Historic Building Specialists
Residential, Commercial, ‡ Municipal
About Old House Designs
Old House Designs is a historic preservation consulting and cultural resource management firm based in Palestine, Texas. Old House Designs offers a full range of consulting services in the management of historic resources for clients throughout Texas and the United States. We provide Historic Preservation Services including:
Historic Building Assessments
Cultural Resource Management
Historic Resource Surveys
Main Street Program Management
Municipal Historic Preservation Office Management
The Old House Designs Team
Neely Plumb, Paul Priestner, Norman Alston, and Peggy Riddle make up the Old House Designs team. Neely, Norman, and Peggy have worked together on various historic preservation projects since the 1990's and have worked with Paul since 2007.
Neely Plumb is the Principal of Old House Designs in Palestine, Texas. Neely has over 25 years experience in the Historic Preservation field. Neely is highly proficient at sorting out and identifying the development of a historic building over time and identifying a structure’s significantly altered or missing historic elements. Neely's projects have won awards from local municipalities and preservation organizations as well as the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Neely is known for returning houses and buildings to their period of significance while being code compliant and accessible. This is accomplished without compromising a building's historic integrity or environment.
Paul Priestner is the Principal of Nostalgic Timbercraft in Palestine, Texas. Paul is THE Historic Preservation Artisan. Paul's skills in constructing new "old" structures, deconstructing, reconstructing, rehabilitating, and restoring historic structures are unequalled. Paul uses the historically correct methods, materials, and techniques to rehab or restore a historic structure and its architectural elements. Paul replicates historic doors, windows, and missing architectural elements using salvaged, old-growth long leaf yellow pine or other matching and compatible historic lumber from historic structures, sites, and suppliers. Paul also uses salvaged matching masonry elements and lime-based mortar and plaster to repair and/or replace the missing elements. Paul is known for building authentic mortise and tenon timber frame structures from historic timbers and building replication colonial era furniture.
Norman Alston is Principal of Norman Alston Architects in Dallas, TX. Norman has assisted clients in a wide variety of building types, including commercial, educational, healthcare, religious and residential. Over the past several years, Norman has been especially devoted to developing skills necessary for the successful preservation of historic and cultural resources. Norman has been active in research, documentation, training, education, fundraising, non-profit organizations, community activism and other activities so commonly associated with successful preservation efforts. Norman has experienced first-hand the complexity typical of historic projects and has sought to become a resource to help clients simplify the process and to more confidently address the multitude of issues before them. This role has expanded to his non-historic projects as well. Now, most of Norman's clients come to them with needs that present an unusual degree of technical or regulatory complexity.
Peggy Riddle is the
Principal of Cornerstone Heritage Preservation Services in Dallas, TX.
For over thirty years,
has been working in the
field of historic preservation and cultural resources management and has
directed and managed nationally recognized projects, including the
restoration of the Hall of State in Fair Park.
Riddle served as the
Historic Preservation Manager for the City of Grapevine, Texas from
September 1999 to December 2004. While in Grapevine,
oversaw the restoration of the Palace Theater, completing a $2.5 million
capital campaign, and Nash Farm, an 1880 historic farmhouse. From 1994 to
served as the Assistant Director and Learning Center Director for the
Legends of the Game, Baseball Museum, Texas Rangers Baseball Club, located
at the Ballpark in Arlington.
was the Executive
Director of the Heritage Farmstead Museum in Plano, Texas from 1990 to 1993
and the Director of Public Programs and Operations for the Dallas Historical
Society from 1979 to 1990.
has also served as an associate editor and contributor for Legacies: a
History Journal for Dallas and North Central Texas.
A Commitment to Authenticity
At OLD HOUSE DESIGNS, we produce Local and National Award Winning Projects. We work closely with the Texas Historical Commission, the National Park Service, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Since 1981, we have had a commitment to maintain the highest standards of true preservation practice as outlined in The Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitating Historic Buildings.
The Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitating Historic Buildings:
A property shall be used for its historic purpose or be placed in a new use that requires minimal change to the defining characteristics of the building and its site and environment.
The historic character of a property shall be retained and preserved. The removal of historic materials or alteration of features and spaces that characterize a property shall be avoided.
Each property shall be recognized as a physical record of its time, place, and use. Changes that create a false sense of historical development, such as adding conjectural features or architectural elements from other buildings, shall not be undertaken.
Most properties change over time; those changes that have acquired historic significance in their own right shall be retained and preserved.
Distinctive features, finishes, and construction techniques or examples of craftsmanship that characterize a historic property shall be preserved.
Deteriorated historic features shall be repaired rather than replaced. Where the severity of deterioration requires replacement of a distinctive feature, the new feature shall match the old in design, color, texture, and other visual qualities and, where possible, materials. Replacement of missing features shall be substantiated by documentary, physical, or pictorial evidence.
Chemical or physical treatments, such as sandblasting, that cause damage to historic materials shall not be used. The surface cleaning of structures, if appropriate, shall be undertaken using the gentlest means possible.
Significant archeological resources affected by a project shall be protected and preserved. If such resources must be disturbed, mitigation measures shall be undertaken.
New additions, exterior alterations, or related new construction shall not destroy historic materials that characterize the property. The new work shall be differentiated from the old and shall be compatible with the massing, size, scale, and architectural features to protect the historic integrity of the property and its environment.
New additions and adjacent or related new construction shall be undertaken in such a manner that if removed in the future, the essential form and integrity of the historic property and its environment would be unimpaired.
Sustainable Development is Recycling and Preserving Historic Buildings
The preservation of historic houses, buildings, and their materials is synonymous with Sustainable Development. Too many historic houses and buildings have been demolished and still more are being demolished every day. Usually all that is left is a cleared lot and the debris taken to the landfill.
When all alternatives to save them have been exhausted, we recommend that they either be relocated or deconstructed. Deconstruction saves valuable salvage for the houses and buildings for rehabilitation or restoration.
Relocation is a viable alternative to demolition, although we do not recommend relocation for buildings that are not endangered.
Rather than demolishing historic structures, relocating or deconstructing them saves our history by rehabilitating the structure in a safer environment or reusing the salvaged architectural elements to rehab other historic structures, thereby being an environmentally sound practice.
Tasteful American Architecture
Home Page Services Residential Preservation Commercial Preservation
Authentic Old House Designs New Old Houses Contact