chapter IV: DESIGN GUIDELINES
The Historic District Zoning Code, Section 112-53.A,
states The provisions of this Article shall be applied to all land,
buildings and structures which are viewed or may be viewed from a public
way within the boundaries of the West Chester Historic District
(italics added for emphasis). In practice, the HARB is less stringent
in its review of proposed alterations or new construction that are visible
only from an alley. For purposes of these guidelines and the HARBs
review of applications, facades that are only visible from an alley are
considered secondary facades, and facades that are visible from
streets and sidewalks are considered primary facades (Figure
32). The side walls of buildings are also considered primary facades,
unless the distance between buildings on adjacent lots is less than eight
A. GENERAL GUIDELINES
The following guidelines are applicable to all contributing
historic buildings within the West Chester Historic District, including
outbuildings such as carriage houses, stables, and garages.
1. Preserving Architectural
The historic architectural character of structures
should be maintained or restored.
2. Building Changes
Significant changes to a historic building take
place over time and are evidence of its history. Therefore, historically
significant changes should be preserved (Figure
3. Primary Facades and Secondary
The Design Guidelines are intended predominantly
to be applied to the primary facades. The guidelines will be less stringently
applied to secondary facades (See
4. Repair and Restoration
It is preferable to retain existing original materials
and significant components wherever possible, by stabilizing, repairing,
or matching them with compatible new materials rather than by replacing
Proposed changes to historic buildings should be
reversible whenever possible.
6. Deteriorated and Missing
Deteriorated or missing significant architectural
components should be replaced or recreated with materials that replicate
the historic design, color, texture, and other visual qualities of the
components. Efforts should be made to substantiate the original design
of the component through physical evidence or historic pictorial evidence
of the building. If the original design is unknown, a component that is
appropriate to the type and style of the buildings architecture
should be used.
Designs and changes approved or rejected elsewhere
in the Historic District do not necessarily act as a precedent for a design
or change under consideration. All proposals will be considered individually
based on their own merit and unique situation within the district.
8. Anchoring Devices
When attaching new items such as signs, sign brackets,
light fixtures, door bells, security equipment, building identification
numerals, awnings, flagpole brackets, and other devices to existing historic
building materials, care should be taken to minimize permanent damage
to the historic building materials. Attachment to plain wood surfaces
is preferable to attachment to masonry, because at a future date when
the item is no longer required, the anchor or fastener can be removed
and the resultant hole patched and repainted without harm. When attachment
to brick or stone masonry walls is necessary, anchors should be embedded
in mortar joints wherever the joint width accepts the anchor without damaging
the edges of the brick or stone. When existing brick is laid up with less
than 1/4 inch wide joints (buttered joints), anchors should
be placed in the brick at least 3/4 inch away from the mortar joint to
prevent damaging two bricks at each anchor (Figure
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