All buildings within Boyertown’s Main Street district should be restored to their original architectural period if appropriate. Modifications which use color, details and architectural motifs from other eras should be avoided. Cosmetic “face-lifts” which cover and/or obliterate the original architectural character of a façade should be avoided.

The original materials used for wall facings and ornamentation such as brick, sheet metal, cast iron and the colors themselves, give buildings their special character and identity. The materials actually provide visual harmony to the entire streetscape and downtown atmosphere. Covering original materials and details of just one building with inappropriate substitutes like aluminum or vinyl siding and stucco destroys the architectural character and identity of the entire commercial district. Repair and proper maintenance of original exterior surfaces and decorative features is the best solution to the problem of a deteriorating façade. By taking advantage of the quality of the original materials and design, the life of a building will be indefinitely prolonged and its commercial value increased.

The BBB Main Street Design Committee encourages and recommends the follow:

  • While paint is a reversible treatment, paint color(s) should nonetheless be chosen from those colors which are appropriate to the period of the building and should be applied to architectural features in a period appropriate fashion.
  • The placement and quantity of accent colors and the relationship of lights to darks should be in keeping with the buildings character.
  • Use historically accurate color palettes. Local paint suppliers or the BBB resource library can help you select colors from their historical collections.
  • For most of Boyertown’s buildings, use colors from the period between 1830 and 1930.

Avoid large areas of stark, bright white, as it is often not historically accurate and shows dirt faster than most colors. In many cases the original colors used on any building can be determined with a minimum of detective work. In the process of scraping old paint, you should be able to uncover the original coat of paint and match it to samples provided by local paint suppliers. However, discretion is allowed depending on choices made by original owners.

The BBB Main Street Design Committee encourages and recommends the following:

  • All wood structures and wood trim should be prepared for painting by manually scraping old paint to reveal the original architectural details.
  • Wood should not be cleaned by sandblasting or by using pressurized water or steam.
  • In areas where wood is beyond repair, appropriate carpentry is available. Professional milling of architectural elements or composite reproductions are available.
  • Wood details should not be covered over with cladding which hides the original milled wood work.

Sheet Metal
The BBB Main Street Design Committee encourages and recommends the following:

  • Clean all sheet metal using chemical paint remover.
  • Never sandblast or use abrasives on sheet metal.
  • Repair or replace damaged areas with sections duplicated by a commercial sheet metal shop.
  • Automobile fiberglass compounds can be used to fill and patch small voids and dented areas.
  • Properly prime and paint sheet metal with oil-based paint to prevent rusting.

Cast Iron
The BBB Main Street Design Committee encourages and recommends the following:

  • Use wire brushes and steel wool to remove loose or deteriorating paint and rust. Chemical paint removers should not be used on cast iron.
  • Heat or low pressure sandblasting may be used to remove paint from cast iron.
  • Missing cast iron parts can be recast in aluminum, fiberglass or reinforced gypsum polymer cements.
  • Properly prime and paint cast iron with rust inhibitive paint made for use on exterior metal surfaces.
  • A powder coating maybe applied to entire architectural pieces for longer term rust prevention.

The BBB Main Street Design Committee encourages and recommends the following:

  • When cleaning or removing paint from buildings that are made of brick or masonry, use steam or low pressure water (no more than 300psi).
  • Never sandblast or use abrasives on brick. Brick is one of the least costly materials to maintain.
  • To preserve its original beauty and prolong its life, only periodic cleaning and repointing are required.

Repoint brick and masonry facades when required. Repointing is the process of removing deteriorated mortar from the joints of a wall and replacing it with new mortar. Repointing is required when weather and the elements have worn away the mortar or when the mortar is so old that it begins to break apart and crumble from between the building blocks. Properly done, repointing restores the visual and physical integrity of brick or masonry. When repointing, match new mortar to the original compressive strength, color, composition, depth, and finishing of the original joints. Failure to match mortar may be harmful to the composition of the building.

If brick is already painted it may be cleaned with a chemical paint remover, but a test should be done to make certain that the brick won’t be damaged by the process. Sometimes brick used in older buildings was fired from inferior clay and was meant to be protected. In this case, try to match the original paint color that was used to protect the surface, otherwise, painting brick in not recommended or encouraged.

Repair decorative brickwork and masonry whenever possible. Only replace decorative masonry features when they are completely missing or too deteriorated to repair. Use existing physical evidence to guide the new work and match the original features as closely as possible.

The BBB Main Street Design Committee encourages and recommends the following:

  • Repair stucco facades by removing only the damaged material and patching with new stucco.
  • Duplicate the strength, composition, color, and texture of the original stucco surface.