Rehabilitation and
RestoRation Guidelines
Introduction to the Guidelines

C     ommon terms used in this manual                   The Guidelines apply to all proper-     The Guidelines emphasize
      are shall, shall not, should and           ties within the locally designated districts   preservation of existing
                                                                                                building details, materials
should not. The use of the terms shall           regardless of age or architectural style.
                                                                                                and overall plan rather than
and shall not signifies that property own-       For non-historic buildings (proper-            complete remodeling.
ers are required to follow the guideline         ties that are less than fifty years of age
as written. The use of the terms should          or those that have been substantially          Thus terms such as repair,
or should not signifies that it is most ap-      altered), the Commission may apply             retain, maintain are widely
propriate for property owners to follow          the Guidelines with more flexibility. In       used throughout the Guide-
the meaning and intent of a guideline as         reviewing work affecting non-historic
written, however the Commission will             buildings, the Commission’s approach           To repair, retain and maintain
be more flexible on these items. These           is to maintain or enhance the building’s       architectural features and
terms also provide guidance as to how            relationship and compatibility with adja-      materials is preferred to their
the Commission will generally approve            cent historic buildings and streetscapes.      replacement.
or disapprove a COA application.                        Property owners are encouraged
                                                                                                To protect the overall charac-
      Representatives from the neighbor-         to refer to the Guidelines when plan-
                                                                                                ter of the districts is the goal
hood reviewed and prepared the Guide-            ning new construction projects, exterior       of the preservation ordinance
lines. They were then presented to the           rehabilitation, and when performing            and the Guideline document.
Preservation Commission for approval,            everyday maintenance. The Guidelines
and finally adopted by the City Council.         are in alphabetical order and include
      The Guidelines are first concerned         illustrated information on common
with the primary facades of buildings.           rehabilitation questions, recommenda-
Primary facades as defined in these              tions for maintaining the site and setting
Guidelines refers to all street facing           of the neighborhood and guidance for
facades and front facades, including             new construction. More information
those that face a side lot line. The fronts      on all these subjects is available. The
and visible sides of a building usually          Suggested Reading list appended offers
contain its most defining features such          many sources.
as porches, main entrances, and decora-
tive details. The street or sidewalk is
also where the public most often views a
       Work to the rear of a building is
usually reviewed with more flexibility
since it is generally not visible due to
the building’s placement on the lot or
screening by landscape or fences. The
rear of a building is the most appropriate
location for the construction of additional
living space or other major alterations.
Buildings on corner lots are the excep-
tion. Because the rear of a building on a
corner lot is visible from the street, it will
be reviewed with the same provisions for
the sides of buildings.

                              City of Aurora - Historic Districts and Landmarks Guidelines
Rehabilitation and Restoration Guidelines

T     he City of Aurora’s historic neigh-
      borhoods are comprised of unique
architectural stock. The following
Guidelines are designed to both encour-
age and promote the sensitive restora-
tion, renovation, and preservation of
individual Historic Landmarks and prop-
erties located within Aurora’s Historic
Districts. This section of the Guidelines
addresses rehabilitation and restoration
work to existing buildings. Sections
that address New Construction, Site and
Setting, Signage, and Demolition and
Moving Procedures follow.

                           City of Aurora - Historic Districts and Landmarks Guidelines
Architectural Details and Features

A. Architectural details and features shall                                                Architectural details and
   not be removed or altered if original                                                   features include but are not
                                                                                           limited to such character
   to the building.
                                                                                           defining features as ginger-
                                                                                           bread, vergeboards, eaves,
B. Architectural details and features                                                      brackets, dentils, friezes,
   should be repaired rather than re-                                                      cornices, soffits and fascias,
   placed.                                                                                 moldings, hood molds, trim,
                                                                                           columns, pilasters, balus-
                                                                                           ters, clapboard, shingle and
C. Architectural details and features shall
                                                                                           stucco surfaces, rafter tails,
   not be covered or concealed with                                                        spindles, ornament, quoins,
   vinyl, aluminum or other artificial                                                     or any decorative element.
                                                                                           Buildings display a wide
D. Architectural details and features                                                      variety of architectural
                                                                                           features and detailing. These
   should not be added unless there is
                                                                                           are essential in defining a
   physical, or historical evidence that                                                   property’s architectural style
   such features were original to the                                                      and period of construction.
   building. These features should match
   the original in materials, scale, loca-                                                 Original architectural details
   tion, proportions, form, and profiles.                                                  and features need to be pre-
                                                                                           served and maintained.

E. Architectural details and features if
   deteriorated beyond repair, should be
   replaced. The new materials should
   match the original as closely as pos-

                                                                                             Hood Molding


  Verge Boar d


                            City of Aurora - Historic Districts and Landmarks Guidelines
 Architectural Details and Features

                                      - Italian Cupola

 - Q u e e n A n n e T ur r et

                                 - T udor Revival T imbering

City of Aurora - Historic Districts and Landmarks Guidelines

                                                                                            Canvas awnings were ap-
A. Awnings shall be of canvas, or similar                                                   plied to windows, doors, and
   woven material, and compatible with                                                      porches to provide shade
   the style of the house. Metal, fiber-                                                    during the summer. Awnings
   glass, or vinyl awnings shall not be                                                     fell out of favor following the
                                                                                            introduction of air condition-

B. Awnings should not cover or conceal                                                      The application of canvas
   significant architectural details such as                                                awnings is appropriate for
   window hood molding.                                                                     historic dwellings, but may
                                                                                            not be appropriate for all
                                                                                            locations. Examples of poor
C. Awnings should be of colors to com-
                                                                                            awning locations include
   pliment the dwelling.                                                                    decorative windows such as
                                                                                            oriels, fanlights, and those
D. Awnings should fit the opening to                                                        with prominent decorative
   which they are applied. Rectangu-                                                        glazing.
   lar openings should have straight
                                                                                            Modern awnings, often made
   across shed type awnings, not bubble
                                                                                            from metal, fiberglass, or
   or curved forms. Arched openings                                                         vinyl bear little resemblance
   should have curved or rounded, not                                                       to historic canvas awnings
   bubble, awnings to match the opening.                                                    and are not appropriate.

E. Awnings should be attached with care
   to prevent unnecessary damage of
   original details and materials.

F. Awnings with illumination shall not be
   used.                                           Awnings should r einfor ce
                                                   openings, not cover featur es
G. Awnings should not be used at win-
   dows with shutters.

                                               Awnings should fit the opening to
                                               which they ar e applied

                             City of Aurora - Historic Districts and Landmarks Guidelines

Chimneys often feature            A. Chimneys shall not be removed or
decorative masonry work              altered if original.
or designs that are part of
a dwelling’s architectural
character. Many exterior
                                  B. Chimneys shall be cleaned and re-
wall chimneys are essential          pointed in accordance with Masonry
features to a dwelling’s over-       Guidelines below.
all design.
                                  C. Chimneys which require rebuilding
These are typically found in
                                     shall be rebuilt to match the original
Queen Anne or Tudor Revival
styles. Some less decorative
                                     design in materials, colors, shape,
chimneys have simple details         mortar profile, and masonry pattern.
such as banding or corbeling.
Chimneys need to be main-         D. Chimneys should have clay, slate, or
tained and preserved in              stone caps. Concrete and metal caps
accordance with the masonry
                                     may be acceptable for some styles or
                                     if they are not readily visible.

                                  E. Chimneys should not be covered with
                                     stucco or other non-original materials.

                                  F. Original decorative chimney pots
                                     should not be removed.

                                  G. Chimneys that have been extensively
                                     re-pointed resulting in mismatched
                                     colors and textures may be painted
                                     in brick colors such as dark red or

                                                                               Corbelled chimney with metal tie
                                                                               r od and stone cap

                                 City of Aurora - Historic Districts and Landmarks Guidelines

A. Doors and/or original door features                                                     Doors and door surrounds
   such as surrounds, sidelights, and                                                      are significant in defining
                                                                                           the style and character of a
   transoms shall not be removed or
                                                                                           dwelling. Original doors,
   altered. Door openings shall not be                                                     door surrounds, and hard-
   enlarged, reduced, or shortened for                                                     ware need to be preserved
   new door installation.                     Appr opriate for Gr eek Revival, Octa-       and maintained.
                                              gon styles
B. Doorways that need to be altered to                                                     Doors readily available from
                                                                                           most wholesale hardware
   meet accessibility codes should adhere
                                                                                           stores generally reflect
   to the Historic Preservation provisions                                                 designs for houses built after
   of the accessibility codes.                                                             1940 and may not be appro-
                                                                                           priate. Door construction and
C. Doors that are missing or deteriorated                                                  style varies widely from one
   beyond repair on the front or side         Appr opriate for Italianate, Second          architectural style to another.
                                              Empir e, Gothic Revival styels               What is appropriate for one
   facades visible from the street shall
                                                                                           historic house may not be
   be replaced with doors appropriate for                                                  appropriate for another.
   the style and period of the building.
   Replacement doors shall be similar in
   design to the original in style, materi-
   als, glazing (glass configuration) or
   appropriate to the architectural style     Appr opriate for Gothic Revival style
   of the building.

D. Unless they are historic to the build-
   ing, doors of flush wood or steel
   design shall be used only at rear en-
   trances or side entrances that are not
   visible from the street.                   A ppr opriate for Stick, Queen Anne,
                                              E astlake, Shingle styles
E. Doors shall not be added at locations
   where they did not originally exist,
   unless needed to meet safety codes
   or to enhance the use of a property.
   When necessary, doors should be
   added at the rear or sides of dwellings
   where they will not be visible.            A ppr opriate for Colonial Revival, Neo-
                                              c l assical styles

                                         A p p r o priate for Bungalow, Craftsman styles

                            City of Aurora - Historic Districts and Landmarks Guidelines

 Additional suggestions for appropriate
 and inappropriate doors.

                     Appr opriate for T udor Revival style

                    Appr opriate for Moder n style

                    Inappr opriate for historic styles

                      Inappr opriate for historic styles

                     Inappr opriate for historic styles

                     Inappr opriate for historic styles

City of Aurora - Historic Districts and Landmarks Guidelines

A. Foundations should be retained and                                                      Most early historic dwellings
   not altered.                                                                            have stone, brick or concrete
                                                                                           foundations. Repointing and
                                                                                           repair shall follow Masonry
B. Foundation alterations, if required,                                                    Guidelines.
   shall not be made at the front facade
   or readily visible side facades.

C. Foundations shall be cleaned, re-
   paired, or re-pointed according to
   masonry guidelines.

D. Foundations shall not be concealed
   with concrete block, plywood panels,
   corrugated metal, or other non-origi-
   nal materials.

E. Foundations of brick may be painted
   or covered with cement coating to
   match the original building material if
   the brick and/or mortar is mismatched
   or inappropriately repaired.

F. Stuccoing as a method of foundation
   repair should not be used.

                            City of Aurora - Historic Districts and Landmarks Guidelines
                                  Existing Garages, Carriage Houses and Outbuildings

Some historic properties          A. Garages, carriage houses or outbuild-
contain outbuildings includ-         ings that contribute to a property’s
ing servant’s quarters, sheds,
                                     historic character, or are original to a
carriage houses, and auto-
mobile garages. These were
                                     property shall be preserved and main-
often built with construction        tained. Original features should be
techniques and materials to          repaired to match the original.
match the primary dwelling.
Although some are not origi-      B. Garages, carriage houses or outbuild-
nal, many have architectural
                                     ings original to a property should not
significance. These build-
ings should be preserved and
                                     be moved or relocated to another part
maintained.                          of the lot.

NOTE: For new garages see         C. Original doors should be maintained,
New Construction Guide-              but may be retrofitted with modern
                                     hardware and custom garage door

                                  D. Doors deteriorated beyond repair may
                                     be replaced with new doors. These
                                     should match original doors with
                                     features such as raised panels and
                                     glass window sections. Many styles
                                     appropriate for historic buildings are
                                     available with overhead opening,
                                     but the look of original swing doors.
                                     Avoid solid metal or fiberglass doors.

                                  E. For architectural features visible from
                                     the street on garages, carriage houses,
                                     and outbuildings, refer to appropriate
                                     sections of this guide.

                                     A p p r o p r i a t e garage doors for historic pr oper ties

                                 City of Aurora - Historic Districts and Landmarks Guidelines
Gutters and Downspouts

A. Gutter and downspout installation                                                       Gutters and downspouts
   shall not result in the removal of any                                                  should be regularly cleaned
                                                                                           and maintained. If new gut-
   existing eave features.
                                                                                           ters are required, half-round
                                                                                           designs are the most histori-
B. Gutters and downspouts of boxed,                                                        cally accurate for the earlier
   built-in type, and/or copper should be                                                  styles.
   preserved, and repaired rather than                Half Round
   replaced if possible.                                                                   Some later styles; the Ro-
                                                                                           manesque, Colonial, Italian
                                                                                           Renaissance, Tudor Revival
C. Gutters and downspouts of early                                                         Styles, and Neoclassical, all
   hang-on type should be half-round                                                       typically with enclosed eaves,
   rather than “K” or ogee. If the gutters                                                 used the ogee (K profile) gut-
   are not readily visible, ogee gutters of                                                ter. Some styles or designs
   aluminum or vinyl are acceptable.                                                       feature rectangular or bevel
                                                                                           profiles or hidden built-in
                                                                                           type gutters. Metal used
D. Gutters and downspouts should be                   Ogee or “K”
                                                                                           for gutters and downspouts
   located away from significant archi-                                                    should be compatible with
   tectural features on the front of the                                                   metal used for roof flashing
   building.                                                                               to avoid corrosion.

E. Gutters and downspouts should be
   designed and installed to provide
   proper drainage and to channel the
   water as far away from the dwelling as
   possible. Downspouts should extend                  Rectangular
   at least 4 to 6 feet, or utilize a splash
   block. Round downspouts are more
   appropriate than rectangular forms, for
   half round gutters. Rectangular down-
   spouts are also acceptable.

F. Hanger straps should be nailed under,
   not on top, of the roofing material. If
   new roof is installed at same time as
   the gutters, the straps shall be nailed
   under the roofing material.

G. Gutters shall match the color scheme
   of the house. Copper gutters may
   remain unpainted.

                            City of Aurora - Historic Districts and Landmarks Guidelines
                                   Lighting (For Porches and Exterior Walls)

Some historic buildings            A. Lighting fixtures original to the dwell-
retain original exterior              ing should be preserved and main-
wall and porch ceiling light
fixtures. These are part of
a building’s character and
should be preserved and            B. New lighting fixtures shall be compat-
maintained. If the original           ible with the style, scale, and period
light fixtures are missing, use       of the structure, based on traditional         Colonial Revial
light fixtures appropriate to         designs of the late 19th and early 20th
the building’s style. When
                                      centuries, and mounted on porch ceil-
appropriate fixtures are not
available, simple designs
                                      ings or adjacent to entrances.
and detailing are preferred to
large, ornate ones.                C. Building mounted security lighting
                                      should be only for security. Flood
                                      lights should be mounted on the rear
                                      or sides of a building not visible from        T udor Revival, Bungalow Style
                                      the street. High intensity overhead
                                      lights should not be used.

                                   D. Light fixtures for security lights, flood
                                      lights, or foot lights should be small,
                                      simple in design, and their number             Prairie, Bungalow styles
                                      kept to a minimum.

                                   E. If freestanding fixtures are installed,
                                      they shall also be compatible with
                                      the character of the building style,
                                      and shall not conflict with any period
                                                                                   Colonial Revival, Neoclassical
                                   F. Buildings that originally did not have
                                      lights mounted on the exterior walls
                                      or porch ceilings may need lighting.
                                      New fixtures should be simple in de-
                                      sign and not detract from the building
                                      style. Electrified versions of early gas
                                      light fixtures may be appropriate.             Moder n style

                                   G. Unobtrusive site lighting can be used
                                      to provide adequate illumination
Appr opriate simple
fixtur es for early
                                      without calling attention to the light
styles that wer e not                 source.
originally elecr tified
                                   H. Awnings with illumination shall not
                                      be used.

                                  City of Aurora - Historic Districts and Landmarks Guidelines
Masonry and Stucco

A. Masonry original to the dwelling shall         shingles, or other coating materials,        Many historic dwellings have
   be preserved and maintained.                   except for foundations that may be           exterior walls of masonry.
                                                                                               Masonry includes brick,
                                                  coated with a cement coating if dete-
                                                                                               stone, and terra cotta. If well
B. Masonry shall not be sandblasted or            riorated. Refer to Foundations.              maintained, these can last
   abrasively cleaned. Brick should not                                                        indefinitely.
   be cleaned with high-pressure water          G. Masonry repairs should be performed
   that exceeds 300 pounds per square              carefully to match the original stone       Important points in masonry
   inch.                                           or brickwork and mortar. If new             preservation are to keep out
                                                                                               water and to use an appropri-
                                                   stone or brick is required, match brick
                                                                                               ate mortar mix when repair
C. Masonry should be cleaned only if               color, texture, and size. Match stone       is needed. The use of hard
   there are major stains or paint buildup.        for type size and finish.                   mortars high in Portland ce-
   If the staining or dirt is limited, it may                                                  ment can cause early brick to
   be best left alone. Masonry should           H. Re-pointing (tuckpointing) mortar           crack and break. Portland ce-
   be cleaned by the gentlest effec-               shall match the original in width,          ment was used after 1920 and
                                                                                               generally this type of hard
   tive method. Use detergent cleaners             color, tooling profile, composition,
                                                                                               mortar is compatible only
   and natural brushes for staining, do            and texture. Remove mortar using            with brick from after 1920.
   not use metal brushes. The use of               methods that will not cause damage to
   chemical cleaners is appropriate using          the stone or brick. Re-pointing should      Abrasive cleaning methods
   low-pressure water to avoid forcing             never be done with hard mortars             such as sandblasting or water
   water and chemicals into the wall.              unless these mortar compounds are           blasting erodes the outer
                                                                                               skin of the brick and destroys
   This usually requires professionals.            original to the dwelling. If the original
                                                                                               the surface crust allowing
   Information on the use of chemical              composition cannot be determined,           moisture to enter the wall.
   paint removal and cleaning products             use a historic compound such as one         Low pressure cleaning is best
   is available from the Preservation              part lime, one part Portland cement,        for cleaning masonry.
   Division.                                       and six parts sand. Use natural sand.

D. Masonry should not be coated with            I. Stucco surfaces shall be maintained
   silicone-based water sealants. Water            by cleaning and repainting with ap-
   sealants or water repellents should be          propriate masonry paint when neces-
   highly vapor permeable. Imperme-                sary. When repairing original stucco, a
   able coatings trap interior moisture            stucco mixture duplicating the appear-
   damaging the brick.                             ance shall be used. Patches of incom-
                                                   patible composition will adhere poorly
E. Masonry that has not been previously            and will fail.
   painted shall not be painted unless the
   brick and mortar is extremely mis-           J. When attaching approved elements to
   matched from earlier repairs or patch-          masonry, anchoring devices shall be
   ing. Previously sandblasted brick or            drilled into mortar joints and not into
   brick in poor condition may be painted          the brick or stone.
   to provide a sealing coat. These paints
   must be vapor permeable.

F. Masonry shall not be covered in
   stucco, artificial stone, brick veneer,

                             City of Aurora - Historic Districts and Landmarks Guidelines
 Masonry and Stucco

     Brick and Motar Joint Pr ofiles

                          Deteriorated mortar

                           Mortar too hard
                           damages brick

                          Mortar on brick face is
                          not appropriate

                          Typical concave mortar joint

                          Typical raked mortar joint

                   Sandblasting is not
                   appr opriate because it
                   damages the har d pr o-
                   tective sur face layer
                   of brick

City of Aurora - Historic Districts and Landmarks Guidelines
Surface Preparation For Painting

A. Removal of existing paint should be                                                    Many exterior wood elements
   done by manual scraping or with ap-                                                    require a coating to protect
                                                                                          them from deterioration. It
   propriate chemical removers.
                                                                                          is important to keep main-
                                                                                          taining painted surfaces so
B. Removing paint through heat plates or                                                  those key features can be
   heat guns should be done using cau-                                                    preserved.
   tion to avoid unnecessary damage to
   the wood through charring or fire.                                                      The use of blowtorches to
                                                                                          remove paint may lead to a
                                                                                          fire hazard. Also, the use of
C. Abrasive sand blasting to remove                                                       abrasive sand will damage
   paint shall not be used. Water blasting                                                the wood siding and raise the
   above 600 pounds per square inch to                                                    grain. In addition, during
   remove loose paint is not recommend-                                                   this process, water forced
   ed as it can cause damage.                                                             into the wood can take a long
                                                                                          time to dry. Paint will not
                                                                                          adhere to wet or damp wood,
D. Surface preparation should include                                                     and the wood may develop
   identification and appropriate han-                                                    mildew or rot.
   dling of lead based paints to avoid

E. The existing surface including any
   soundly adhered paint should be
   compatible with the new paint. Paints
   should be applied according to manu-
   facturers’ instructions.

                           City of Aurora - Historic Districts and Landmarks Guidelines
                                   Paint and Paint Colors

The selection of paint colors      A. Paint colors do not require review          as Dark Olive, Salmon Red, Dark
does not require approval             and approval, however, books and            Brown.
by the Commission. The
                                      paint charts are available to select
Historic Preservation staff is
available to provide recom-
                                      appropriate colors. Because color has       Shingle - Most shingle style dwell-
mendations for paint colors if        a predominant effect on the character       ings were originally built with the
requested. Paint charts with          of a district, it is recommended that       exterior wood shingles stained or left
historic colors are also avail-       residents consult the Aurora Preser-        natural rather than painted. Most of
able at most paint stores.            vation Commission for assistance in         these dwellings have been painted
                                      selecting paint colors and schemes          over the years and a return to the dark
Consider painting the dwell-
ing in keeping with its style
                                      before painting any building covered        browns and reds of the wood shingles
and period of construction.           by these Guidelines.                        is recommended. Body - Dark Red,
Avoid bright hues and too                                                         Brown, Dark Gray, Dark Green Trim
many colors on a building.         B. Paint should be of high quality ap-         and Accents - Dark Green, Dark
Select architectural details          plied to properly prepared surfaces to      Brown
of the dwelling to highlight.
                                      provide a long lasting finish.
Painting with high quality
exterior paints will last from
                                                                                  Prairie/ Four Square - A return to
eight to fifteen years. Sun-       C. In most instances, paint should not be      lighter colors such as yellow and off
light exposure, regular gutter        applied to unpainted masonry. (For          white. For Four Square - Two color
and downspout maintenance             exceptions, see Masonry Section D.)         paint scheme, one for lower level and
and wood surface condition                                                        the other for the upper level. Body -
and preparation affect paint
                                   D. All exterior wood surfaces, new and         Light Tan, Light Yellow, Light Brown,
                                      old, shall be painted or stained except     Grays, Medium to Light Greens.
                                      for wood shingles that may or may not       Trims and Accents - Off-whites,
                                      be painted. (See Shingle Style.) All        Cream, Brown, Blues, Greens. Also:
                                      painting shall be completed within          earlier versions had Victorian colors,
                                      three months according to manufac-          later versions had Colonial Revival
                                      turer’s recommendations, weather            colors.
                                                                                  Bungalow/Tudor Revival - Darker
                                   E. Paint colors and placement should be        colors again such as earth tones. Dark
                                      appropriate for the dwelling’s archi-       stains also used in place of paint.
                                      tectural style and design:                  Brick, stone, stucco, and concrete gen-
                                                                                  erally left unpainted. Body - Brown,
                                      Italianate Style - Light colors for the     Green, Gray, Dark Red Trim and Ac-
                                      body and trim. Body - Tan, Light            cents - Both light and dark trim colors
                                      Brown, Beige, Light Green, Yellow.          such as Reds, Browns, Greens, and
                                      Trim and Accents - Cream, Gray,             shades of Tan.
                                      Light Brown
                                                                                  Colonial Revival - Light colors pre-
                                      Queen Anne/Second Empire – Diver-           dominate. Body - Yellow, Light Gray,
                                      sity of colors using combinations of        Light Blue, White. Trim and Accents
                                      contrasting colors for the body and         - White, Off-white, Cream
                                      trim. Body - Tan, Red, Green, Brown.
                                      Trim and Accents - Darker colors such

                                  City of Aurora - Historic Districts and Landmarks Guidelines
Porches, Porch Components, and Porticos

A. Porches on front and side facades           have wood tongue and groove flooring        Porches are defining charac-
   that are original or important to a         running perpendicular to the facade         teristics of historic build-
                                                                                           ings. If replacement of porch
   building’s historical integrity shall
                                                                                           features is required, use
   be maintained in their original de-       G. Original porches of masonry or patios      materials that closely match
   sign and with original materials and         and terraces with poured concrete          the original. If the original
   detailing unless they are deteriorated       floors may have poured concrete            porch is missing, a new porch
   beyond repair.                               steps.                                     should be constructed based
                                                                                           upon photographic or physi-
                                                                                           cal evidence of the original.
B. Porches original or important to the      H. Porches with open areas below should
                                                                                           If such evidence does not
   building’s historical integrity that         be enclosed as was traditional for the     exist, the design should be
   have deteriorated or have deterio-           type and style of the original porch       based on historic porches of
   rated components shall be repaired           building material. This could include      similar buildings from the
   or replaced to match the original in         decorative wood framed skirting,           same time period and archi-
   design, materials, scale, dimensioning,      vertical slats, or lattice panels.         tectural style.
   detailing, and placement.
                                                                                           Inappropriate porch addi-
                                             I. All new components of a porch shall        tions may be removed and
C. Porches with wood components shall           be painted within three months,            more appropriate porches,
   be painted unless the building style         weather permitting.                        based on historic precedent
   features unpainted wood such as                                                         may be constructed.
   found in the Shingle or Modern style.     J. Porch columns and railings shall be
                                                                                           A vernacular house may have
   See Paint Section.                           preserved and maintained. When re-
                                                                                           an Italianate or Queen Anne
                                                pair is required, use materials to match   porch. These are acceptable
D. Porches on the front façades shall           the original in dimension and detailing.   and reflect changes over time.
   not be enclosed with wood, glass,            Epoxy consolidants can be used.
   or other materials that alter the open                                                  Handrail height and style
   appearance. If historically the porch     K. Porches may have wood trellises            should be determined by
                                                                                           photographs, paint outlines,
   style was enclosed, windows, doors           added if they will not result in the
                                                                                           paint shadows, and/or similar
   and screening of style and material          removal of original porch building         homes in the area.
   appropriate to the building style may        material.
   be used.
                                             L. Porch columns and railings of alumi-
E. Porches may be screened. If screened,        num, wrought iron, or other modern
   the structural framework for the             materials, with the exception of some
   screen panels shall be minimal and the       houses built after World War II, are
   open appearance of the porch main-           not appropriate.
   tained. Screen panels shall be placed
   behind the original features such as      M. Porch columns and railings, if the
   columns or railings and shall not hide       originals have been removed or re-
   decorative details or result in the re-      placed, on front porches and porches
   moval of original porch materials.           visible from the street shall/should be
                                                rebuilt in historic designs to match
F. Porches with wood porch floors should        the style of the building.
   have wood steps. The treads shall have
   rounded nosings. Wood floors should

                            City of Aurora - Historic Districts and Landmarks Guidelines
                              Porches, Porch Components, and Porticos

                              N. Porches may require new balusters
                                 for the railing. Porch balusters (also
                                 called spindles) shall be appropriate
                                 for the building’s style and period.
                                 They shall be located between a top
                                 and bottom rail.

   Par ts of a porch

   1. Column
   2. Handrail                                   1                                              Prairie Style porch

   3. Baluster                                                       2
   4. Newel post
   5. Lattice skir ting

                                   E a s t l a k e S t y l e porch

Columns Appr opriate
for Various Styles

1. Gek Revival

2.) Italianate, Second
Empir e

3 & 4.) Gothic Revival

5 & 6.) Queen Anne,
Eastlake, Stick
                                                                     2           4   5      6         7
                                                     1                       3
7.) Colonial Revival, Neo-

                             City of Aurora - Historic Districts and Landmarks Guidelines
Porches, Porch Components, and Porticos

                                                                                                            Appropriate stair
                                                                                                             1. Riser
                                                               1                                             2. Tread
                                                                                                             3. Nosing
                                                                             2                               4. Molding



                                                                                                         Inappropriate	stair	construction	
                                                                                                            	   1.	Deck	materials		
                                                                                                            	   2.	Stairs	without	nosings	

        1       2       3         4        5

       Balusters
                                                                     Inappropriate	railing	
        1., 2., 3. Appropriate for Queen Anne,                            construction	
                  Eastlake, and Stick styles                                1.	Balusters	not	between	
                                                                            top	and	bottom	rail		
        4., 5. Appropriate for Italianate, Second                       	   2.	Handrail	not	beveled	
               Empire, and Neoclassical styles

                              City of Aurora - Historic Districts and Landmarks Guidelines
     Porches, Porch Components, and Porticos

                                      Well maintained por ch, Queen
                                      Anne style

Appr opriate enclosur e of fr ont
por ch, Bungalow or Craftsman

                                       Appr opriate por ch scr een-
                                       ing, scr eens do not ob-
                                       str uct ar chitectural fea-
                                       tur es

    City of Aurora - Historic Districts and Landmarks Guidelines
Roofs and Roof Elements

A. Roofs and roof elements shall be             not readily visible, other low pitch         The original roof form and
   retained in their original shape and         roofing materials are acceptable.            materials are a major compo-
                                                                                             nent of a building’s archi-
   pitch, with original features includ-
                                                                                             tectural style. It is important
   ing cresting, chimneys, vents, finials,    F. Roofs requiring ventilation should          that these be retained.
   cupolas, etc. and, if possible, with          have ridge vents rather than pot vents.
   original roof materials.                      If pot vents are necessary they should      Additions that will affect roof
                                                 be located at rear rooflines, or near the   forms should be placed so as
B. For new dormers, roof decks, balco-           rear (as in a front facing gable house).    to minimize their impact as
                                                                                             viewed from the street. See
   nies or other additions see Roofline          These vents should be painted to
                                                                                             Roofline Additions.
   Additions.                                    match the roof color. Roof gable vents
                                                 should be maintained.                       Historic roofs of materi-
C. Roofs may be re-roofed with substi-                                                       als such as metal shingles,
   tute materials such as asphalt or fiber-   G. Skylights shall not be added where          clay tiles, or slate should
   glass shingles if the original materials      they would be visible from the              be repaired and preserved
                                                                                             whenever possible. Sawn ce-
   are determined beyond repair, are no          street. Skylights should be placed at
                                                                                             dar shingles were commonly
   longer present or available, or if the        rear rooflines or behind gables and         used on older buildings. Split
   retention of the original roof material       dormers. Skylights should be flat or        cedar shakes are inappropri-
   is not economically feasible. Par-            flush with the roofline, not convex or      ate in most cases.
   ticular effort shall be made to retain        “bubble” designs.
   materials such as slate, tile, and other                                                  Skylights are often installed
                                                                                             to create livable space in
   unique materials not commonly found        H. Skylights original to the house should
                                                                                             upper floor areas or attics.
   in new construction.                          be preserved.                               The installation of skylights
                                                                                             is acceptable provided they
D. Roofs of new asphalt or fiberglass                                                        are placed on rear rooflines,
   shingles shall be one color and shall                                                     behind gables or dormers,
   be compatible with historic colors and                                                    or at other roof locations not
                                                                                             readily visible from the street.
   the style or period of the house. As-
   phalt shingle in dark shades of gray,
   red, brown or black are appropriate
   for the replacement of early asphalt
   shingles and as a substitute material
   for wood shingles. Dark gray or black
   asphalt shingles are an appropriate
   substitute for slate shingles, and red
   or green asphalt shingles are appro-
   priate substitutes for clay tile roofing
   materials. New materials shall match
   as closely as possible to the original
   in composition, size, shape, color and

E. Roofs that are flat and were originally
   metal should be replaced in metal. If

                            City of Aurora - Historic Districts and Landmarks Guidelines
                                     Satellite Dishes, Antennas, and Solar Panels

Satellite dishes may be in-          A. Satellite dishes, antennas, and solar
stalled if they are sited in rear       panels shall not be installed in front
yards or along side yards that
                                        yards or in side yards visible from the
are not visible from the street.
As non-historic features, the
                                        street. Dishes or solar panels should
smaller dishes are preferred            not be installed at visible rooflines.
to the larger dishes.
                                     B. Satellite dishes and antennas in the
New innovations in solar                smaller sizes are more appropriate
power may be allowed upon
                                        than the large dishes.
the review and approval of
the Aurora Historic Preserva-
tion Commission.                     C. Satellite dishes, antennas, and solar
                                        panels should be mounted as low to
                                        the ground as possible and the use of
                                        landscaping, lattice panels, or fencing
                                        to screen the view is recommended.

                                     D. Solar panels shall not be added where
                                        they would be visible from the street.
                                        Solar panels should be placed at rear
                                        rooflines or behind gables and dor-
                                        mers. Solar panels should be flat or
                                        flush with the roofline.

                                     E. Satellite dishes and antennas should
                                        be located at rear rooflines or prefer-
                                        ably in rear yards.

                                     F. Antennas mounted on the roof shall
                                        not extend more than three feet higher
                                        than the closest roof within ten feet.

                                                                                  Solar panels on r ear r oof

                                    City of Aurora - Historic Districts and Landmarks Guidelines
Screen, Storm, and Security Doors

A. Original wood frame storm or screen                                                           Security doors are non-his-
   doors shall be maintained. Screen,                                                            toric additions to dwellings.
                                                                                                 While the installation of
   storm, and security doors shall be cor-
                                                                                                 security doors on fronts of
   rectly sized to fit the entrance opening                                                      buildings is discouraged,
                                                    Appropriate: full view door
   and shall be compatible with the style                                                        they may be installed if they
   of the building. Door openings shall                                                          allow the viewing of most
   not be enlarged, reduced, or shortened                                                        of the historic door. Ornate
   for new door installation.                                                                    security doors with exten-
                                                                                                 sive grillwork or decorative
                                                                                                 detailing are not appropriate.
B. Security doors are less appropriate                                                           However, certain decorative
   for fronts of dwellings than at rear                                                          detailing may be appropriate
   and side facades not visible from the            Appropriate for Queen Anne, Eastlake and
                                                                                                 for storm or screen doors for
                                                     Stick styles
   street. Security doors added to the                                                           some styles such as Queen
   fronts of dwellings shall be full view                                                        Anne.
   design or have minimal structural
   framework to allow for the viewing of
   the primary door behind them.

C. Security doors at locations not vis-
                                                    Appropriate: glass aligns with door glass
   ible from the street are acceptable and
   may have more extensive structural
   framework than would be acceptable
   for doors visible from the street.

D. Screen and storm doors added to the
   front or visible side doors should be            Not appropriate for historic doors
   wood. These should be either full
   view or with divisions aligned to
   those of the primary door.

E. When metal screen, storm, or secu-
   rity doors on front or visible sides are
   used, they shall have a painted, anod-
   ized, or non-metallic finish to match            Not appropriate: obscures door
   the trim color.

                                                     Not appropriate: glass does not align
                                                      with door glass

                             City of Aurora - Historic Districts and Landmarks Guidelines
                                  Screen, Storm, and Security Windows

Screen, storm, and security       A. Screens and storm windows shall
windows are acceptable for           be correctly sized to fit the window
historic dwellings. Their de-
                                     openings including round arched
sign and style should not ob-
scure the primary windows.
                                     windows. Frames should not obscure
                                     the glass area of windows. Screen
Storm windows help reduce            and storm window panels shall be full
energy costs and reduce the          view design or have the meeting rail
occurence of condensation            match that of the window behind it.
on windows. Wood does not                                                                 Appropriate: storm does not conceal glass;
conduct the cold air to the                                                                divisions align
inside as much as metal when
                                  B. Screens and storm windows shall be
used in storm windows.               wood or aluminum with a painted,
                                     baked-on, or anodized finish. Win-
Both the primary window and          dows of raw aluminum are not accept-
the storm window should be           able unless painted to match the color
properly weather-stripped to
                                     of the window sashes.
help keep out air infiltration
and further reduce energy
costs.                            C. Storm windows with built-in lower
                                     screens are acceptable.                               Not appropriate: storm conceals glass

                                  D. Window security bars may be applied
                                     on windows that are not visible from
                                     the street.

                                  E. Basement windows may be secured
                                     on the inside with a plywood board or
                                     with bars painted black provided it is
                                     in accordance with the City of Aurora
                                     building codes.                                   Appropriate: storm does not conceal glass
                                                                                          and aligns with sash shape
                                  F. For screens and storm windows for
                                     porches, see Porches and Porch Ele-

                                                                                         Not appropriate: storm conceals glass and
                                                                                          storm divider does not align with sash

                                 City of Aurora - Historic Districts and Landmarks Guidelines

A. Window shutters original to the dwell-                                                         Window shutters were often
   ing should be preserved and main-                                                              added to houses to provide
                                                                                                  interior shading in the sum-
                                                                                                  mer and to protect windows
                                                                                                  during storms.
B. Window shutters shall not be added
   unless there is physical or photograph-
   ic evidence that the dwelling original-                  Appropriate

   ly had them, or if they are compatible
   with the style of the house.

C. Window shutters shall be of louvered
   or paneled wood construction and
   the shutters sized to fit the window
   opening so that, if closed, the shut-
   ters would cover the entire window                  Appropriate


D. Exceptions to C. for the following
   styles: Colonial Revival, Mission,
   Tudor Revival, and Modern, may be
   made upon review and approval of the
   Aurora Historic Preservation Com-                          Too short                Too long
   mission.                                                Not Appropriate

E. Window shutters of vinyl or alumi-
   num construction are not appropriate.
   These shutters generally have dimen-
   sions that are not compatible with
   historic dwellings.
                                                             Does not fit arch
                                                        Not Appropriate

                                                     Shutters do not fit opening

                                                    Not Appropriate for most styles

                                                    Appropriate only for Colonial Revival,
                                                     Tudor Revival, and Mission styles

                           City of Aurora - Historic Districts and Landmarks Guidelines
                                         Soffit and Fascia
The soffit is the flat horzon-
                                         A. Original Soffit, fascia, trim boards
tal board(s) that enclose
the space under the eave or              and details shall not be removed.
cornice. Often beadboard is              They sahll be maintained by painting
used for historic homes.                 and proper gutter functioning.

The fascia is the flat board             B. Soffit, fascia boards, trim and
used to cover the ends of roof
                                         details deteriorated beyond repair shall
rafters or located along the
rake. Cornice molding or                 be replaced with boards that match the
trim is often placed on the              originals.
fascia board.

	         	         	            	   C i t y 	o f 	A u r o r a	 - 	H i storic 	Districts 	and 	 Landmarks 	Guidelines


Historic buildings display a        A. Windows shall be preserved in their                     H. Windows may have screens and/or
wide variety of windows in             original location, size, and design and                    storm windows. See Screen, Storm
various designs and sizes.
                                       with their original materials and glass                    and Security Windows Section.
These are important features
of the various architectural
styles.                                                                                        I. Basement windows should not be
                                    B. Window openings on front facades                           enclosed or concealed on the exterior,
Decorative windows include             or side facades visible from the street                    and masonry should be properly re-
materials such as stained              shall not be altered to accommodate                        pointed when repaired.
glass, beveled, leaded glass,
                                       new windows of different size, pro-
and etched glass.
                                       portion or configuration.
Most early windows are
made from wood and with             C. Character defining window openings
proper repair can be made              on all facades shall not be altered.
functional.                            (For Tanner Historic District refer to
                                       the Tanner Historic District Appen-                                     1
Window openings original
to a dwelling shall not be
covered or concealed. New
windows may be added at the         D. Windows that are not original shall
rear and non-visible sides of          not be added to front facades or to                          2
a building.                            side facades where visible.

                                    E. Windows should be repaired rather
                                       than replaced. If non-original or be-
                                       yond repair and replacement is neces-
                                       sary, the replacement shall be in-kind
                                       to match the original in material and
                                       design. (For Tanner Historic District
                                       refer to the Tanner Historic District                       Par ts of a window
                                                                                                   1.         Head

                                    F. Windows should be repaired with ma-                         2.         Jamb
                                       terials to match the original and other
                                       materials such as consolidants that                         3.         Sash
                                       are appropriate to the original mate-                       4.         Sill
                                       rial. (Consultation with a stained glass
                                       specialist is recommended for repairs
                                       to art glass.)

                                    G. New windows on front facades and
                                       sides visible from the street shall not
                                       have snap-in or flush muntins. True
                                       divided muntins are acceptable.

         	         Ci t y	 o f 	au ro ra 	 -	 H i s to ri c	 D i s t ricts	 and 	Landmarks 	 Guidelines


       Appropriate for Greek Revival styles

       Appropriate for Italianate, Octagon and
        Second Empire styles

     Appropriate for Queen Anne, Stick and
         Eastlake styles

                                                                                       W indow cap molding detail

        Appropriate for Shingle and Prairie styles

       Appropriate for Prairie and Bungalow styles

       Appropriate for the Tudor Revival style

                                                                                        Palladian W indow Example

         Appropriate for Colonial Revival and
         	 Neoclassical styles
	       	          	          C i t y	 o f 	Au ro ra-	 H i s toric 	Districts 	 and 	Landmarks 	 Guidelines	 	   	   	   	
                                                         Wood Siding

Most non-masonry, pre-1945                               A. Wood siding original to a building                                                    C. Wood siding that has been concealed
dwellings are generally of                                  shall be repaired rather than replaced.                                                  beneath synthetic siding should be
frame construction clad with
                                                            If replacement is necessary, wood                                                        repaired. Following the removal
wood siding in any of a vari-
ety of shapes. These include
                                                            siding and shingles shall be replaced                                                    of synthetic siding, original sid-
horizontal weatherboard                                     with new to match the original in size,                                                  ing should be repaired to match the
or clapboard siding, drop                                   placement, and design. If considering                                                    original, caulked and painted. When
siding and wood shingles.                                   the replacement of siding, obtain a                                                      ghosting or outlines of decorative
They were sometimes used in                                 determination from the Historic Pres-                                                    missing features are revealed, these
                                                            ervation staff on the condition of the                                                   should be replicated and reinstalled.
Original siding materials
                                                            existing siding. NOTE: owners may                                                        If these features are not replaced the
are essential components in                                 be ineligible for financial assistance if                                                ghosting should be recorded through
defining a building’s architec-                             synthetic siding materials are applied.                                                  photographs or drawings for possible
tural character. The conceal-                                                                                                                        future replication.
ment of original wood siding                             B. Wood siding original to a dwell-
under synthetic sidings is not
                                                            ing shall not be concealed beneath                                                    D. Walls under wood siding may not be
appropriate. These siding
materials do not successfully
                                                            synthetic materials such as vinyl,                                                       altered with plugholes for the installa-
imitate original wood siding                                masonite, particle board, or aluminum                                                    tion of insulation in the walls.
in dimensions or texture.                                   unless the following conditions are
                                                            met:                                                                                  E. Asbestos shingles that are original to
The use of synthetic sidings                                                                                                                         a dwelling should be kept stained or
also poses potential problems
                                                               The existing siding is deteriorated or                                                painted. If asbestos shingle siding is
for historic buildings. These
materials have a limited
                                                               damaged beyond repair. At least 80%                                                   deteriorated or poses a health haz-
life span and may not be                                       of the boards shall have deteriora-                                                   ard, it may be removed and replaced
cost effective compared to                                     tion such as cracking, splitting, rot,                                                with wood or other substitute siding.
continued maintenance and                                      or insect damage, and the substitute                                                  Removal of asbestos siding should fol-
painting of wood siding. Alu-                                  material can be installed without ir-                                                 low hazardous material guidelines.
minum and vinyl siding which
                                                               reversibly damaging or obscuring the
is 15 to 20 years old becomes
faded, chipped, or cracked
                                                               architectural features and trim of the
and may require painting.                                      building. The substitute material shall
                                                               match the historic material in size,
If insulation without a vapor                                  profile and finish.
barrier is installed, the
interior should be painted
                                                               The application of the synthetic ma-
with an impermeable paint to
prevent moisture condensa-
                                                               terials shall not result in the conceal-
tion in the wall.                                              ment or removal of original decorative
                                                               detailing or trim including window
                                                               and door surrounds and watertable.

                                                               The application shall be reversible.

                                                               Synthetic siding materials shall match
                                                               the dimensions and style of the origi-
                                                               nal wood siding as closely as possible.

			 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 	C i t y	 o f 	 Au ro ra	 - 	 H i s to r ic	 Districts 	 and 	 Landmarks 	Guidelines																																																																																										
Wood Siding

                                                                                                                     Board-on-board siding
             Lapped board siding

           Beveled clapboard siding
                                                                                                                        Board-and-batten siding

                                                                                                                  Ver tical boar d siding examples

              Drop siding

           Shiplap siding

             Rabbeted siding

             Tongue-and-groove siding
                                                                                                                      Wood shingle examples

             Horizontal board siding examples

	                    	                     	                      C i t y	 o f 	Au ro ra	 -	 H i s toric	 Districts 	 and 	Landmarks 	 Guidelines																																																																																										
new ConstRuCtion
New Construction Guidelines

T     he following section contains guide-
      lines that address appropriate new
construction, including additions and
new, infill buildings. These guidelines
provide important information to insure
that the characteristic scale, rhythm,
setbacks and massing of the districts are
preserved and enhanced.

                           City of Aurora - Historic Districts and Landmarks Guidelines

A. Additions should be located at the rear     I. Additions shall not destroy original      Construction of new residen-
   or less visible sides of buildings.            landscape elements situated on the        tial or commercial additions
                                                                                            should be avoided and only
                                                  building’s lot at the primary facades.
                                                                                            done when needed. Additions
B. Additions shall compliment the                                                           are acceptable when they are
   original building in size, scale, design,                                                clearly differentiated from the
   materials, and placement.                                                                historic building and in such
                                                                                            a way not to change, obscure,
C. Additions shall be of a compatible                                                       damage or destroy the char-
                                                                                            acter defining features of the
   design in keeping with the original
                                                                                            historic building.
   building design, roof shape, materials,
   color, and the location of windows,                                                      Additions should be sited at
   doors, cornice heights, etc.                                                             rear or side façades so as not
                                                                                            to detract from the primary
D. Additions shall not imitate an earlier                                                   façade when seen from the
                                                                                            street. The design of the addi-
   historic style or architectural period.
                                                                                            tions should have a minimal
                                                         Appropriate:
                                                                                            impact on the building’s
E. Additions shall be compatible with the                 rear one story addition
                                                                                            overall character.
   scale and siting of adjacent buildings
   located on the same block as well as
   those on the entire facing block.

F. Additions should be constructed so as
   not to damage or destroy significant
   original features, and to avoid removal
   or loss of historic materials.

G. Additions should minimally impact
   the exterior walls of the original                    Appropriate:
   building, so that the addition could be                rear two story addition
   removed without damage to the basic
   structure and appearance of the build-
   ing. Building additions should use
   existing door and window openings
   whenever possible for connecting the
   addition to the building.

H. No portion of an existing building
   shall be removed, if such removal
   would destroy important character
   defining details and features of the                  Inappropriate:
   building.                                              side two story addition

                             City of Aurora - Historic Districts and Landmarks Guidelines

Decks were generally not          A. Decks shall be located at the rear of
used prior to 1945 on homes          buildings or areas not visible from the
and are not appropriate
additions on the front facade
or other visible locations of
a dwelling. Deck railings         B. Decks should be stained with an
should be in forms appropri-         opaque stain (not clear) or painted to
ate to the architectural style       blend with the colors of the building.
of the dwelling. (See section        (See Paint Section)
on porches).

More appropriate outdoor
                                  C. Decks should be kept simple in
sitting areas for back yards         design. Wood decks with traditional
of traditional architec-             style wood balusters and rails com-
tural styles are stone or            plimentary to the style of the build-
brick terraces or patios next        ing are recommended. (See Porch
to the house or built under
the shelter of a large tree.
Summer houses or gazebos
especially popular in the lat-
ter half of the 19th century;
and pergolas, either attached
to the house or freestanding,
which were popular after the
turn of the century may also
be an appropriate alternative
to a deck.

                                                                   * Inappr opriate deck rails and balusters

                                 City of Aurora - Historic Districts and Landmarks Guidelines
New Garages and Outbuildings

A. Secondary buildings shall be smaller                                                     Secondary buildings include
   in scale than the primary dwelling.                                                      garages, sheds, and other
                                                                                            outbuildings. New construc-
                                                                                            tion of secondary buildings
B. Secondary buildings should be built                                                      such as garages and sheds
   at traditional locations for outbuild-                                                   is acceptable as long as they
   ings in the locally designated districts.                                                are appropriate in design and
   These include at rear lot lines, adja-                                                   sited in traditional loca-
   cent to alleys, and at the rear side of a                                                tions. Construction materials
                                                                                            should be similar to those of
                                                                                            the primary dwelling.

C. Secondary buildings shall be compat-
   ible in design, shape, materials, and
   roof shape with the associated primary

D. Exterior materials of secondary build-
   ings should match or be compatible
   with those of the primary building. If
   not visible from the street, secondary
   buildings may have exterior substitute
   siding materials such as aluminum or

E. For garage doors, wood paneled
   doors are appropriate. Paneled doors
   of vinyl, aluminum, or steel are not
   appropriate. Wood paneled overhead
   roll-up doors are widely available and
   are appropriate for new garages.

                             City of Aurora - Historic Districts and Landmarks Guidelines
                                   Roofline Additions

Roofline additions of dormers      A. Roofs shall not have new dormers,
can be used to create livable         roof decks, balconies or other addi-
space in attic or upper floors
                                      tions introduced on building fronts
of residential buildings with
sloped roofs. It is important
                                      unless it is stylistically appropriate.
when considering a roofline           These additions may be added on the
addition to remember the              rear or sides where not visible from
guidelines for additions in           the street.
general in regards to addi-
                                   B. Additions to flat roofs should not be
Additions that will affect roof
                                      visible from grade.
forms should be placed so as
to minimize their impact as
viewed from the street.

Often commercial buildings
have a low slope roof that
appears flat from the street.
Additions to flat roofs should
not be visible from grade.

                                                                     * Dor mer addition on r ear r oof

                                  City of Aurora - Historic Districts and Landmarks Guidelines
Infill Buildings

A. New infill construction should re-                                                      It is important that new con-
   spond to the specific site and setting                                                  struction in commercial and
                                                                                           residential areas compliment
   and maintain the existing pattern of
                                                                                           the existing buildings. New
   buildings along the block on both                                                       infill construction should be
   sides of the street. The new design                                                     compatible with the existing,
   should be compatible with the exist-                                                    in massing, setback, roof
   ing context in the following ways:                                                      forms, materials, window and
                                                                                           door rhythm or placement,
                                                                                           and for residential properties,
1. Site: the established setbacks, place-
                                                                                           porch location and scale.
   ment on the lot and street orientation
                                                                                           New construction should
2. Shape: the massing of forms of the                                                      not create a false historic
   neighboring properties including roof                                                   appearance through the repli-
   shape and pitch.                                                                        cation of a specific architec-
                                                                                           tural style.

3. Scale: the elements of the facade that                                                  Commercial buildings
   define the building’s scale such as                                                     typically extended across the
   height, roof, windows and doors                                                         entire lot width and taken
                                                                                           together made a single street
4. Proportion: rhythm of the lot widths                                                    façade composed of regular
                                                                                           rhythm of bays and window
   and features including entrances, win-
                                                                                           openings. When one or more
   dows, doors, etc.                                                                       of these lots are vacant, infill
                                                                                           construction is encouraged
5. Materials                                                                               in order to make whole the
                                             * Existing patter n of r esidential           street façade.
                                             building setbacks
6. Color and textures

        * Appr opriate Commerical Infill
                                                                     * In-appr opriate Commer cial Infill

                            City of Aurora - Historic Districts and Landmarks Guidelines
site and settinG
Site and Setting

A     urora’s Historic Districts and
      Historic Landmarks developed
from the mid-19th through the mid-20th
centuries. Most blocks in the Districts
retain their original character of site and
setting. In residential neighborhoods
dwellings were built with consistent
street setbacks and with front yards for
landscaping. Typically with the house’s
porch and main entrance were oriented
towards the street. Blocks were laid out
with similar lot dimensions and distances
between houses, creating a consistent
rhythm and pattern in the location of
buildings and the intervening spaces.
      In the downtown areas, commercial
buildings are found that were laid out
and built to form a continuous façade
close to the sidewalk. The consistent
setbacks and similar lot widths set up the
rhythm of the streetscape in these com-
mercial blocks.
      These streetscape characteristics are
retained on most blocks in the Districts
and should be preserved and maintained.
      The following guidelines provide
information on changes and alterations to
a property’s site and setting that could af-
fect not only its architectural appearance
but also that of the District.

                                                             * Map excerpt shows consistent setbacks and
                                                             location of outbuildings at r ear lots and along

                            City of Aurora - Historic Districts and Landmarks Guidelines
Fences and Walls

A. Fences of cast iron or other original      H. Fences of wood boards or planks            Wood picket and plank fences
   materials should be preserved.                for privacy should be located in rear      and cast iron fences were
                                                                                            widely used in residential
                                                 yards and should be no taller than
                                                                                            areas before 1945 to separate
B. Fences of cast iron when appropriate          six feet. Boards should be no more         lots, outline front yards, and
   to the architectural style of the build-      than six inches wide. Privacy fences       enclose domestic animals and
   ing may be added.                             of flat, vertical boards with flat tops    pets. However, few origi-
                                                 are most appropriate for the historic      nal cast iron fences remain
C. Fences of chain link, poured concrete,        districts. Vertical boards topped with     standing.
   concrete block, or wood in basket             lattice or pickets are also appropriate.
                                                                                            More recently chain link
   weave, louver, spilt rails, horizontal                                                   fences and other designs in
   board, lattice, stockade or shadowbox                                                    wood have become popular
   designs shall not be visible from the                                                    but these are non-historic
   street.                                                                                  fence materials and are not
D. Walls of free-standing brick are gener-
                                                                                            Historic fences should be pre-
   ally not appropriate in front yards but                                                  served and maintained. The
   are acceptable at rear yards and side                                                    construction of new fences
   yards not visible from the street.                                                       based upon historic designs
                                                                                            and materials is appropriate.
E. Traditional plantings such as hedges
                                                                                            In addition to the Fence Pro-
   and shrubs are acceptable as alterna-
                                                                                            visions of the Aurora Zoning
   tives for fences in historic districts.                                                  Code the following apply.

Fences in Front and Side Yards

F. Fences of wood pickets or balusters
   are appropriate for front yards. Such
   fences shall be painted or stained.
   Pickets or spindles should be no wider
   than four inches, and be set with top
   and bottom rails and may have a bot-
   tom baseboard. Fences more than 50%
   open should be no more than 42 inches
   in height. Fences less than 50% open,
   should be no more than 36 inches
   in height. Solid board fences are not
   appropriate for use in front and side
   yards and should be avoided.

Fences in Rear Yards

G. Fences can be constructed in the same
   low fence design found in the front

                             City of Aurora - Historic Districts and Landmarks Guidelines
                                                 Fences and Walls
    Appr opriate Fr ont Yar d Fences:                                                             Fence styles NOT allowed if
                                                                                                  visible :fr om the str eet

         Simple picket
                                                                                                          Horizontal basket weave

                Tulip-top picket
                                                                                                          Louver

               Balusters and spindles                                                                    Split-rail with bracing

Fe n c e s a p p r o p r i a t e f o r r e a r
ya r d s :

                                                                                                           Horizontal board

               Vertical board

                                                                                                          Lattice

              Vertical board with lattice top

                                                                                                          Stockade

        Vertical board with top rail
                                                                                                           Shadowbox

                                            City of Aurora - Historic Districts and Landmarks Guidelines
Fire Escapes and Secondary Exits

A. Fire escapes and secondary exits shall                                                  Within historic districts
   not be added unless they are required                                                   many buildings have been
                                                                                           converted into duplexes or
   by fire or safety codes.
                                                                                           apartments. These buildings
                                                                                           often have fire escape and/or
B. Fire escapes and secondary exists                                                       secondary exits to meet fire
   should be removed when no longer                                                        and safety codes.
   required by code.

C. Fire escapes and secondary exits
   should be located where they will not
   be visible from the street.

D. Fire escapes and secondary exits
   placed on the exterior should be of
   wood construction with simple balus-
   ters and handrails. Metal fire escapes
   may be installed if they are not visible
   from the street.

                            City of Aurora - Historic Districts and Landmarks Guidelines

Landscape treatments should       A. Landscaping designs and materials
be appropriate to the era of         that reflect the landscape features
the building and the district.
                                     and plant materials appropriate to the
Landscape features that were
                                     building’s period of significance shall
not featured during the his-         be used.
toric period of the buildings
do not contribute to the over-    B. Yard areas visible shall have appro-
all harmony of the setting.          priate ground cover; such as lawn or
                                     small perennial ground covers.

                                  C. Landscaping plants and materials
                                     shall not be placed where limbs and
                                     roots will damage historic structures,
                                     or prevent water from draining away
                                     from the foundation.

                                  D. Areas around trees can be covered
                                     with lawn, ground cover, or organic

                                  E. Ground cover of crushed gravel or ag-
                                     gregate shall not be used except in the
                                     immediate areas of downspouts.

                                  F. Larger stones can be used for grade
                                     changes, and in the limited areas
                                     where traffic inhibits plant growth.

                                  G. Berms or other grade changes except
                                     as needed to provide adequate drain-
                                     age shall not be used.

                                  Note: (For Riddle Highlands Historic
                                  District refer to the Riddle Highlands
                                  Historic District Appendix.)

                                 City of Aurora - Historic Districts and Landmarks Guidelines
Mechanical Equipment, Dumpsters and Other Equipment

A. Ground mounted equipment and                                                            Air conditioning and heating
   dumpsters on the sides of build-                                                        units often require condens-
                                                                                           ers and other mechanical
   ings visible from the street shall be
                                                                                           units to be placed within a
   screened preferably with shrubbery,                                                     few feet of the exterior side of
   but fencing or latticework appropriate                                                  a building wall.
   to the style of house is also accept-
   able. Ground mounted heating and                                                        Temporary construction
   cooling units, exhaust fans and dump-                                                   dumpsters are exempt from
                                                                                           these Guidelines.
   sters shall not be located in the front
   of a building.

B. Mechanical equipment such as gas
   meters, DBS satellite dishes, and other
   equipment shall be located on the rear
   or side of a building not visible from
   the street.

C. Window air-conditioners, exhaust fans
   and heat pumps should be located on
   the rear or sides of dwellings rather
   than on the front. The installation of
   such units should not result in the
   removal or replacement of the original
   window sash or surround.

D. Additional electrical, telephone, tele-
   vision or computer cables or conduits
   shall not be attached to the primary fa-
   cades of a building. (For Palace Street
   Historic District, see Palace Street
   Historic District Appendix.)

E. Window air conditioners, exhaust fans
   or heat pumps should not be installed
   in the primary facades.

                            City of Aurora - Historic Districts and Landmarks Guidelines

Aurora’s Historic Districts        A. Front yard areas shall not be paved,         D. Driveways shall be limited to a single
were largely platted and de-          covered with blacktop or transformed            lane where visible from the street,
veloped in the days of horse
                                      into an area for surface parking lots.          and allowed to increase towards
drawn vehicles and in the
early days of the automobile.
                                      Unpaved areas of a lot shall not be             the rear of the lot where it shall be
Some streets were laid out            paved without the submission of an              screened with landscaping or other
with rear alleys. Garages and         acceptable plan approved by the Au-             approved materials. Exceptions are if
carriage houses were gener-           rora Preservation Commission. New               the driveway was originally two-lane,
ally located directly adjacent        parking lots incompatible with the              or if the length does not allow the
to the alleys or in rear yards
                                      character of the neighborhood shall             curvature from one land to two. The
served by a driveway.
                                      not be introduced.                              original driveway design, material,
Many of these original early                                                          and placement, where known, should
outbuildings were replaced or      B. New off-street parking areas, for               be preserved.
converted to garages. Today,          residential and commercial properties
vehicular access to historic          shall be landscaped around the perim-        E. Driveways in the front or side yard
houses is by driveways off the
                                      eter of the parking area for screening          should be of brick, concrete, or con-
street or through rear alleys.
                                      purposes, and a landscape plan shall            crete tracks (two parallel narrow strips
The addition of garages               be submitted for approval indicating            of concrete with grass in between
and parking places in areas           the species, age, and location of the           - also called “ribbon drives”). Asphalt
other than rear yards is not          planting material.                              and textured concrete designed to look
consistent with traditional                                                           like brick pavers are also appropriate
streetscape design. Rear
                                   C. When existing off-street parking areas          materials.
yards were not paved for
unenclosed parking areas.
                                      are resurfaced, they shall comply with
The intent of these Guidelines        the provisions of the above new off-         F. Driveways shall not be poured closer
is to provide for residential         street parking areas.                           than six inches to foundation walls as
and commercial parking                                                                it causes damage to foundations and
without altering the historic                                                         walls.
streetscape, or creating situa-
tions where historic side and
rear yards are eliminated.
                                                                                   G. Driveway approaches shall be limited
By limiting the paved areas,                                                          to single lane widths to increase the
damage to historic buildings                                                          parkway landscaping. Widths at side-
due to storm water runoff is                                                          walks shall not exceed 10 feet, and
also mitigated.                                                                       the taper to the road shall not exceed
                                                                                      14 feet.

                                      Appropriate perimeter landscaping of parking area

                                  City of Aurora - Historic Districts and Landmarks Guidelines
Ramps for Accessibility

A. Ramps should be added so that                                                           Historic buildings often
   minimal original historic materials are                                                 need to be accessible to the
                                                                                           handicapped. Accessibility
   removed and that the ramp construc-
                                                                                           achieved with the least al-
   tion is reversible.                                                                     teration to important historic
                                                                                           features is most appropriate.
B. Ramps should be located at the rear or
   sides of dwellings. If a ramp is placed
   on the front of a building it should
   be of wood construction rather than
   of brick, concrete, or metal. Brick,
   concrete, and metal ramps are more
   acceptable at rear and sides of build-
   ings with interior lots.

C. Ramps should be of simple traditional
   design and configuration or designed
   to match the original porch railing in
   materials, dimensions, and detailing.
   Ramps should be painted to match the
   color of the porch railing or to match
   the overall paint color of the building.

D. Ramps in visible areas should be
   screened with landscaping.

E. When required by code, ramps shall
   adhere to applicable Historic Preser-
   vation provisions of the accessibility

                                                   Ramp Addition to a por ch

                            City of Aurora - Historic Districts and Landmarks Guidelines
                                  Sidewalks and Walkways

Sidewalks and walkways in         A. Sidewalks and walkways that are
historic districts are primar-       original to a dwelling or block should
ily of concrete construction.
                                     be preserved and maintained. (For
Many of these were poured
in the early 20th century and
                                     Riddle Highlands Historic District,
remain in good condition.            see Riddle Highlands Appendix.)
The use of concrete is appro-
priate in the repair, replace-    B. New sidewalks and walkways in the
ment and addition of concrete        front and side yards that are installed
sidewalks and walkways.
                                     shall match the original in details,
                                     dimensions, and placement.

                                  C. Sidewalks and walkways of aggregate
                                     or pebble-surfaced concrete are, in
                                     most cases, not appropriate in visible
                                     areas. Smooth poured concrete, stone,
                                     brick pavers, or pavers that replicate
                                     brick, properly laid, may be used.

                                  D. Sidewalks and walkways of asphalt
                                     shall not be installed in front yards but
                                     may be used in areas not visible from
                                     the street.

                                 City of Aurora - Historic Districts and Landmarks Guidelines
Swimming Pools, Fountains, Gazebos and Pergolas

A. Swimming pools should be located                                                        Because swimming pools
   in rear or side yards and screened                                                      are a modern amenity, they
                                                                                           should be screened so as not
   from street view with fencing and/or
                                                                                           to be visible.
   landscaping. (See Fences and Land-
   scaping.)                                                                               In addition to the Swimming
                                                                                           Pool Regulations of the City
B. Arbors and pergolas unless original                                                     of Aurora and Aurora Zoning
   to the design shall not be installed on                                                 Code provisions the following
   primary façades. Arbors and pergolas
   shall not obstruct character defining                                                   In addition to the Aurora
   elements on primary or side facades                                                     Zoning Code provisions for
   visible from street.                                                                    accessory structures and
                                                                                           permitted obstructions the
C. Accessory buildings, including unen-                                                    following apply.
   closed gazebos shall not be allowed
   in front yards. These may be allowed
   in side or rear yards. The design and
   architectural details of the gazebo
   should be appropriate to the architec-
   tural style of the primary structure.
   See Porch section for guidelines of
   appropriate gazebo styles.

D. Fountains or water features are
   acceptable in rear and side yards.
   Screening must be used if visible
   from the street.
                                                           * appr opriate: simple,
                                                           unenclosed gazebo

                                                  * Inappr opriate: en-
                                                  closed gazebo

                            City of Aurora - Historic Districts and Landmarks Guidelines
siGnaGe and GRaphiCs
Signs and Graphic Designs Guidelines

S    igns or graphics play an important
     role not only in calling attention to
a business and in providing information
but also in defining the character of the
street’s overall image. In addition to the
standard City of Aurora Zoning Codes,
the guidelines for signs and graphic de-
signs as outlined below apply.

                            City of Aurora - Historic Districts and Landmarks Guidelines

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