current state of the historic surfaces as possible.
- Restoration is the complete repair of the building with the aim of returning it to the original state, and involves the repair of damage and removal of patinas which are preserved in the previous treatments.
Q: “Do you have the resources to help restore a historic building or sculpture?”
A: Stuart Dean has a great deal of experience in working with the restoration of historic properties. When the project requires expertise, we have the resources to assist at every level, from working with architects and conservators in developing specifications, developing operating procedures with the general contractor and project managers to just helping the owners of historic properties understand the project’s scope and detail. Starting from the writing of specifications, protocols and procedures through the selection of ‘least invasive’ materials and processes, to the training and documentation of work required by these projects, our employees on every level of the organization have the knowledge and experience to get the job done efficiently.
Q: “How does Stuart Dean care for the restored surfaces after the restoration is complete?”
A: Once a historic structure or sculpture has undergone conservation, it can be maintained either in-house or through a maintenance contract. If the service is to be performed in-house, the janitorial company will have to follow written procedures outlining the correct process to avoid damaging the historic fabrics recently restored. Stuart Dean can provide such guidance, but cannot guarantee how well the methods will be followed.
For more information on Stuart Dean’s historical preservation services, please call (800)322-3180.