What Makes a Home Considered “Historic”?



Somehow over the years we have developed a reputation of being a type of “expert” in working on Historic Homes.


I have no idea how this happened.


The same way I suppose that if you search the term, a video of me pops up describing a bunch of lead paint-oriented items.


These types of reputational development scenarios are quite perplexing to me.


Since 1995 we have always had a knack for restoring these potentially intimidating structures which many steer clear from.


Restoring older homes, or anything related to them, is definitely NOT for the faint of heart.


As one example, speaking of “Hearts…”, recently while scrolling through an awesome Facebook Group that showcases items from Rhode Island’s past, I came across an old photo of 88 Benefit Street in Providence, RI from 1952.

Unbeknownst to me, Edgar Allen Poe’s love, Helen, lived here when he was seeing her (a fact which was shared amongst the group).

We ironically had just refinished the exterior of this home this past Spring.

A finished picture from our records of a similar angle, I think, is extremely interesting when viewing it next to the older one.

In both pictures you can see the RI State House as well as the Cathedral of St. John (Episcopal Diocese of Providence) in the background.

I believe this to be very neat stuff and an unsolicited, gentle reminder for me as to some of the awesome feelings associated with being fortunate enough to work day in and day out on historical homes such as this one.


This all being said, many folks often wonder what makes a home considered “historic” in the first place?


The answer is quite simple…


There are generally thought to be 2 qualifying factors.


One, is the home has to be at least 50 years old.


Folks from other parts of the world where their history, literally, goes back centuries, obviously may laugh at this, but in this country, this is the starting point.


Secondly, it must meet one of 4 qualifying factors:


–          Be associated with an important, historical event

–          Be associated with the life of a noteworthy individual

–          Be thought of as the embodiment of a particular architectural, historical style

–          Has provided or is likely to provide significant historical information


One of the reasons I have always enjoyed working on older homes is the pure idea of any of these factors in conjunction with something that is quite aged has consistently created this fantastic inner feeling inside of me, challenging to explain, but eerily magnetic nonetheless.

For me, one factor does not necessarily supersede the others.


For other folks though, they may have a passion for historical figures or historical types of architecture, etc.


I am hugely honored whenever someone puts their faith in us to work on homes of a historical nature in whatever the capacity may be.


Not only because there is often such a dramatic difference from ‘before’ we started working on the project in comparison to what it looks like when things are completed, but also because of the actual underlying historical significance of the home we are humbly working on to fix.



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