Building Scale (size)

Scale is created by the size of a building as it relates to a person, to neighboring buildings, as well as to its own location and site. Specific design features can further reinforce the human scale or emphasize that of the structure. In downtown Fredericksburg, with a few notable exceptions, most commercial buildings aretwo and three stories high. As a consequence, the streetscapes are on a human scale rather than monumental like larger cities. 

Construction Guidelines 

1. Although the zoning ordinance defines height limitations within the various parts of the City, building height at the street front should be compatible with the prevailing height of the entire block. 

2. New buildings that must be taller than the prevailing height should be stepped back so the additional height is not visible from the street. 

3. The primary facade of a new commercial building should be modulated with bays to reflect the prevailing width of the adjoining historic buildings. 

4. Architectural features - such as porches, entrances, storefronts, and other decorative elements - should be used to reinforce the human scale of the Historic District. An exception to this guideline would be new institutional or governmental buildings, where a more monumental scale is sometimes deemed more appropriate. 

Compatible heights

Modulated facade

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