Technical Assistance

Below is an ever-growing list of resources, including numerous articles, research studies, and technical bulletins on a variety of topics to help commissions operate more effectively and proactively. Most articles are from NAPC’s quarterly member publication, The Alliance Review.

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National Alliance of Preservation Commissions has an extensive technical assistance library spanning over 35 years! Below is just a sample of the numerous articles, research studies, and technical bulletins that we offer on a variety of topics to help commissions operate more effectively and proactively. Most articles are from NAPC’s quarterly member publication, The Alliance Review.

Summary of Common Historic Preservation Terms
A summary of commonly used historic preservation terms developed by Commission Assistance & Mentoring Program (CAMP) Trainer Adrienne Burke for a CAMP in Austin, Texas in 2022.
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Krisana Park Pattern Book
Krisana Park is a unique and well-loved neighborhood [located in Denver, Colorado]. Its special mid-century character, from the streetscapes to the individual homes, has served long-time residents well and continues to attract newcomers. This Pattern Book was born out of a desire among neighbors to better understand what makes the neighborhood special so that those characteristics can be valued and maintained. The book provides a history and contextual description of the neighborhood and gives visual descriptions, accompanied by photographs, of the features that make it unique. The book will also answer common questions about maintenance issues and often-desired modifications, providing advice on how to make your home work for your family while also retaining the overall character of Krisana Park.
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Resources for Rural Communities
This one-page handout was developed for NAPC's event "Shared Challenges, Shared Solutions, Shared Vision: A Commission Roundtable Connection" and includes links to organizations that offer resources for rural communities.
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Design Review with Limited Resources
This document explores the pros and cons of methods that commissions without professional preservation staff use to experience the same type of resources that those with professional preservation staff enjoy.
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IRMA (Integrated Resource Management Applications)
The National Park Service has digitized and uploaded Historic Preservation Fund Grant products, making them readily available to the public. You can easily find examples from a number of broad fields, such as design guidelines, interpretive planning, and historic resource surveys.
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Windows Online Resources
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Windows Repairs
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Windows Myths
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Why Should Original Historic Windows be Preserved?
An NAPC publication, this is a practical list of reasons to preserve your historic windows. For more NAPC publications on repairing vs. replacing historic windows, follow the links below.
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What Replacement Windows Can’t Replace
The Real Cost of Removing Historic Windows: Published in the APT Bulletin: Journal of Preservation Technology, this article looks at the arguments surrounding replacement windows, and addresses a number of topics concerning such things as the cost of maintenance, sustainability, and energy savings.
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Why Say “No” to Vinyl Windows
Presented in a pamphlet by the Albany (NY) Landmark Advisory Commission, this document looks at a number of reasons why vinyl windows are a poor replacement for historic wood windows.
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Window Repair and Restoration Basics
This article was included in the Fall 2019 issue of The Alliance Review. It is an excerpt from “Considering the Repair, Retrofit and Replacement of Historic Windows” produced by Preservation Pennsylvania.
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Vinyl is Not Final
This article, published by the Kansas State Historical Society, provides information on the many downfalls of vinyl siding as a replacement for historic siding materials.
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Developing a Materials Evaluation Methodology (The Alliance Review)
This two part article looks at how to effectively address a number of concerns when evaluating the benefits of substitute materials. These concerns vary in topic, and include durability, price, and sustainability.
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“And, Where Possible, Materials” – Considering Alternative Materials (The Alliance Review)
Two well known preservation professionals, Sharon Ferraro and Bob , discuss whether alternative materials should be used and when.
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Regulating New Construction in Historic Districts: Contemporary Design (The Alliance Review)
This article reviews Standard 9, which deals with additions, exterior alterations, and infill projects, and looks at ways of effectively interpreting the standard.
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Growing Pains
Controlling Additions in Historic Neighborhoods (The Alliance Review): This article presents guidelines, used by the Metro Nashville Historic Zoning Commission, for how different types of additions could be applied to locally-designated buildings.
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New Exterior Additions to Historic Buildings (The Alliance Review)
This article talks about the improvements of and changes to the revised Preservation Brief 14, which deals with how to appropriately apply exterior additions.
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Sample Ordinances
This document looks at the cities of New York, Detroit, and New Orleans and their respective ordinances pertaining to demolition by neglect.
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Regulations to Prevent Demolitions & Avoid Taking
Published by the City of Dallas, this document provides the process by which an owner may apply for permission to tear down a neglected building, on what basis the ruling commission must act, and the process by which someone can appeal the commission’s decision.
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Establishing a Demolition by Neglect Ordinance (The Alliance Review)
This article covers the fundamental legal principles and key components of a demolition by neglect ordinance.
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Smart Codes in Your Community (The Alliance Review)
This report provides an overview of general laws and regulations that govern the use and reuse of existing buildings. The report also supplies examples of efforts to reduce the complexity of laws and regulations pertaining to existing buildings, and provides possible strategies to implement reinvestment in the existing building infrastructure.
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Cities “Get Smart” Without State Initiatives (The Alliance Review)
This article supplies information on the benefits of using Smart Codes – building codes meant to encourage alteration and reuse of existing buildings – when establishing or amending municipal building codes.
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Building Codes vs Preservation of Historic Property (The Alliance Review)
This article provides insight on how to implement present-day building codes for historic buildings.
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Federal Historic Preservation Laws
This handbook from the National Park Service provides an overview of all federal historic preservation laws.
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Assessing Economic Hardship Claims (The Alliance Review)
This article looks at the components of economic hardship claims and gives advice on how to evaluate the evidence presented within the claim.
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Local Preservation Ordinances (The Alliance Review)
This article looks at aspects of creating, amending, and reviewing preservation ordinances, as well as providing information on aspects of historic preservation and conservation overlay zones.
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For the Record: A Short Guide to Parliamentary Procedure
This document, published by the NAPC, provides a breakdown of proper public meeting procedure and how it applies to historic preservation commissions.
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Law and the Historic Preservation Commission
Published by Cultural Resources Partnership Notes, this article provides an overview of laws and legal actions pertaining to historic preservation commissions.
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Other Helpful Resources

A Guide to Researching the History of a Home: A thorough compilation of resources to guide you through researching the history of a property.

Asbestos Exposure Do’s and Don’ts: This page goes over the dangers of asbestos and where in older homes it could be found. It also lists Safety do’s and don’ts if you believe you have found asbestos.


As a member of the National Alliance of Preservation Commissions, you become part of a national network of historic preservation commissions, boards of architectural review, staff, local and state preservation nonprofits, and residents of historic districts who value their historic resources.

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