Preservation Websites


Here are some useful websites to research topics on taking care of your historic home or commercial building.


Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana:

This is Indiana’s primary preservation organization. Check out the "How We Can Help" page which outlines the technical assistance, library access and other services available to property owners through this organization.


Old House Toolkit:

From An online starting point to exploring house restoration resources. Articles include: How to survive restoration, how to pick historic house colors, how to solve exterior paint problems on exterior woodwork and how to purchase architectural salvage.


Vinyl siding: What you need to know:

From An outline of the positive and negative aspects of vinyl siding from health issues to durability and maintenance issues. Craven writes that vinyl is today’s the most popular siding material “But wait! What the ads don’t tell you can cost you dearly.


Old House Restoration:

This website gives new old homeowners an overview of the decisions and process of conducting a restoration. The series of essays range from restoration timeline to why not to worry about minor plaster cracking.


Old House Journal:

Features nearly 100 articles from the magazine Old House Journal along with a reputable restoration services and products directory. This is another location to find Preservation Briefs from the National Parks Service. The print magazine is available at the Madison-Jefferson County Public Library.


Old House Web:

A website for enthusiasts of historic structures, it features an extensive directory of suppliers and how-to advice for exterior and interior design. It also features articles on historic structures and interior, exterior, and garden design.


This Old House:

This is the companion website to the This Old House PBS television program and magazine. Features “Homeowner Know-How” articles and a large library of video clips from the television program.


John Leeke’s Historic HomeWorks:

Preservation consultant John Leeke shares his expertise on home restoration. Forums, seminars, library, reports.


Indiana Historic Architecture:

This site is devoted to the appreciation, restoration and preservation of great Indiana landmarks. The Indiana Historic Architecture Home Page spotlights historic architecture and neighborhoods throughout all of Indiana. Here you will find an extensive photo gallery—over 500 photos—of historic architecture, with more being added all the time.


Preservation Briefs


Preservation Briefs provide easy-to-read, in-depth guidance on both technology and the theory of preserving, rehabilitating and reusing of historic structures. The National Parks Service Heritage Preservation Services Division has published 44 of these briefs covering issues from conserving energy in historic structures to repair of historic wood windows. These briefs, written by experts in the field, are the basis for national preservation guidelines. The briefs are available online from the National Parks Service.


Tax Credits


There are numerous tax incentives for fixing up old structures. Here are introductions to two such programs. To qualify for these programs, projects must follow the U.S. Secretary of the Interior standards which are outlined in the Preservation Briefs and must be certified by the state of Indiana in a formal review process. This review process is separate from those conducted by local historic district review commissions.


Credits for income-producing properties

Income tax credits are the principal governmental subsidy available for privately owned and funded historic preservation activities. Both the federal and state governments offer a Rehabilitation Investment Tax Credit equaling 20 percent of rehabilitation costs for qualified work at income-producing properties that are certified historic buildings. A net subsidy equaling 40 percent of qualified rehabilitation costs may be yielded by participation in both programs. Eligible properties include commercial buildings, factories, or even old houses but they must be income producing, such as rental properties.


Credits for owner-occupied private residences

The Residential Historic Rehabilitation Credit is available to Indiana state income taxpayers who undertake certified rehabilitations of historic buildings that are principally used and occupied by a taxpayer as that taxpayer’s residence. The State incentive allows a taxpayer to claim a state income tax credit for 20 percent of the total qualified rehabilitation or preservation cost of a project. The Indiana property must be at least fifty (50) years old, must be listed on the Indiana Register of Historic Sites and Structures and must be owned and occupied as the principal residence by the taxpayer.




For more information visit the Indiana Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology tax credits website


Exterior Building Care




Flemming, Ronald Lee. Façade Stories: Changing Faces of Main Street Storefronts and How to Care for Them. New York: Hasting House, 1982.

This book looks at how 19th century commercial structures have survived, been changed, rediscovered and reinterpreted. It provides dozens of case studies to support its conclusions, for example showing how encapsulating buildings in tin siding destroyed appearance and occasionally the structure of historic buildings across the nation.


Foulks, William G. Historic Building Facades: the Manual for Maintenance & Rehabilitation. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1997.

Understanding and caring for the historic facades is a challenge that this book outlines. It starts with how to create a maintenance plan, then analyzes the specific types of materials and construction from brick and mortar to cast iron and sheet metal. Each article is written by specialists in their field.


Hutchins, Nigel. Restoring Houses of Brick & Stone. Toronto: Van Nortstrand Reinhold, 1982.

A practical guide for inspecting, maintaining, repairing and constructing with brick and stone in historic structures. This volume also touches on the use of masonry in fireplaces, landscaping, building additions and the proper tools and historic mortar mixes.


Johnson, Ed. Old House Woodwork Restoration: How to Restore Doors, Windows, Walls, Stairs and Decorative Trim to Their Original Beauty. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1983.

Due to painting and maintenance, wood trim and siding is an under-appreciated aspect of the historic home in the 21st century. This volume details how the home’s wooden elements were originally made and how to repair and refinish the woodwork.


London, Mark. Masonry: How to Care for Old and Historic Brick and Stone. Washington: Preservation Press, 1988.

Methods for preserving a masonry building’s character by identifying types of brick and stone and diagnosing and repairing masonry problems. It also examines how to clean and repaint brick and stone as well as finding and treating moisture problems.


Moss, Roger W., ed. Paint in America: The Colors of Historic Buildings. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1994

Did they really use that gaudy color in the 1840s? This book answers this question and more. It details the use of paint color and technology on historic structures through case studies and hands-on methods for paint analysis, restoration, and painting techniques.


New York Landmarks Conservancy. Repairing Old and Historic Windows: A Manual for Architects and Homeowners. Washington: Preservation Press, 1992.

Old windows are often the first fixtures to be replaced in an historic structure. This is a very detailed volume that shows how to evaluate and repair a wide range of window problems. Also guidelines and procedures for replacing and rehabilitating historic windows.