THC Recommendations: Buildings

Initial THC Recommendations for CHCs packet was issued in 2016. The following revised recommendations were shared via the CHC listserv in 2020 to help CHCs resume activity that could be accomplished within social distancing guidelines. This revised set of recommendations highlights basic work that CHC chairs can address or delegate to fellow appointees.  

Develop Awareness of Historic Buildings

Develop a better understanding of historic buildings by studying related THC web material. This information will help appointees when considering the importance of historic buildings in your county.

  • Comal CHC appointees assess conditions of RTHLs in the county.Familiarize appointees with the technical meaning of “historic.” Property must possess three essential attributes: sufficient age, a relatively high degree of physical integrity, and historical significance. 
  • Review criteria and policies related to Recorded Texas Historic Landmarks (RTHL) and the National Register of Historic Places (NR).
  • Visit THC Atlas and review entries for local historic properties. Appointees should familiarize themselves with the range of historic properties in the county. 
  • Find out if your county (or cities in your county) have local historic designation programs. Review the parameters of these programs and determine what role, if any, has been assigned to the CHC.
  • Identify the individuals and preservation organizations in your county that advocate and/or rehabilitate historic buildings.

Navigate Preservation Issues With the THC's Help

Make use of THC staff expertise when working with historic buildings. THC website material references state and federal policies related to historic property. THC regional reviewers can help you understand these regulatory processes, the role CHCs may have in regulatory reviews, and preservation standards applied.

  • THC architectural reviewers take time to answer questions about historic buildings. Identify the THC regional reviewers for your county--one for architecture and one archeology. Contact the architectural reviewer with questions about historic properties. Visit the Contact Us webpage and locate the Contacts by County table. 
  • Respond to CHC correspondence from THC and federal agencies about proposed projects and reviews. If the information is confusing, call the contact person identified in the correspondence and ask for clarification. You can also call your county’s THC architectural reviewer.
  • Identify threats to historic properties in the county and notify your county’s architectural reviewer, particularly if demolition is proposed. Threats include development or potential development, encroachment from adjacent properties, structural instability, removal or potential removal of character defining features, non-compatible additions, and demolition.
  • Familiarize appointees with the various state and federal reviews connected to historic property. You don’t need to know the details at this level, which is why we created a preservation policies cheat sheet that overviews reviews in which CHCs may have a role. Even a minimal awareness is enough to know what circumstances may potentially trigger regulatory reviews. 
  • Familiarize appointees with Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Treatment of Historic Properties, especially the Standards for Rehabilitation, which are applied to most project reviews on which CHCs are asked to comment. 

Connect the Public to Historic Buildings

Educate the public about historic buildings in your county and their role in local history. Share THC web material about historic property, standards of care, and successful rehabilitations.

  • Lubbock CHC uses Facebook to highlight the history of the county's historic sites.Promote historic districts and buildings through newspaper articles, websites, social media, and publications, like marker brochures, cemetery maps, and walking/driving tours. Consider citing text from marker and RTHL narratives and NR nominations. 
  • Share THC webpages that highlight successful historic rehabilitation projects: Texas Preservation Trust Fund projects, certified tax credit projects, and courthouse restoration projects
  • Provide historic property owners with web information about the Standards of Rehabilitation and potential funding sources for historic properties. Standards link above; funding by type here and tax incentives here
  • Identify historic buildings and sites for potential virtual tours. If able, find partners who can develop or help the CHC develop virtual tours to be posted online.