Calculating replacement costs for historical buildings can be complicated, compared to newer structures, because complete restoration of older residential or commercial properties may require the purchase of vintage construction materials. Efforts to preserve historic buildings have created some particularly challenging property valuation scenarios. Municipal officials and builders in many older American cities have attempted to retain their area's architectural heritage while still facilitating new construction to expand their city's residential and commercial capacity.
For example, in downtown Boston there are a number of properties that incorporate both historical and modern structures into a single commercial facility. At 101 Arch Street, a contemporary skyscraper was built on a property that contains several vintage structures, which were incorporated into the new building's design. Today, the external walls of the older buildings comprise the interior of the skyscraper's lobby. In this type of property, the older parts of the structure may contain vintage materials that are no longer commonly used in residential or commercial construction, which can add to repair and replacement costs.
Boston recently hosted a Traditional Building Exhibition and Conference, which brought together academics, architects, builders, property owners and other interested parties to learn from experts about classical design, historic preservation and adaptive use of older structures, as well as building restoration and maintenance. Journalists from leading publications about historical buildings were also present at the conference, including the editors of Period Homes, Traditional Buildings and Old House Journal. The event was part of a nationwide Traditional Building Conference Series that will host its next meeting in St. Paul, Minnesota, in late September.