The CSAA National Schoolhouse Registry
Through its National Schoolhouse Registry Program, the Country School Association of America (CSAA) recognizes school buildings that contribute in some positive way to the appreciation and understanding of the country school experience and their unique architectural and historical heritage. Markers are awarded to school buildings that are at least 50 years old, that have been restored, renovated or reconstructed to retain the integrity of their original design, and are well maintained. It is the hope of the Country School Association of America that this registry and the optional marker will not only serve to identify school buildings of historical and/or architectural significance, but will also recognize preservation achievements and encourage the continuing care and preservation of each individual school.
Applications for the registry are reviewed and researched by a committee that meet at least once a year, and may include architects, historians and preservationists. At this meeting applications are reviewed, and decisions are made with regard to placement on the registry.
Although there is no application fee, applicants must be members of the CSAA in order to be considered for the registry. Once a schoolhouse is recommended by the committee and approved by the Board of Directors, entry on the registry will be free of any cost. The fee for a cast metal marker will be $150 fabrication plus $15 shipping.
The Country School Association of America encourages applicants to hold a public dedication ceremony for the presentation of the CSAA Recognized Schoolhouse historical marker. Generally this is done after it has been installed so the community can celebrate or commemorate the installation of the marker.
General Guideline Summary
• Applicant must be a member of CSAA.
• Building must be at least 50 years old and well maintained.
• The site of a school building that is no longer standing is not eligible.
• Design elements of the building must be original or retain the original character.
• All exterior and/or interior work on the schoolhouse must generally be completed.
• The registry recognizes school buildings that contribute in a positive way to the appreciation and understanding of the country school experience.
These are the specific guidelines that apply for the registry and the optional awarding of a marker to the school building. Actual approval for the registry, and a subsequent marker authorization is dependent upon meeting the following criteria.
1. Exterior Treatment – Must be restored or maintained in accordance with the historic and architectural style, integrity and character of the building. Exterior materials should be of the same type and style as would have been appropriate to the period of the structure. Exterior repairs or additions should preserve and compliment the proportion, appearance, and texture of the original. (ie. Structures with vinyl or aluminum siding, or modern smooth metal doors are generally not eligible for the registry)
2. Exterior Details – Exterior detail should be retained or replaced in appropriate forms and materials. Attention should be paid to doors, doorways, cornices, corner boards and balusters, as well as window details. Non-integral parts of the structure, such as fencing, landscaping, handicapped ramps and parking arrangements, should try to be in keeping with the historic nature of the structure, but may be defined in a contemporary context.
3. Roofs – Roof lines should be respected. Where it is prohibitively expensive to restore them in original form and/or materials (ie. Slate) contemporary materials may be used which show sensitivity to the color and texture of the original. (NOTE: Corrugated fiberglass and asphalt rolled roofing are generally not acceptable).
4. Windows – The CSAA encourages the preservation of historic windows but does not require historic windows for eligibility. Replacement windows should try to retain their historic style in appearance, material, profile and function.
5. Mechanical Equipment – Heating/Ventilating/Air Conditioning (HVAC) and electrical meters and boxes as well as other mechanical equipment should be placed unobtrusively and try to be concealed from street view.
6. Considerations – The CSAA National Schoolhouse Registry Committee will generally not consider school buildings for the registry until all exterior and/or interior work is compelted A school building that has been moved is eligible for the registry and a marker. Replica school buildings, using completely new materials may also be eligible. Inappropriate materials (such as: Plastic, electricity, insulation and composites) that are hidden, colored, concealed, camouflaged, blended or fabricated in a manner which achieves an architectural compatibility with the historical period of construction, will generally be deemed acceptable.