Important Features of Historic Buildings

This Historic District Profile was developed to help property owners. It explains the typical features of buildings found in Broadacres. This can be helpful when you are planning a project that would change your home’s exterior.

The historic homes in the Broadacres Historic District are formally designed. They suggest houses built in times gone by, both in the American colonies and other countries. In Broadacres, those influences are toned down, to varying degrees. This helps make the neighborhood fairly consistent, despite a variety of stylistic influences.

When Broadacres was developed, automobile ownership was common among well-to-do Houstonians. This neighborhood differs from earlier developments in its treatment of garages, which are accessed via driveways at the side of the house, rather than via rear alleys or service streets.

Historic District designations are used to maintain the character of a neighborhood. Once an Historic District is created, certain rules apply to the entire neighborhood. These rules require that changes to properties in the District must be appropriate. In other words, the historic character of the property must stay the same.

Exterior changes must be approved in advance. The Planning Department can help with this process. If the project is approved, the property owner receives a Certificate of Appropriateness. In many Houston neighborhoods, deed restrictions require that the neighborhood civic association also approve changes to a property. The civic association’s regulations and standards may differ from those of the City. The information shown here refers only to City requirements. Property owners should check with their neighborhood association before beginning any project.

When planning a building project within the Broadacres Historic District, please refer to this chart. It shows which building elements are compatible and which are not. Definitions of common architectural terms can be found in the glossary.

Compatible Incompatible
  • Raised pier and beam
  • Slab on grade
  • Small or no front porch
  • Square or round columns (Colonial Revival)
  • Fluted classical columns with Ionic or Corinthian capitals (Neoclassical)
  • Porch that wraps around house
  • Turned or square tapered porch supports
  • Hipped or gabled roof shapes
  • Pitched roof
  • Wide or shallow boxed eaves
  • Dormers
  • Composition shingles
  • Slate or tile roof
  • Shed, flat, gambrel or mansard roof shapes
  • Dentils or classical eave moldings
  • Cupolas or towers
  • Metal roof
Exterior Wall Cladding
  • Horizontal lapped, bevel, or drop wood siding
  • Patterned or plain brick masonry
  • Stucco
  • Half-timbering (Tudor or French Eclectic)
  • Vertical siding
  • Corrugated metal
  • Flat modular panels
Front Door
  • Single door that faces street
  • Recessed panels
  • Glass lights
  • Sidelights
  • Pediments (plain or scrolled)
  • Single door that faces side property line
  • Transoms
  • Round fanlights
  • Pilasters
  • Large, vertically proportioned
  • Double-hung, single-hung, or casement
  • Wood or wood clad
  • Aluminum
  • Pediments above windows
  • Large plate glass
  • Fanlights
  • Patterned upper panes