Forty-five Years Later: Taking Stock of the Secretary of Interior Standards

This webinar normally comes at a cost of $30 / $40 for members and non-members respectively. Purchase the workshop on Feburary 20th, 2020 (Advanced Topics in the Secretary of Interior Standards) and receive this program at no additional cost.

Hannah Arendt used the phrase "banality of evil" to understand the bureaucratizing of the unimaginable through normality, shallowness, and disengagement. But what about the evil of banality? The Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation (SOIS), which have morphed to include Standards for Preservation, Restoration, and Reconstruction were a post-war project to save historic American architecture from the evil fate of inappropriate and overwhelming adaptation (a surgical task compared to Europe, which was then rehabilitating historic sites from the destruction of World War II).

Have the SOIS since become a bureaucratic straightjacket to imagination and innovation? This webinar opens with a short history of the standards' development to reveal their underlying principles and then delves into open discussion of case studies in recent historic rehabilitation projects in Europe and America, focusing on the comparative standards that underlie them, including Title 63, the Rules of the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission.


James Papp, PhD, Principal, Historicities; Eva Fina, Principal, Historicities; Katie Horak, Principal, Architectural Resources Group; Charles Bloszies, FAIA, SE, LEED AP.

Learning Objectives

  1. Familiarity with the the historical development of SOI Standards
  2. Understanding the underlying principles of SOI Standards
  3. Contact with alternative standards for rehabilitation, preservation, restoration, and reconstruction
  4. Imagining how to achieve historic rehabilitation that is not banal