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 77 7 Because of use change or extensive rehabilitation , buildings often require modi fi cations to comply with current requirements for health, life, safety and accessibility by persons with disabilities. These changes should be carefully planned to ensure that the integrity and character de fi ning features of the buildings are preserved. In 1994, the North Carolina State Building Code adopted provisions aimed at providing greater fl exibility in the administration of code requirements on older buildings. The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 also impacts historic properties. To comply with the North Carolina building code, a handrail of 36” is required when the height of an open porch or deck is 32” or more above ground level. However, existing handrails less than 36” high may be replicated in keeping with historic precedent. Since many of Wilmington’s residences and public buildings have raised foundations , wheel chair ramps or lifts may be required to provide barrier free access. Fire exits and fi re doors, railings, handrails and other safety features may also be required to comply with local regulations. Property owners should work with local code of fi cials, preservation specialists and local disability groups to investigate alternative solutions for building changes that are reversible and sensitive to historic buildings. NOTE: Property owners in the Historic Districts should become familiar with the contents of North Carolina’s State Building Code which deals with the requirements for historic structures. Code informa Ɵ on is available at the, New Hanover County Planning and Inspec Ɵ ons Department. Saint Mary’s Church 412 Ann Street Source: City of Wilmington 3.10 Health and Safety Code Requirements