NPS: Where Masonry and Preservation Meet

The National Trust for Historic Preservation’s latest issue of Preservation (magazine) is out with a trendy topic for summer: National Parks.


Obviously the National Park Service (NPS) — existent since August 25, 1916 — oversees the parks. Did you know that this federal organization also administers historic preservation and restoration?


Take its smallest site, for instance. Thaddeus Kosciuszko National Memorial in Philadelphia requires routine maintenance and repairs. Compare the brickwork before and after masonry restoration in 1972 (image next) versus now.


Historic brick house in 1972 (Thaddeus Kosciuszko, HABS, public domain, LOC)

Historic brick house in 1972 (Thaddeus Kosciuszko, HABS, public domain, LOC)

Via their Technical Preservation Services (TPS), NPS provides a series of Preservation Briefs. A few masonry-related examples are:


  • 2  Repointing Mortar Joints in Historic Masonry Buildings
  • 5 The Preservation of Historic Adobe Buildings
  • 22 The Preservation and Repair of Historic Stucco Buildings

These reports are detail rich with straight advice summaries and informative reading lists. The four treat approaches especially interested us. That is, Preservation, Rehabilitation, Restoration, and Reconstruction.


The National Park Service is a treasure trove of more than parks. We appreciate its masonry side of things. Happy Centennial Birthday, NPS!