Office of Planning

DC Agency Top Menu

-A +A
Bookmark and Share

Design Guidelines

The Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB) and Historic Preservation Office (HPO) use written design standards and guidelines to review construction affecting historic properties in the District of Columbia. In some cases, HPRB and HPO also use the nationwide historic preservation standards and guidelines issued by the National Park Service (NPS).

Frequently Used Design Standards

For some of the most frequent types of work on historic buildings, specific design standards are included in the DC historic preservation regulations.

General Guidelines by Topic

Topical design guidelines provide essential guidance on many commonly encountered preservation issues. There are separate guidelines for building additions, new construction, commercial buildings, alteration of various building components, and site work.

Historic District Guidelines

Historic district design guidelines apply general principles to the specific architectural and urban characteristics of specific neighborhoods.

National Park Service Standards and Guidelines

The Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for preservation, and other NPS guidelines and technical briefs provide more detailed advice on how to resolve specific preservation problems.