Building Massing (Shape)

A building's mass, or shape, is defined by its component parts, including the size of its footprint and number of stories. Individual characteristics of mass include building form, roof shape, and orientation. 

Building Massing - Main Structure

A building's form can be a simple rectangular box or a more complex combination of boxes. The level of complexity usually relates to the building's architectural style. 

Construction Guidelines 

1. Building form should relate to the existing streetscape. If most of the building forms are simple, then the form of a new building should respect that characteristic. 

2. New civic or institutional structures, even if placed on a street with buildings comprised of simple forms, may have more complex forms, to correspond to the complexity and importance of their use. 

3. The orientation of new residential dwellings should be compatible with the neighboring houses in the block. 

4. New commercial and professional buildings should respect the orientation of similar buildings in the Historic District. 

Building Massing - Additions 

Additions to buildings, whether commercial or residential, should follow the preceeding guidelines. Furthermore, the following guidelines need to be considered because of the high visual impact additions can have on existing structures. 

Construction Guidelines 

1. Before a building is enlarged, the needed functions an addition is meant to address should be evaluated to see if they can be accommodated within the existing structure. 

2. An addition, when needed, should not visually overpower the existing structure. 

3. Locate additions on the rear or side (secondary) elevations. If an additional floor is to be constructed on top of a building, it should be set back from the main facade to minimize its visual impact. 

4. To avoid compromising the integrity of historic buildings, additions should not be made to look older than they are. New construction should be differentiated from the old while still being compatible with the massing, scale, and architectural features of the original building. Replicas only confuse the importance of the original architecture. 

5. Additions should be constructed so as not to impair the essential form and integrity of the original building. 


This neighborhood church is more complex in form than its neighboring dwellings


The addition to this property has been placed to maintain the form of the original structure

This contemporary connection between two historic structures clearly differentiates its period construction while being compatible to its setting.

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