Historic District: FACT OR FICTION

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Last Updated: Monday August 15, 2011

Historic - 403 Hough Street Historic - 525 S. Grove Avenue  Historic - 125 Lake Street

Barrington is home to one of the most prestigious Historical Districts in Illinois. As spring and summer approach, many residents in the Historical District are considering exterior improvements to their homes but may be deterred because they believe that the approval process is too cumbersome. Listed below are just a few of the many misconceptions about the Village’s Historic District that we have heard along with the facts.

"I cannot change the paint color on the exterior of my home without consulting the Village and/or the Architectural Review Commission."
FICTION - Exterior paint colors are not regulated within the Historic Preservation Overlay District. For recommendations on historically accurate paint colors, please consult the Historic Preservation Overlay District Design Guidelines

“I cannot make exterior improvements to my home in the Historical District without going before the Architectural Review Commission.”
FICTION - Many exterior improvements including but not limited to roof replacement, gutter replacement and siding repairs can be approved administratively by obtaining a standard construction permit. Painting does not require a construction permit.

“Additions to the front and side of historic structures are not permitted.”
FICTION - The Historical District Design Guidelines recommend that additions be located at the rear of the building, be in scale with the original structure and do not result in the loss of overall architectural character. However, all additions (including side and front) are evaluated by the Architectural Review Commission under the same set of standards.

“I cannot replace my windows.”
FICTION - Replacement windows on noncontributing structures may be approved administratively by obtaining a standard construction permit. All replacement windows must be historically dimensioned and must be wood. Windows on contributing structures should be restored rather than replaced. Staff can help provide information on window restoration. If you feel your windows are beyond restoration, the Architectural Review Commission is happy to review your request by conducting an in-home inspection of your windows.

“I cannot replace my old wood siding with vinyl or aluminum siding.”
FACT - Improvements to historic buildings should enhance the structure’s historic character by rehabilitating or restoring the original materials whenever possible. When original materials cannot be rehabilitated or restored, the original material should not be replaced with synthetic materials such as aluminum and/or vinyl.

The Village would like to hear your questions regarding the Historic District! Send your questions/comments to Jennifer Tennant, Assistant Director at (847) 304-3462 or jtennant@barrington-il.gov.