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Historic Hawai‘i Foundation’s Preservation Resource Center (PRC) provides people with the help they need to save the places they love. If you have a question relating to preservation submit it to our expert! Email us your question today!
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Previously answered questions by our experts

I just bought an old house and want to research its history. How do I start?

By Katie Kissling, Field Services Program Manager Conducting historical research for your home can seem initially overwhelming, but once you know where to start it can become a fun and enjoyable project. You should start with a clear vision of what you want to know: Who built the house and when? What did the original [...]

What Should I Consider When Designing and Installing Solar Panels on My Historic Home?

Most Americans are embracing sustainable environmental practices such as making modifications to buildings to enhance their energy efficiency.  However, it is not always easy to install solar panels on historic buildings. The standards and guidelines used when making alterations to historic buildings, codified as the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic [...]

My historic locks and other hardware don’t always work and some of it is missing. What should I do?

By Glenn Mason, AIA One way to look at door, window and cabinet hardware is as the jewelry of a building.  Retaining the original hardware of a historic residence—or installing period-appropriate hardware when the original hardware is missing or deteriorated—is the only way to properly dress the house.  It is surprising how often original locksets [...]

How Can I Remove Graffiti From My Historic Masonry Building and Prevent It From Reoccurring?

Graffiti is not only an irritating eyesore and source of visual blight in our community, but it can be destructive for historic masonry buildings. The key to eliminating graffiti—and preventing it from reoccurring—is to remove graffiti as soon as it appears. Spray paints are the most common type of graffiti, but solvents and paint strippers [...]

How can I build a compatible addition to a historic building?

If designed poorly, a new exterior addition to a historic building has the potential to damage or destroy significant materials and can change the building’s character.  An addition should be considered only after it has been determined that the new use cannot be met by altering non-significant, or secondary, interior spaces. If the new use [...]

How Can I Provide ADA Access to a Historic Property?

It is important to ensure, to the greatest extent possible, that people with disabilities are provided access to historic resources. Done well, this access can be provided in ways that do not detract from or diminish the character-defining features or integrity of the structure. This is usually achievable by altering secondary spaces, areas that have [...]