Wilmington Design Standards for Historic Districts and Landmarks

6 5 4 3 2 1 Standards for Building Changes Design Standards WILMINGTON HISTORIC DISTRICTS AND LANDMARKS 73 7 Color is a signi fi cant element in the architect’s concept of design. Easy to alter, color remains the fi nishing touch, the most visible aspect of the building. The residential areas of Wilmington’s historic districts contain a wide variety of styles from the romantic revivals of the mid-19th century to the more fl amboyant Queen Anne and other styles of the late Victorian period. Greek Revival buildings, popular in Wilmington between 1840-1865, were usually painted white with dark green or black shutters . Natural tints of beige, gray and light green were used on the many Italianate houses built between 1850-1870, while the late Victorian styles favored richer and darker colors in shades of red, green and brown. Revival style houses in the residential areas of the historic districts were painted in lighter colors in keeping with the national trend that favored pastel colors for the body of the house accented by a white or off-white trim . Earth colors appeared on some of the stucco and shingle Prairie style homes built in the Carolina Heights/Winoca Terrace District after the turn of the century. Wilmington’s many bungalows frequently used a light trim to set off the materials and details of their porches and roofs. Doors and roofs should be included when a color scheme is being considered. Many 19th century doors were varnished or stained. Standing seam metal roofs, traditional within the historic districts, were painted in dark greens, reds or sometimes black. Dark colors are more appropriate if substitute roof materials are being considered. Shingles and clapboard are normally painted, although shingles are occasionally stained. Porch ceilings are often painted blue, while gray is the traditional color for porch fl oors and steps. Nearly all the houses built in America from the Civil War to World War I were de fi ned by the color of their trim .* The corner boards, cornice , water table and belt courses were painted like the trim. The vertical and horizontal elements of the porches were outlined in the same fashion, as were the windows and door openings. Cornice brackets and porch balusters usually look better painted in the trim color. On homes built after 1875, the sash is darker than the trim, usually a deep red or chocolate brown, dark green, olive or black. All color changes require approval through the Administrative Bypass procedure. The Historic District Preservation Commission has adopted the following books on house color design: Moss, Roger W., A Century of Color: Exterior Decoration for American Buildings 1820-1920, Watkins Glen, N.Y.: American Life Foundation, 1981. Moss, Roger W., and Gail Caskey Winkler, Victorian Exterior Decoration: How to Paint Your 19th century American House Historically, New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1987; revised paperback edition, 1992. Moss, Roger W., Editor, Paint in America: The Colors of Historic Buildings, Washington, D.C. Preservation Press, National Trust for Historic Preservation, 1994. These publications can be reviewed at the Development Center and are also available at the New Hanover County Public Library. *From “A Century of Color” by Roger Moss. Exterior Color and Design 318 South Front Street Source: City of Wilmington 3.8 Exterior Color

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