Restoring, in a broad sense, refers to the process of returning something to its original state or condition, whether it is an object, a system, or even a relationship. This process could involve the repair or refurbishment of physical damage, the resolution of issues, or the re-establishment of original functions or features.

In the architectural conservation field, restoring has a specific definition and approach. According to the U.S. Secretary of Interior’s standards, “Restoration is the act or process of accurately depicting the form, features, and character of a property as it appeared at a particular period of time.” This process involves the removal of features from other periods in the property’s history and the reconstruction of missing features from the restoration period.

Restoring may also include sensitive and limited upgrading of mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems, along with any other code-required work, in order to restore the property’s functionality.

In the United States, restoration differs from preservation, or conservation, as it’s known in British English. While preservation aims to maintain a property in its existing state, resisting changes and deterioration, restoration allows for the removal of historic materials to accurately reflect a specific time period, which may not necessarily be the original or final time periods of the property.

Thus, restoring is a careful process aiming to reinstate a certain state or condition, especially significant in architectural and cultural contexts where it helps to protect and revive our shared heritage.

The Flood Co
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