Reconstruction

Reconstruction is defined as the act or process of depicting, by means of new construction, the form, features, and detailing of a non-surviving site, landscape, building, structure, or object for the purpose of replicating its appearance at a specific period of time and in its historic location.

Standards for Reconstruction

  1. Reconstruction will be used to depict vanished or non-surviving portions of a property when documentary and physical evidence is available to permit accurate reconstruction with minimal conjecture, and such reconstruction is essential to the public understanding of the property.
  2. Reconstruction of a landscape, building, structure, or object in its historic location will be preceded by a thorough archeological investigation to identify and evaluate those features and artifacts which are essential to an accurate reconstruction. If such resources must be disturbed, mitigation measures will be undertaken.
  3. Reconstruction will include measures to preserve any remaining historic materials, features, and spatial relationships.
  4. Reconstruction will be based on the accurate duplication of historic features and elements substantiated by documentary or physical evidence rather than on conjectural designs or the availability of different features from other historic properties. A reconstructed property will re-create the appearance of the non-surviving historic property in materials, design, color, and texture.
  5. A reconstruction will be clearly identified as a contemporary re-creation.
  6. Designs that were never executed historically will not be constructed.

Reconstruction

When a contemporary depiction is required to understand and interpret a property's historic value (including the re-creation of missing components in a historic district or site); when no other property with the same associative value has survived; and when sufficient historical documentation exists to ensure an accurate reproduction, Reconstruction may be considered as a treatment.

The Guidelines for the Treatment of Historic Properties illustrate the practical application of these treatment standards to historic properties. These Guidelines are also available in PDF format.

The Guidelines for the Treatment of Cultural Landscapes apply these treatment standards to historic cultural landscapes.