Storefront Conservation

Conservation, Policy Writing, Design and Build Bespoke Storefronts

Storefronts in the historic environment or ‘Informed conservation’ means understanding the historical development, and significance, of your building or area and identifying the most appropriate approach to its management.

Where original, or historic, storefronts remain intact they should always be retained and repaired or restored where possible. Where enough evidence remains to accurately reconstruct an historic storefront which is mostly or totally lost, this is also firmly encouraged.  

Historic town centers are in danger of losing their individual identity and special character through the replacement of traditional storefronts with modern, unsympathetic frontages. Extensive town center redevelopment schemes and the desire for corporate imagery by large multi-national retailers means that traditional storefronts are being gradually eroded. Retail design forms part of the cultural and social history of our urban areas and the presence of traditional designs makes a significant contribution to the architectural merit of townscapes, a factor so important for encouraging tourism.

We have been retained by many communities to help with the design and policy aspects with respects to their Community Improvement Plans (CIP).

We are experts in the following disciplines:

  • Design and write sign policy;
  • Design historically correct storefronts to satisfy thermal, accessibility and safety standards;
  • Create colour renderings for CIP presentation;
  • Design and write conservation policy;
  • Provide Building Pathology;
  • Provide detailed documentation of existing buildings (i.e. measured as-built drawings);
  • Design/Build complete bespoke timber storefronts;
  • Provide complete restoration and conservation service for existing storefronts.   

Case Studies:

A short film we produced for the village of Brussels, Ontario. We created the bespoke storefront design renderings to provide inspiration to the building owners in an attempt to revitalize the downtown core.

Each building was carefully documented, then hand drawn, and finally digitized for colourization. This film depicts the current state of the building and the after shows what it may look like after accurately reconstructing an historic storefront.