Downtown Plainview Historic Guidelines

Click on the graphic below for a printable copy of the Downtown Plainview Guidelines.

Guidelines Graphic

Historic Standards Guidelines

What is the Purpose of Historic District Design Guidelines?   


The Plainview National Register Commercial Historic District Design Guidelines are meant to serve the City of Plainview and property owners within the Downtown Commercial Historic District. The City of Plainview has developed these guidelines to preserve the heritage of the city, protect property values and investments, promote a sense of identity for the historic district and encourage civic pride.

 These design guidelines will assist property owners, design professionals, real estate professionals, developers, City staff, and the Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) in determining the types of alterations that will maintain the unique qualities of Plainview’s Commercial Historic District. The guidelines listed will establish the basic criteria used to determine if changes made to the exterior of a property are architecturally accurate and in alignment with historical preservation standards established by the City of Plainview, State guidelines and by the Department of the Interior. The Guidelines do not provide case-specific advice but are a general guide for making decisions about design changes to historic buildings. 


Historic Standards Department of Interior

What is the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation? How do they apply to my renovation?



The City of Plainview utilizes the Department of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation approach. 

The National Park Service created these ten basic principles to guide property owners in preserving the historic integrity of a building. 

The Standards recognize the need for adapting historic structures to modern times and therefore allow for changes and new construction that are compatible with the building and/or the historic district.

The standards are general enough that they apply to all architectural styles, periods, and building types. 

 1. A property shall be used for its historic purpose or be placed in a new use that requires minimal change to the defining characteristics of the building and its site and environment.

 2. The historic character of a property shall be retained and preserved. The removal of historic materials or alteration of features and spaces that characterize a property shall be avoided. 

 3. Each property shall be recognized as a physical record of its time, place, and use. Changes that create a false sense of historical development, such as adding conjectural features or architectural elements from other buildings, shall not be undertaken.

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

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

 6. Deteriorated historic features shall be repaired rather than replaced. Where the severity of deterioration requires replacement of a distinctive feature, the new feature shall match the old in design, color, texture, and other visual qualities and, where possible, materials. Replacement of missing features shall be substantiated by documentary, physical, or pictorial evidence. 

 7. Chemical or physical treatments, such as sandblasting, that cause damage to historic materials shall not be used. The surface cleaning of structures, if appropriate, shall be undertaken using the gentlest means possible. 

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

9. New additions, exterior alterations, or related new construction shall not destroy historic materials that characterize the property. The new work shall be differentiated from the old and shall be compatible with the massing, size, scale, and architectural features to protect the historic integrity of the property and its environment. 

 10. New additions and adjacent or related new construction shall be undertaken in such a manner that if removed in the future, the essential form and integrity of the historic property and its environment would be unimpaired.

The ten standards, as well as the guidelines included in this document, are intended to be a general guide and does not provide case specific advice. (Economic and technical feasibility of each individual project will be considered.)


Historic Standards Contributing Non ContributingWhat is a contributing and noncontributing building status? Does this affect my renovations?



Properties within the National Register Historic District are placed into two categories:

Contributing: Properties that add to the historic association and/or architectural importance for which the district is significant. It must have been present during the district’s historic period of significance (1907-1951) and must physically retain a majority of the architectural characteristics representing that era.

Noncontributing: Properties that are built later than the period of significance, have been altered in a major way such that the original form and/or materials and features are no longer present, or the building has deteriorated beyond reasonable repair.

The classification of a property may determine the applicability of certain changes to the property. Please review the Contributing/ Noncontributing map before reviewing the guidelines below. 

Consider the changes you are making. Some alterations to a property could change its classification within the district. The loss of contributing properties could result in the loss of the district’s historic designation.

It is the goal of the district to maintain contributing properties and to work toward converting noncontributing properties into contributing. 

Click here for map of downtown buildings categorized by contributing / noncontributing.

 What is a Certificate of Appropriateness? Do I need one? Historic Guidelines COA



A Certificate of Appropriateness is a document stating that the proposed work is appropriate for the Historic District and meets criteria in the City Code. Work completed without a Certificate of Appropriateness will be in violation of City Code and could result in fines. 

A Certificate of Appropriateness Application will need to be submitted and receive proper approval and necessary permits before any work can begin. Level of approval depends on the project’s scope of work. 

Property owners planning on making any alteration or addition within the Historic District shall notify the Downtown Office in the beginning stage of planning to determine if a Certificate of Appropriateness is needed.

Click here for a Certificate of Appropriateness Application

Historic Standards Renovating Downtown Buildings


Regular Maintenance

Regular building maintenance is essential to preserving traditional construction and materials and ensures that the quality of a building is sustained. Maintenance is essentially preventative measures taken to avoid the need for consideration of repair or replacement. The retention and maintenance of materials on a traditional building is important and should be a key objective of building conservation projects. A Certificate of Appropriateness is not required for the following:

Project

Approval

Cleaning common areas

NA

Removing trash

Repairing broken items

Protection against vandalism and arson

 


Details and Ornamentation

Character-defining features define the unique character and context of the building and district and should be retained. Typical character defining features include but are not limited to original wall materials, decorative cornices, and columns, vertically aligned upper-story windows, larger first floor openings, and trim around the openings. (see image above)

Not Recommended

  • Permanently removing historic details or ornamentation.
  • Covering historic details or ornamentation.
  • Adding modern details or ornamentation that do not compliment the character of the building.

Recommended

  • Maintaining the unique character and historic elements of the building in good condition.
  • Preserving intact original features and ornamentation.

Repairing deteriorated details and ornamentation if possible. If replacement is necessary, the deteriorated detail or ornament should be replaced with one that resembles the original.

Project

Building Category*

Approval**

Recommended

Not Allowed

Restoring/ replacing historic character defining features

P&Z

  •  

 

NC 

ADMIN

  •  

 

Replacing a historic architectural feature with a non-historic architectural feature

P&Z

 

  •  

NC 

ADMIN

 

  •  

Adding non-historic additions that are made of non-historic materials

P&Z

 

  •  

NC 

ADMIN

 

  •  

Removing exterior non-historic architectural features

ADMIN

  •  

 

NC 

NR***

  •  

 

Removing exterior siding to reveal historic materials

ADMIN

  •  

 

NC 

ADMIN

  •  

 

Removing or concealing any historic and architectural features that are integral to the historic character of the building

P&Z

 

  •  

NC

ADMIN

 

  •  

 

 

*C= Contributing/ NC= Noncontributing

** Planning & Zoning Commission / City Administration

*** None Required

 

Building Materials/ Masonry/ Paint Color

Building materials are important in identifying the character and age of a building. The majority of buildings in the historic district are constructed of masonry materials and the following guidelines apply to the masonry surfaces, features, and details of traditional buildings. 

Not Recommended

  • Painting historically unpainted masonry surfaces. (brick, concrete, etc.)
  • Removing/ radically changing masonry façade features essential to the character of the building.
  • Covering the original historic façade.
    • Cleaning masonry with harmful methods. (sandblasting, abrasive chemicals, etc.) 
    • Covering undamaged brick with a permanent slip cover or stucco 
    • Painting wood, trim or previously painted masonry with non-historic colors

Recommended

  • Cleaning the building façade with the gentlest means possible.
  • Maintaining and/or repairing the original masonry features and construction material of the building. If replacement is necessary, use materials that match the original as closely as possible.
  • Removing façade slip covers or stucco in a way that does not damage the original material underneath. In some cases, removal of slip covers or stucco may cause more damage than keeping them intact.
  • Repairing façade slip covers or stucco when removal is not a viable option. 
  • If a masonry façade has historically been painted, it can continue to be painted using traditional color schemes from collections (like Sherwin-Williams Preservation Palette and Benjamin Moore Historical Collection). Historic Color Pallets can be found in the DP/MS Office.

 

Project

Building Category

Approval

Recommended

Not Allowed

Additions of decorative elements to an existing street facing façade complimenting the building’s historic features

C

P&Z

         x

 

NC 

ADMIN

         x

 

Removing paint from historic and significant architectural features (back to original condition)

ADMIN

          x

 

NC 

NR

         x

 

Painting a previously painted surface 

ADMIN

         x

 

NC 

         x

 

Covering a building's original façade with non-historic materials (slipcovers or stucco)

P&Z

 

          x

NC 

ADMIN

 

          x

Painting unpainted historic brick or other significant architectural features

P&Z

 

          x

NC 

ADMIN

 

          x









Storefronts

A storefront is the most important component of a commercial building as it attracts visitors and creates walking appeal on the street. Original storefront preservation is essential to maintaining the historic integrity of both the individual building and the historic district as a whole. When considering a remodeling or renovation project, traditional storefront design, details, and materials should be retained or restored.

Not Recommended

  • Covering or removing historic materials such as display windows, wood, trim, cast iron, terra cotta and brick that can be restored or repaired.
  • Designing a new storefront that is incompatible with the design of the building façade and the district as a whole.
  • Leveling historically recessed entryways to the sidewalk.
  • Painting or filling in windows.
  • Failing to undertake adequate measures to assure the preservation of the historic storefront.
  • Removing historic material that could be repaired.

Recommended

  • Preserving and/ or opening up the original storefront. Original storefront openings or components should not be covered.
  • Maintaining storefronts that have been historically altered. Do not restore such storefront to an earlier period.
  • Removing an inappropriate existing storefront configuration and installing a new compatible storefront.
  • Preserving original storefront glass and framing when possible. 
  • Maintaining historic recessed entries.
  • Maintaining and repairing original transom windows. 

Project

Building Category

Approval

Recommended

Not Allowed

Removing a building’s storefront porch, patio or deck 

P&Z

         x

 

NC 

ADMIN

         x

 

Creating a new façade that is different from how the building was designed originally

P&Z

 

x

NC 

P&Z

 

x

Making changes to or removing storefront steps and ramps

P&Z

          x

 

NC 

ADMIN

        x

 

Reopening an enclosed porch or deck back to its original condition

ADMIN

        x

 

NC 

ADMIN

        x

 

Removing a street facing façade and store front

P&Z

 

          x

NC 

ADMIN

 

          x

Removing a recessed entry that is not original to the building 

P&Z

 

            X

NC 

P&Z

         x

 

Installing a recessed entry that is historically accurate to the building

C

P&Z

         x 

 



Signage

Business signs are an important element in defining the character of the historic district and an invaluable feature to the business. Well-designed business signs contribute to the appearance of a building as well as attract customers and clients. The downtown historic district’s guidelines shall conform to the City of Plainview’s Signage standards set out in article 14.08. 

Not Recommended

  • Removing original historic signage.
  • Obscuring any architectural details or ornamentation historic to the building.
  • Using temporary canvas banner signs advertising a new business, product, extended hours, or sale as a permanent sign. 

Recommended

  • Maintaining and/or repair any original signage that greatly contributes to the character of the building.
  • Re-using historic signs and signboards. 
  • Incorporating historic or original signs to the new signage. 
  • New signs should be easily seen and clearly legible without being loud or obtrusive.
  • New sign materials and lighting should be compatible with historic sign materials.
  • Signs on display windows and entry doors should be located and designed so they do not obscure visibility into the ground floor. 

More information on the City of Plainview’s Sign Ordinance can be found on the City of Plainview’s website or by calling (806) 296-1100.

Project

Building Category

Approval

Recommended 

Installing new signage that is consistent with the local sign ordinance

All structures within district

ADMIN

           x 

Changes in content or configuration that do not involve changes in sign’s location, dimensions, lighting or overall look

ADMIN

           x

Painting a business sign or mural onto a building

P&Z

         x


Awnings and Canopies

Awnings and canopies serve the public’s convenience by providing shelter and encouraging foot traffic along the street. They also provide strong visual continuity to the downtown district. Awnings and Canopies should be designed to fit the style and period of construction of the building. 

Not Recommended

  • Obstructing any ornamental detail, window, or parapets (transom windows may be located under awnings and canopies)
  • Removing existing historic canopies. 
  • Using inappropriate materials (shingles or fiberglass).
  • Installing awnings or canopies that are out of scale with the overall building façade. 
  • Having an awning or canopy be backlit or internally illuminated.

Recommended

  • Maintaining or repairing an existing awning or canopy.
  • Attaching an awning to the principal structure of the building.
  • Constructing the awning of durable, protective, and water-repellant materials (e.g., cloth, fabric, canvas, glass, steel, standing seam metal, architectural metal, and/or perforated metal).
  • Ensuring the awning is compatible with the overall color scheme of the facade from which it projects.


Project

Building Category

Approval

Recommended

Not Allowed

Adding a new awning or canopy to a building that has not previously had one

C

P&Z

 

            x

NC 

ADMIN

 

             x

Changing/ repairing the color and material of an awning

C

ADMIN

           x

 

NC 

NR

           x

 

Removing an awning or canopy 

P&Z

           x

 

NC 

ADMIN

           x

 






Lighting

Lighting is an important element downtown and plays a major role in providing security downtown. Traditionally, lights were designed simply to highlight a building’s entrances, signs, and walkways. 

Not Recommended

  • Leaving unprotected, live wiring exposed.
  • Damaging significant architectural features while installing new modern light fixtures.
  • Installing fixtures that do not match the scale or unique features of the building or the district.
  • Positioning lighting outwards toward the street.

Recommended

  • Installing light fixtures that are proportional and appropriate in design to the building.
  • Installing lighting that does not damage the architectural features of the building.
  • Repairing historic light fixtures.
  • Replacing historic light fixtures with similar fixtures when repairing is not a viable option.
  • Properly lighting the building’s storefront and sign complementing the historic characteristics of the building.

Project

Building Category

Approval

Recommended

Not Allowed

Removing historic lighting fixtures historic to the building and replacing with nonhistorical fixtures

P&Z

 

           x

NC 

ADMIN

 

           x

Installing light fixtures that are complimentary to the historic character of the building 

C

ADMIN

           x

 

NC

NR

           x

 


Miscellaneous

Miscellaneous

Roofing

Building Category

Approval

Recommended

Not Allowed

Repairs or replacement of roofing materials

All structures within district

ADMIN

         x

 

Rooftop HVAC, mechanical or communication equipment that result in modifications to the building façade

P&Z

          x 

 

NC

ADMIN

        x

 

Installing a new fence, railing or wall 

All structures within district

P&Z

 

        x

Demolition of a building resulting in the partial or total reduction or loss of square footage of the existing structure

P&Z

 

        x

Relocation of a building or structure on the same lot

ADMIN

         x

 

Relocation of a building or structure to or from the historic district (includes relocation of buildings or structures within the historic districts)

P&Z

         x

 

Constructing a new building or structure 

P&Z

          x

 

Creating a new addition to an existing building

P&Z

        x