Theses (Historic Preservation)

Document Type

Thesis or dissertation

Date of this Version



Suggested Citation:

Johnson, Meredith (2019). Form Regulation to Address New Construction in Historic Districts (Masters Thesis). University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA.


This thesis will evaluate several tools that cities are currently using to regulate the form of new construction, large alterations, and additions in designated historic areas. A number of tools are available to achieve this type of regulation, but the most popular tools tend to be place-specific design guidelines derived from the study of a historic district, associated with an overlay designation established by the city’s zoning code. Throughout this thesis, this type of regulation will be referred to as “traditional tools.” “Non-traditional tools,” as used herein, include things like form-based codes or neighborhood conservation districts. These are tools that have not been as widely used or are relatively new to the regulatory landscape. The tools evaluated in this thesis will be examined through case studies and include a mix of traditional tools and non-traditional tools. The traditional tool case studies are New Orleans, LA, and Savannah, GA. The non-traditional tool case studies are Beaufort, SC, which is used a case study for both traditional and nontraditional tools, and Philadelphia, PA.


Form-Based Code, Design Guidelines, Neighborhood Conservation Districts, Zoning, Beaufort



Date Posted: 03 June 2019