It surprises me to see the number of misconceptions and mistakes people make in the care of older buildings. Many of our church projects include work on older buildings. Some are historic structures that are well-maintained and cherished landmarks. But just as often, we work with old buildings that have been taken for granted. Owners assume the old structure will function perfectly with little or no attention, responding only to immediate problems.
Recently, I asked my colleagues to brainstorm a list of the best and worst things we see happen to old buildings. Since we work with a wide range of congregations and institutions, we are asked to evaluate buildings of all varieties and in all kinds of conditions. Sometimes a problem is identified that can be directly traced to a bad decision or outright neglect. Too often, problems are caused by well-intended, but damaging actions taken when someone tried an earlier fix.
I assembled these into a list of historic preservation tips. We're calling it "The Care and Feeding of Your Historic Buildings - And How To Avoid Costly Mistakes." Whether you are considering an expansion or renovation program, or even if you just want some pointers, we hope this will be a good resource.
Of course, we can't anticipate every condition, so give me a call or e-mail if you have a specific issue or question. And remember, bulldozing should only be a last resort!