Historic Building Condition Assessment

California State Parks is responsible for the care and management of approximately 3,000 historic buildings and structures.  After decades of deferred maintenance and inadequate funding, many of these structures are in poor condition.  

When funding is available, State Parks preserves, restores, rehabilitates, or occasionally reconstructs historic structures, in accordance with the Secretary of the Interior's Standards.  Any treatment of an historic building needs to begin with a condition assessment.  This webpage is intended to assist state parks staff, and others interested in preserving historic structures, with conducting condition assessments.  Building condition assessments are as the first step in restoring or preserving historic structures.

Bodie State Historic Park building

Bodie State Historic Park is a genuine California gold-mining ghost town,
seven miles south of Bridgeport, California.

On this page, we have collected some resources to help in the planning and execution of building condition assessments. The Training Video on building condition assessment is a good place to start.  Although it was filmed in Bodie State Historic Park as part of a workshop on "Arrested Decay,"  the information and approach can be applied to building condition assessments for any historic building.

For additional information and guidance, including technical briefs, please see the following web links and documents:

Forms for Assessing Historic Structures:

California Department of Parks and Recreation
DPR Historic Structure Assessment Form (pdf)

National Center for Preservation Technology & Training
Rapid Building and Site Condition Assessment Form (pdf)

National Park Service and University of Oregon
Structure Assessment Form (pdf)


Evaluating Architectural Character:
Identifying the Visual Aspects of Historic Buildings as an Aid to Preserving Their Character (National Park Service Webpage)

Understanding Old Buildings
The Process of Architectural Investigation (National Park Service Webpage)

Overall Reference for the Secretary of the Interior's Standards
for the Treatment of Historic Properties
Guidelines for Preserving, Rehabilitating, Restoring and Reconstructing Historic Buildings


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   Video Display:  (291kbps / 320px x 240px)

Training Video of Building Condition Assessment:

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