Doors and doorways are a major design element in Fredericks-burg's Historic District. They vary as much as windows and help to define a building's style through their size, proportions, materials, and ratio of solids to voids. Doors allow access to a building, and in association with porches and entrances, may be decorated and ceremonial. Doors on secondary elevations are usually simpler and more utilitarian. Delivery or garage doors on commercial buildings are also utilitarian, but also help to define the character of the building. 

Types of Doors

Paneled doors consist of a carefully joined framework that supports various types of panels. They are almost univerally constructed of wood although metal and synthetic doors that give the appearance of wood have appeared in recent years. Paneled doors are most common on residential buildings. 

Glazed doors are found on both commercial and residential buildings although they are usually very different. Commercial doors, for instance, often consist of a single glass pane within a relatively narrow frame. Residential doors have a variety of patterns depending on the building's architectural style. Additional glazing is often provided around the door in the form of sidelights and transoms. 

Other doors include batten doors (vertical planks held together by horizontal members), delivery or garage doors (which can be paneled or batten), and flush doors (which are of a veneer construction). 

Maintenance and Repair 

1. Retain original doors. 

2. Repair original doors by patching, splicing, consolidating, or reinforcing. Wood may appear to be rotten because of peeling paint or separation of joints, yet still be sound and able to be repaired. Rotted parts can be replaced, as necessary, without replacing the entire door. 

3. Doors should only be replaced when they are missing or beyond repair. Replacement should be based on physical evidence and photo documentation rather than the availability of stock doors or doors from other buildings. Avoid changing the physical or visual character of doors by using inappropriate materials, finishes, or details. 

4. Avoid changing the number, location, or size of doors by cutting new openings, enlarging existing openings, blocking in door openings, or installing replacement doors that do not fit the original openings. 

5. Uncover and repair covered-up doors. If a door is no longer needed for its intended use, it should be fixed in place. In these instances, any glass can be frosted or painted black, or the door shuttered or screened (as appropriate) so it appears from the exterior to be used. 

6.  Reuse serviceable door hardware and locks, as practicable.  If replacement is necessary, ensure new hardware is compatible with the old.

Energy Retrofitting 

1. Install storm doors that do not obscure the features of the original door (such as a full view storm door). 

2. Ensure that a storm door is painted to match other doors or trim. 

Construction Guidelines 

1. New doors should relate to the door styles found on similar buildings in the Historic District. 


Paneled door

Delivery doors

Inappropriate replacement door

Appropriate storm door

An inappropriate storm door masks the details of the main door

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