Nerd Word of the Week v.2

Welcome back to the second edition of Nerd Word of the Week!


This week the word we’re going to discuss is: Integrity.

In the world of historic preservation integrity holds a little bit different of a context than in other worlds, for instance in the friendship world or the world of gangster rap which, unbeknownst to many, I am thoroughly aquatinted. #2pacisalive

In the National Register nomination form, there is even a specific section which asks for a property’s integrity to be determined.  There are seven aspects that always need to be evaluated for every property on every NRHP form:

  1. Location – “Location is the place where the historic property was constructed or the place where the historic event took place.”
  2. Design – “Design is the composition of elements that constitute the form, plan, space, structure, and style of a property.”
  3. Setting – “Setting is the physical environment of a historic property that illustrates the character of the place.”
  4. Materials- “Materials are the physical elements combined in a particular pattern or configuration to form the aid during a period in the past.”
  5. Workmanship – “Workmanship is the physical evidence of the crafts of a particular culture or people during any given period of history.”
  6. Feeling – “Feeling is the quality that a historic property has in evoking the aesthetic or historic sense of a past period of time.”
  7. Association – “Association is the direct link between a property and the event or person for which the property is significant.”

On PP posts, you will see that these are not outwardly discussed.  That said, they are on my mind as Maddie and I discuss and plan out collaborating on each post.  I similarly think about integrity when I discuss other things with Maddie as well.


How are all of these intertwined, you ask?  Think about it this way. If you’re looking at a building that may be historic but has been relocated — thus not in its original location — its setting is now altered, as well as potentially both its feeling and association.  Additionally, if any physical destruction or damage occurred during said move, its materials and workmanship may now have been detrimentally altered, too.

The above is of course an exercise in fiction, but it is a good example of how all seven aspects of integrity play a roll in the overall determination.

On a more practical level, think about these aspects of integrity in the context of Elgin’s historic districts.  Even those that may not individually be on the National Register of Historic Places but are within one of the historic districts must receive a Certificate of Appropriateness in order for any exterior work to be done.  As stated by the City of Elgin’s Design Guideline Manual for Landmarks and Historic Districts:

“The guidelines apply only to the exteriors of properties and are intended to protect the overall character of Elgin’s locally designated historic districts as well as the architectural integrity of the districts’ individual buildings and locally designated landmark structures.” (pg. 7)

See you next week!