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: 

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.





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:

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Most properties change over time; those changes that have acquired historic significance in their own right shall be retained and preserved.

  5. Distinctive features, finishes, and construction techniques or examples of craftsmanship that characterize a historic property shall be preserved.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Significant archeological resources affected by a project shall be protected and preserved. If such resources must be disturbed, mitigation measures shall be undertaken.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

Email: mailto:info@oldhousedesigns.com

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