Centuries-old buildings are often forced into one of two fates: physical deterioration or an identity crisis. That’s because too many restoration strategies focus only on keeping the structure standing and pay no attention to maintaining the appeal that turned that structure into a landmark. On the other hand, without physical rehabilitation many of these buildings would just fall apart and be torn down.

Historic structures are important to a region’s culture and identity and should be preserved as honestly as possible. To do so, builders must consider the best way to perform non-intrusive maintenance before a major overhaul becomes necessary. Once that happens, they must do their best to recreate the look and feel of the original facade and features.

Old buildings require special care in restoration.Old buildings require special care in restoration.

Preventative techniques preserve original features
Older structures can become fragile as time passes, particularly if the original materials are prone to erosion, moisture damage or other natural elements of decay. That’s why it’s necessary to use restorative techniques to bring those elements back to life while supplying them with an extra line of defense for the future. However, these methods must also be as minimalist as possible to promote the structure’s original identity.

Building protection measures from Sto Corp include liquid-applied finishes that prevent moisture infiltration and repel dirt and other debris. That keeps the facade looking fresh and maintains the outer line of defense against the elements.

“The first thing people notice about a building is its facade.”

Restoration can align new materials with traditional aesthetics
When an iconic building does require more extensive repair, the architect’s job is tricky: He or she must make the updates necessary to keep the building intact and performing at a high level but should do their best not to alter the structure’s visual appeal. That requires the latest in building materials as well as a keen eye for aesthetics.

Sto Corp also has a solution for that: versatile, high-performance, varied exterior stucco and other finishes. The first thing people notice about a building is its facade – if red brick is suddenly replaced with vinyl siding, that’s an abrupt and unwelcome shift. But the materials from Sto Corp can accurately mimic brick, limestone, granite and a range of other styles. That way, builders honor the building’s history while still providing a more durable and lasting facade.

In the best case scenario, builders can restore the original building materials, like what happened in the case of the Cherokee National Capitol Building. Builders painstakingly replaced the 150-year-old mortar and bricks over the course of six month, reported the Tahlequah Daily Press.

“We have restored a national landmark for the Cherokee people,” said Cherokee Nation principal chief Bill John Baker. “Our downtown Capitol building is our most iconic structure, and I am so proud we have brought it back to its original beauty.”

For this particular structure, the team had the necessary budget, supplies and time to accomplish those goals. But other buildings provide a bigger challenge. For those, it’s necessary to use the best available materials, like the ones from Sto Corp, to provide an authentic and long-lasting solution.