Newly published design guidelines that provide valuable tips for everything from choosing paint colors to repairing architectural features are now available as a reference tool for those involved in the restoration of historic structures within Bristol, Tennessee.
Although use of the Bristol, Tennessee Historic District Design Guidelines is voluntary, the document notes that property owners, developers, architects, and designers may refer to it for best practices to “promote respectful rehabilitation and compatible new construction.” The guidelines were compiled by the City’s Planning Department with assistance from Phil Thomason of the Nashville consulting firm of Thomason and Associates.
“At their core, design guidelines assist property owners in maintaining and enhancing the appearance of their properties, sustaining or even increasing property values, and improving the livability of historic areas,” the document states. “Design guidelines help property owners understand the value and methods of preserving and maintaining the essential character of their property and methods for preservation and maintenance.”
Cherith Young, the City’s planning services manager, said the guidelines “are meant to be a helpful guide. I think many people will really appreciate the history of Bristol that’s been included and the information that can help them determine what style of house they live in. I really think it’s a wonderful resource for our community.”
For those working within the Bristol Commercial Historic District, which includes much of the downtown area, the guidelines address such things as storefronts, entrances and doors, windows and roofs, signs, lighting, and parking. The guidelines for residential properties address many of the same issues, as well as driveways, walkways, garages, and outbuildings.
The document also provides guidance for new construction within historic areas and tips for adding modern amenities, such as heating/cooling units and accessibility ramps for those with disabilities, to historic structures. Photographs of existing Bristol buildings are used to demonstrate appropriate practices and to identify the various styles of buildings that exist downtown.
Funding to develop the Bristol, Tennessee Historic District Design Guidelines was provided by a grant from the U.S. Department of the Interior’s National Park Service. The complete document is available online at www.bristoltn.org/HistoricGuidelines. For additional information, please contact Planning Service Manager Cherith Young at [email protected] or (423) 989-5518.