Design Guidelines

The Guidelines are intended to act as a tool to help manage change and protect the City of New Orleans’ architectural and historical resources. They provide information, guidance and regulations to be followed by property owners, design professionals, contractors, the Historic District Landmark Commission (HDLC) Staff, the Commissions, the Architectural Review Committee (ARC) and the City of New Orleans with regard to historic resources.Given the unique nature of every property, they do not identify specific requirements for every proposed modification, but rather provide guidance on the principles used to review the project. They are intended as a supplement to, rather than as a substitute for, consultation with qualified architects, contractors, the HDLC Staff, the Commissions and the ARC.

It is recommended that applicants review the information in the Guidelines sections during the early stages of planning a project. Familiarity with this material can assist in moving a project forward quickly, saving both time and money.

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  1. Introduction
    • An introduction to the HDLC, its two commissions, the property rating system, application process, Architectural Review Committees, application types, Demolition by Neglect, preservation resources, and frequently asked questions.
  2. Historic Districts
  3. Building Types and Architectural Styles
    • A brief overview of building types such as the Creole Cottage, Townhouse, Center Hall Cottage, Shotgun, Bungalow and architectural styles such as Creole, Greek Revival, Queen Anne, Eastlake, Italianate, Colonial Revival ,Neoclassical, Edwardian, Arts and Crafts, Eclectic, and Exotic Revival.
  4. Exterior Maintenance
    • A step by step guide for recognizing and addressing maintenance issues common to historic structures including typical building maintenance, building envelope deterioration, property checklists, maintenance manual, termite prevention, safety precautions and building code.
  5. Exterior Roofing
    • A guide to roof forms and materials, dormer windows, gutters, downspouts, chimneys, ridge tiles, cresting, finials, ventilation systems, mechanical equipment, satellite dishes, antenna’s, solar collectors, skylights, and mobile telecommunications equipment.
  6. Exterior Woodwork
    • A discussion of woodwork including a glossary, common siding and shingle types, maintenance and repair guide termite issues, vinyl and aluminum siding guidelines, siding and shingle replacement and exterior painting.
  7. Masonry and Stucco
    • Types of masonry and stucco in New Orleans, components of masonry walls and piers, bricks, concrete masonry units and stone, mortar, stucco, typical masonry and stucco problems, repointing
  8. Windows and Doors
    • Window types and styles, historic window problem solving, vinyl and aluminum replacement windows, storm windows, door types and styles, historic door problem solving , garage doors, shutter types and materials, shutter hardware, window and door screens, storm doors, security doors and grilles, hurricane shutters and blinds
  9. Porches, Galleries and Balconies
    • Explanation of porches, galleries and balconies, stoops, stairs, handrails, newel posts, ornament, brackets, ceilings, vents, columns, posts, dividers, privacy screens, ornamental metals, lighting, security cameras, ceiling fans, air rights, ramps, enclosing porches, galleries and balconies and alternate materials.
  10. Site Elements
    • Guidelines for metal picket fences, wood picket fences, wood privacy fences, masonry walls, automatic gates, chain link fencing, pedestrian and vehicular gates, parking strips, parking pads, paving, landscape features, play equipment, small structures, carports, pergolas, mechanical equipment.
  11. Commercial Buildings
    • Commercial building types, institutional buildings, guidelines for storefronts, display windows, bulkheads, typical store doors, storefront canopies, abat-vent, signage, awnings, valences, illumination, LED signage, neon, raceways, accessibility ramps and lifts, lighting, security cameras, televisions, ceiling fans, building equipment, roll down security doors, parking, ATM machines, refuse.
  12. New Construction, Additions and Demolition
    • Guidelines for new construction, construction of additions, rooftop additions, accessory buildings, service buildings, carports, garages, relocation of buildings, demolition.
  13. Storm Preparedness
    • A review of steps owners can take to prevent storm damage and make their property more resilient. Building maintenance, roof system protection, window and door protection, porch, gallery and balcony protection, guidelines for elevating buildings, systems and equipment.
  14. Glossary
  15. Chapter 84
  16. Rules & Regulations
  17. Index

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