Community Heritage Preservation Glossary

Glossary of Community Heritage Preservation Terms
Term Definition
Archaeological Site A bounded area of real property containing archaeological deposits or features that is defined, in part, by the character and location of such deposits or features.
Convento A place or cloister where clergy reside apart from others. In Santa Barbara, there was a convento at the Presidio (1788) so the priests could have a place to live before the Mission was finished (1820).
by Neglect
The destruction of a building through abandonment or lack of maintenance.
District A geographic area which possesses a significant concentration, linkage, or continuity of sites, buildings, areas, structures, or objects which are united historically, culturally, or aesthetically by plan, history, or physical development.
Historic Context An organizing structure for interpreting history that groups information about historical resources sharing a common theme, geographical area, or chronology. The development of such contexts is a foundation for decisions regarding the planning, identification, evaluation, registration, and treatment of historical resources based upon comparative historic significance.
Historic District A geographically definable area with a significant concentration of buildings, structures, sites, spaces, or objects unified by past events, physical development, design, setting, materials, workmanship, sense of cohesiveness, or related historical and aesthetic associations. The significance of a district may be recognized through listing in a local, state or national landmarks register and may be protected legally through enactment of a local landmark district ordinance administered by a landmarks district board or commission.
Historic Integrity The ability of a resource to convey its historical significance.
Historic Resources Survey The process of systematically identifying, researching, photographing and documenting historical resources within a defined geographic area.
Historic Archaeology The study of the cultural remains of literate societies, including excavated material.
Integrity The ability of a resources to convey its historical or archaeological significance.
Landmark District See Historic district.
Landmarks Register A listing of buildings, structures, sites, districts and objects designated for historical, architectural, or other special significance that carries protection for listed properties.
National Register criteria The federally established standards for evaluating the eligibility of properties for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places.
National Register Eligible A historical or archaeological resource considered eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places by the acceptance of the State Historic Resources Commission of the formal nomination of the resource.
National Register of Historic Places The official inventory of districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects significant in American history, architecture, archaeology, and culture which is maintained by the Secretary of the Interior under the authority of the Historic Sites Act of 1935 (as amended), and the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 (as amended).
Object Entities that are primarily artistic or are relatively small in scale and simply constructed, such as a statue or fountain.
Point of Historical Interest A state historical resources registration program established in 1965 which provides official recognition for historical resources that are significant at a county or regional level, but do not qualify for designation as California Registered Historical Landmarks.
Preservation Saving from destruction or deterioration old and historic buildings, sites, structures, and objects and providing for their continued use by means of restoration, rehabilitation, or adaptive reuse. It is the act or process of applying measures to sustain the existing form, integrity, and material of a building or structure, and the existing form and vegetative cover of a site. It may include stabilization work, where necessary, as well as ongoing maintenance of the historic building materials.
Reconstruction The act or process of reproducing by new construction the exact form and detail of a vanished building, structure or object, or a part thereof, as it appeared at a specific period of time.
Rehabilitation The act or process of returning a property to a state of utility through repair or alteration which makes possible an efficient contemporary use while preserving those portions or features of the property which are significant to its historical, architectural, and cultural values.
Renovation Modernization of an old or historic building or structure that may produce inappropriate alterations or eliminate important features and details.
Restoration The act or process of accurately recovering the form and details of a property and its setting as it appeared at a particular period of time by means of the removal of later work or by the replacement of missing earlier work.
Site A location of a significant event, a prehistoric or historic occupation or activity, or a building or structure, whether standing, ruined, or vanished, where the location itself possesses historical, cultural, or archaeological value regardless of the value of any existing building, structure or object. A site need not be marked by physical remains if it is the location of a prehistoric or historic event and if no buildings, structures or objects marked it at that time.
State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO) The person appointed by the Governor to serve as the Chief Administrative Officer of the Office of Historic preservation and Executive Secretary of the State Historical Resources Commission. The SHPO administers state and federally mandated historic preservation programs under the authority of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 (as amended).
State Historic Resources Inventory Compilation of all identified and evaluated historical resources maintained by the SHPO. It includes all those historical resources evaluated in surveys that were conducted in accordance with criteria established by the SHPO and were thereafter determined eligible for, or listed in, the various federal, state or local historical registration lists.
State Historical Building Code (SHBC) The building code which applies to all qualified historical structures, districts, and sites designated under federal, state or local authority. It provides alternatives to the Uniform Building Code in cases consistent with building regulations for the rehabilitation, preservation, restoration, or relocation of qualified historic structures designated as historic buildings.
State Historical Landmarks The state historical resources registration program created in 1949 to recognize historical resources with regional and statewide significance to the history of California.
Streetscape The distinguishing character of a particular street as created by its width, degree of curvature, paving materials, design of the street furniture, and forms of surrounding buildings.
Style A type of architecture distinguished by special characteristics of structure and ornament and often related in time; also, a general quality of distinctive character.
Tax Incentive A tax reduction designed to encourage private investment in historic preservation and rehabilitation projects.
Vernacular Structures designed and built without the aid of an architect or trained designer; buildings whose design is based on ethnic, social, or cultural traditions rather than on an architectural philosophy.