Research Question: This thesis intends to discover how and why architects make design decisions for projects in historic districts. Subquestions are based on the methods of architects; differing opinions between preservation and architectural professionals; and the inconsistent interpretation of standards and guidelines.
Results: The researcher was able to analyze each informant and position them on a self-defined design spectrum. A visual representation of this spectrum can be found in Appendix D.
Practical Implications: The results of this study show a conflict that prevents Standard 9 from both allowing the progression of contemporary architectural theory in historic areas, and requiring a distinction between contemporary and historic architectural fabric, which essentially alters the Standardʼs intended purpose. The two solutions given to communities are:
1. Acceptance of the Secretary of the Interiorʼs Standards as the Sole Guideline
2. Creation of Supplementary Guidelines based on the analysis of the data, the researcher recommends that the most “appropriate” approach to new additions and infill construction in historic districts is one that unites both a contemporary architecture of its time and takes cues from surrounding historic fabric and context.
Skerry, Alexandra D., "Interpreting the Standards: Design Professionals & Historicized Design" (2012). Historic Preservation Theses. 3.