Basic Guildlines

Eureka Springs Historic District Design Guidelines

1. Additions

A. Additions must be of a compatible design in keeping with the original structures character, roof shape, materials, color, and alignment of window, door, and cornice height, etc.

B. Additions must be secondary (subordinate) to the original structure in scale, design, and placement.

C. Additions should be located onto the rear facade, not on primary facade or visible parts of secondary facades.

D. Additions must not attempt to imitate an earlier historic style or architectural period.

E. Additions must be constructed in a manner that avoids extensive removal or loss of historic materials, and which does not damage or destroy character-defining features.

F. It is recommended that the exterior walls of the original structure be kept intact and existing opening utilized for connecting an addition with the original structure.

G. Additions should not be created through enclosure of a front porch or architecturally important prominent side porch.

2. Ancillary Structures

Includes gazebos, greenhouses, garages, carports, storage buildings, etc.

A. Existing

1. Must be maintained in good condition.

2. If visible from street should maintain original style and scale.

B. New

1. Should be set at least two-thirds way back from front façade of the primary structure.

2. Should be located where such a structure would have been historically (near the rear of the property, not near or attached to the primary structure).

3. Metal carports are not permitted in historic neighborhoods.

4.Open wooden structures measuring under ten square feet at base with no foundation, such as garden trellises, entry arbors or small pergolas do not require a Certificate of Appropriateness.

3. Architectural Details and Features

Eaves, brackets, dentils, cornices, molding, trim-work, shingles, columns, pilasters, balustrades, or any decorative or character-defining features.

A. It is preferable to repair rather than replace an original architectural detail or feature.

B. It is not appropriate to add details unless original and authentic to the structure and accurately based on physical, pictorial, or historical evidence (not conjecture) in materials, scale, location, proportions, form and detailing.

C. Original details must not be removed or changed.

 4. Art Installations

A. Art installations should not damage any historic surfaces to which they are secured.

B. Aesthetics and content for public art should be reviewed by the Eureka Springs Arts Council.

 5. Awnings

A. Should be individually located within major bays, not continuous.

B. Should not cover architectural features.

C. Should be of colors to blend with the structure.

D. Should be made to fit opening and shall be of a style appropriate to the building.

E. Cloth or Canvas is most appropriate in the Historic District.

7. Brick and Masonry

A. Materials original to the building should be preserved.

B. Do not sandblast, use abrasive cleaning or high-pressure water. These processes damage brick surfaces and erode mortar joints.

C. Clean with low pressure water and detergent using natural bristle brushes.

D. To avoid needlessly introducing moisture or chemicals into the building, brick and masonry should be cleaned only when necessary to remove heavy soiling and to stop deterioration.

E. Paint removal should not be done if the paint is firmly adhered and is therefore protecting the masonry surface.

F. Water-repellent coatings should not be added unless masonry repairs have failed to stop water penetration problems.

G. As a general rule, brick and masonry must not be painted unless, in the case of brick, the brick is extremely mismatched from earlier alterations or cannot withstand weather. (Stone must not be painted.)

H. Brick and masonry must not be stuccoed.

  1. electric power saws, for repairs. Electric tools can damage older brick.

J. Re-pointing should match original width, depth, color, raking profile, composition and texture.

K. Re-pointing must never be done with Portland cement or other hard mortar. Use   original compound, if it can be determined, or use a historic compound such as one part lime and two parts sand. Original type mortar compounds allow for expansion and contraction, while hard mortar or cement prevents the expansion and contraction process and will cause the masonry to fail. The HDC Resource Library in City Hall has more information on the proper processes.

L. Features that are missing may be replaced where extensive deterioration requires, if accurately duplicated.

8. Bridges

A. Bridges and railings should be of a style and materials compatible with nearby structures if there are any.

B. If bridges are located in a rural area, they should be of a rustic nature that blends with the surroundings.

9. Chimneys

A. Original chimneys which are prominent features of the structure should not be removed or changed. Non-functional chimneys should be maintained and not removed above the roofline. It may be appropriate to remove non-functional secondary chimneys.

B. Chimneys should be re-pointed and cleaned according to masonry guidelines to match original materials, colors, shape, brick pattern and tooling.

C. If reconstruction of a chimney is necessary due to structural instability or deterioration, it should be rebuilt in the original configuration.

D. Aluminum or clad chimneys are not appropriate.

10. Codes

A. The International Building Code is the standard of the City of Eureka Springs and must be strictly adhered to.

B. Health codes will be strictly enforced.

C. Any work requiring approval from the Historic District Commission will take into account International Building Code regulations.

11. Commercial Buildings

A. Storefronts on Commercial Buildings

1. Preserve (maintain or restore, not remove or alter) existing original storefronts.

2. Storefront features that are deteriorated should be repaired rather than replaced.

3. If replacement of the original storefront is necessary due to significant deterioration, replace with features to match the original in design and materials.

4. Storefronts remodeled after the 1940's should be rebuilt based on pictorial or physical evidence of the original design. If the original storefront design and features cannot be determined, install a traditional storefront arrangement with features, materials, and proportions typical of similar buildings of the same style or period.

5. Original storefront doors should be preserved and maintained. Traditional entrance arrangements such as recessed or flush with the sidewalk should be maintained.

6. If the original door design is unknown, replace with a single light (glass area): door design, not solid paneled door, decorative doors, or any kind of door based on a different historical period or style.

7. Preserve, maintain, and repair original display windows. If a storefront is missing display windows, new windows should match the original in location, design, size, and materials.

8. Display window mullion or framing should be of wood, copper, or bronze metal.

9. Clear, rather than tinted glass, should be used for storefronts. If privacy, or shade is required, use interior shades or blinds.

10. Preserve, maintain, and repair bulkheads (kickplates) where they exist. Original bulkhead panels should not be removed.

11. Paint color on commercial buildings should conform to original color or general streetscape. Unpainted brick must not be painted.

B. Windows on Commercial Buildings

1. Original window sashes should be preserved, maintained, and repaired -- including size, number and arrangement of lights, materials, and decorative detailing. Windows should not be concealed, enclosed or covered.

C. Upper Level of Commercial Buildings

1. Preserve, maintain, and repair original appearance and details of brick, concrete, or terra cotta cornices. Cornices must not be concealed or covered with modern materials.

2. Architectural details such as brick corbelling, inlaid brick and concrete patterns, or clay tile roofs must not be removed or concealed.

3. Decorative architectural features should not be added to a commercial building where none originally existed.

4. Missing architectural features should be replaced. Facades which conceal the original facade and cornice should be removed.

5. Do not paint unpainted masonry surfaces on commercial building.

D. Awnings on Commercial Buildings

1.When adding awnings to a building use traditional awning designs, materials, and placement. Awnings should be of canvas, or vinyl coated fabric.

2. Shed awnings are most appropriate for downtown Eureka Springs commercial buildings.

E. Light Fixtures on Commercial Buildings

1. Preserve, maintain, and repair exterior historic light fixtures. If historic light fixtures do not exist, or require replacement, use concealed light fixtures, fixtures of simple design, or fixtures appropriate to the period of the building.

F. Garbage Collectors for Commercial Buildings

1. Should be located to the rear and screened from street view.

2. Materials to screen garbage collectors should be compatible with surrounding buildings.

12. Commercial Decks

A. Commercial decks and railings should match the style of the existing building and be of a size and location appropriate to the site.

B. Wood such as cedar, redwood or pressure-treated lumber is the preferred material for new decks visible from the street.

C. Rooftop decks should be constructed so that they do not damage the roof and have railings of appropriate style for the building and height to Code.

13. Contemporary Design

Architectural eclecticism is characteristic of Eureka Springs’ neighborhoods. There is     no thus single appropriate architectural style for new construction in the historic district.

A. Compatibility does not require matching or copying of historic designs. In fact, imitation of historic designs can merely diminish the singularity of the historic original and draw attention to the less accomplished standard of modern craftsmanship in the copy.

B. Good contemporary design is encouraged in historic districts. Contemporary design should achieve compatibility through a harmonious composition of elements and careful attention to scale, proportion and materials that relate to the historic environment.

14. Decks

A. Decks should be located on the rear and screened from street view with fencing and/or plants and shrubs where visible.

B. Decks should be stained or painted to blend with the building if visible from street view.

C. The style of the deck, balusters and railing should match the style of the building.

D. Decks should be kept to a minimum and subordinate to building and yard in size and scale.

E. Inappropriate decks shall be made compatible with the building or must be removed prior to the approval of any new decks.

F. Wood such as cedar, redwood, Philippine mahogany, ipé or pressure treated lumber      is the preferred material for new decks that are visible from the street.

G. Non-wood material such as polyethylene plastic & wood, all plastic lumber, fiber-reinforced plastic lumber, aluminum decking and vinyl decking may be approved for rear decks that are not visible from the street. These materials are not appropriate for porches.

H. Applications for new decks and changes to existing decks will be considered Level II.

I. See #12 Commercial Decks for decks on commercial property.

15. Demolition 

A. The demolition of any original feature or part of a historic building must be avoided.

B. Demolition of a building within the Historic District should not occur, unless:

1. Public safety and welfare requires the removal of a building or structure as determined by the Building Official, in writing, with a concurring written report commissioned by and acceptable to the Eureka Springs Historic District Commission from a structural engineer, architect, or other person expert in historic preservation. Demolition by neglect will bar a property owner from raising a public safety and welfare claim.

2. Economic hardship -- the fact that no reasonable return on or use of the building exists -- has been demonstrated, proven, and accepted by the Eureka Springs Historic District Commission. Demolition by neglect will bar a property owner from raising an economic hardship claim.

3. No other reasonable alternative is deemed feasible by the Eureka Springs Historic District Commission, including relocation of the building.

C. Application for a COA for demolition must be accompanied by a detailed master plan for the entire site, preferably an architect or engineer.

D. Demolition of pre-1955 secondary (ancillary) buildings (garages, storage sheds, etc.) may be appropriate if substantially deteriorated (requiring 50% or more replacement of exterior siding, roof rafters, surface material and structural members) as certified in writing by the Building Official.

E. Unapproved demolitions will be subject to maximum violation penalties. Each day the violation exists shall constitute a separate offense until a faithful restoration of the demolished building is completed or unless otherwise agreed to by the Eureka Springs Historic District Commission. Further, no application for a Certificate of Appropriateness will be considered for a period of five years from the date of the demolition on the subject parcel of land or any adjoining parcels of land under common ownership and control, unless the COA is a request for the faithful restoration referred to above or unless otherwise agreed to by the Eureka Springs Historic District Commission.

F. Historic District Commission may issue a Certificate of Appropriateness for demolition valid for six months, with a possible three-month extension. After this time, a new application must be submitted for another public hearing.

16. Doors

A. Original doors and/or their entranceway surrounds, sidelights, transoms, and detailing shall not be removed or changed.

B. Replacement of missing original doors shall be like or very similar to the original in style, materials, glazing (glass area) and lights (pane configuration)

C. Extra doors (new cuts) should not be added to the primary facade or to secondary facades where readily visible from the street.

D. Doors, if added where inconspicuous on secondary or rear facades, should be similar to the original doors, not of a style or period earlier than the original building.

E. Any doors added to a historic building must match original door materials and must be of a design compatible with the structure in size and scale.

F. See also 36.C&D, Screen Doors; 37A, Security Doors; 46A, Storm Doors.

17. Driveways

A. The original designs, materials and placement of driveways should be preserved.

B. Residential driveways should be located to the side. Garages, carports and parking pads should be sited in the rear yards unless original carport and/or garage was located to the side.

C. Concrete, concrete aggregate, patterned concrete, or brick are permitted for driveways. Concrete "tracks" for driveways were historically used and are encouraged for new paved driveways in the Historic District.

D. Asphalt driveways for residences are not permitted.

E. Front yards should not be paved, covered with gravel, or otherwise used as a parking area.

18. Fences and Free-Standing Walls

For the purpose of these guidelines, fencing shall mean any man-made structure, not integral to any building, used as a barrier to define boundaries, screen off, or enclose a portion of the land surrounding a building. Perimeter fencing is any fence built within 3 feet of the surveyed property boundary that is at least as long as 95 percent of that side of the surveyed property boundary. All guidelines except Section K pertain to perimeter fencing.

A. Iron, wood, stone, wire or brick fences or walls that are original to the structure (or built before 1955) should be preserved or, if missing, may be reconstructed based on physical or pictorial evidence.

B. Iron fences are appropriate on substantially sized structures or on large lots.

C. New woodenfences, including picket designs, must be a maximum of 42 inches tall in front; have vertical elements/pickets no wider than 4 inches and set no further apart than 3 inches; and be of a design which is appropriate for the primary structure.

D. Wood board fences for privacy should be located in rear yards; no taller than 8 feet; set at least two-thirds back from the front facade (wall plane) of the structure. Fence should be of a design compatible to the primary structure and neighborhood.

E. Free-standing brick, stone, or concrete walls are permitted if appropriate for the primary structure and neighborhood.

F. Fences should not have brick, stone, or concrete piers or posts unless based on evidence that they are historically appropriate for the particular type of building and style in Eureka Springs.

G. Ornamental wire, iron or aluminum fences of 42” or less in height in front yards and/or 72” or less in rear yards, may be permitted if the HDC determines the fence design appropriate for the primary structure and neighborhood.                                        

H. Fences of silver chain link, barbed wire, railroad ties, landscape timbers and vinyl are not permitted.

I. Chain link coated in black or green vinyl may be permitted in rear or side yards.

J. Netting barriers do not need a COA, but should be removed at the end of the growing season.

K. Garden Fencing. Agricultural and barrier fencing may be used around individual gardens of 1000 square feet or less without a COA. (For example: welded wire, woven wire, hardware cloth, green garden, wood, snow/sand.) These materials may be permitted for fencing garden space over 1000 sq. ft. if the HDC determines that the fencing is appropriate for the locationThese materials are not permitted as perimeter fencing for the entire property.

19. Fire Escapes

A. Fire escapes required by the Building Official or Fire Marshall for public safety should be located on secondary or rear façade if possible.

20. Foundations

A. Foundations should be preserved in the original design and with original materials and detailing.

B. Infilling between piers should be done as traditional for the type and style of the house, generally with wood lattice framed panels or with brick and mortar color appropriate for the period of the house.

C. Exposed foundations shall be limestone, brick veneered, or sheathed to match the building.

D. Masonry foundations should be cleanedrepaired, and cared for according to masonry guidelines.

21. Garages and Carports

A. The original character-defining features of attached carport and garages should be preserved whenever possible.

B. If original elements of the carport or garage are damaged or deteriorated beyond repair, then replacements should match the form and detail of the original or of those typically found in the neighborhood.

C To enlarge an original one-car carport or garage, it is preferable to expand it to the side and then extend the massing of the original roof over the addition. A flat or shed roof at the end of the original pitched roof is discouraged.

D. To enclose a carport, a wall finish material that complements the character of historic wall materials found on the original building or on other buildings in the neighborhood should be used.

E. If a carport is to be enclosed and a new carport is to be added to the primary façade, the same roof type and massing as the original roof should be used.

F. New carports and garages should be appropriate to the style of the adjacent or nearby primary structure.

G. Prefabricated metal carports are not permitted.

22. Gutters

A. Boxed or built-in type gutters should be repaired rather than replaced if possible.

B. Gutters should be used to provide proper drainage through use of downspouts and flashing, if needed, to avoid water damage to the building.

C. New gutters or replacement of square aluminum gutters do not require a Certificate of Appropriateness.

23. Handicap Access

A. Ramps should be located on secondary or rear facades.

B. Ramps should be of stained or painted wood construction.

C. Ramps should be screened with landscaping or low shrubbery to soften their appearance.

24. Landscaping

A. Features that are original or early (pre-1955) such as sidewalks, green space, retaining walls, curbs, stepping blocks, etc. should be preserved.

B. Permanent stone landscape features such as water features, ponds, patios, outdoor fireplaces and garden walls of average two feet or more above grade must be approved by HDC as appropriate to the site.

C. Open wooden structures measuring under ten square feet at base with no foundation, such as garden trellises, entry arbors or small pergolas do not require a Certificate of Appropriateness.

25. Maintenance

A. Materials

1. Prevent water from making contact with exterior wood siding. Of particular importance is keeping all gutters and downspouts in good repair to keep water from infiltrating the wood surface.

2. All exposed wood should be kept painted or treated with preservative.

3. Repairs for wood siding, such as cracks, can be made through the use of waterproof glue or plastic wood. Large cracks may be filled with caulk followed by putty or plastic wood. The surface should then be sanded and painted.

4. If exterior siding must be replaced, treated wood is recommended. Replacement siding must match the profile of the existing siding.

5. Oil based paints and back priming are recommended for exterior siding.

6. Keep exterior brick clean of mildew, efflorescence and dirt, vines, ivy, and other plants. Washing with detergents and water are best for exterior masonry and mortar. Sandblasting, water blasting and other abrasive cleaning methods are detrimental to historic building and must not be used.

7. Re-pointing historic mortar must be done with a mortar which matches the original in appearance and composition. The use of Portland Cement is generally not appropriate due to the hardness of the mortar versus the softness of the brick. Most mortar prior to 1900 was composed of lime and sand. Mortar with similar content should be applied. More information available in HDC Resource Library.

8. Most silicone-based or waterproof coatings have limited effectiveness and may actually add to moisture problems by not allowing the brick to breathe. The use of these products is discouraged.

B. Roof, Cornices, Chimneys

1. Check the roof regularly for leak deterioration of flashing and worn or missing roofing. An inspection of the upper floor or attic space during or following a rainstorm can also assist in detection of water-related problems.

2. Know what metals are used in your cornice or roof flashing and use only similar metals during replacement or repair. Different metals should not touch or galvanic reaction may occur leading to corrosion.

3. Metal roofs and cornices should be kept painted to prevent rust and deterioration. Appropriate paints include those with an iron oxide oil base. Asphalt based paints and aluminum paints should not be use on historic metals as they could accelerate the rusting process.

4. Chimneys should be regularly checked for cracking, leaning, spalling, and infestation by birds and insects. Use chimney caps or flue openings to keep out moisture.

C. Gutters and Downspouts

1. Keep gutters and downspouts in good repair. Make sure they are properly connected, are clean of leaves and other debris, and channel water away from the building. Seal all cracks in downspouts with silicone caulk or sealants.

2. Use splash blocks to keep water away from the foundation.

3. Deteriorated gutters and downspouts should be replaced. Half-round gutters and round downspouts are preferable to corrugated designs.

D. Foundations

1. All water should drain away from a building and should not enter the foundation.

2. Trees, shrubs and other plants should be kept well away from the foundation to prevent damage from moisture and root movement.

E. Porches & Exterior Ornamentation

1. Use treated wood for exterior repairs and replacement of wooden elements.

2. Keep all porch and trim elements painted.

3. Front and side porches visible from the street must be kept clear of appliances, indoor furniture, trash and debris.

F. Entrances

1. Doors, transoms, sidelights and glass should be kept clean.

2. Original locks and hardware should be kept oiled and in good repair. If original hardware is missing or is deteriorated, use reproduction locks and hardware suitable for the building.

3. Doors with stained wood finish should be kept varnished and not painted.

G. Windows

1. Windows should be kept clean. Paint wood sash surfaces regularly.

2. Windows should be kept caulked and sealed to aid in energy conservation.

3. Shutters should be kept painted and in good repair.

4. Deteriorated curtains or shades should be removed or replaced.

H. Awnings

1. Canvas awnings should be washed periodically and kept in good repair.

2. Awning hardware should be regularly checked for rust or loose mechanisms.

3. Torn or deteriorated awnings should be replaced.

I. Signs

1. Abandoned signs and hardware should be removed from building, unless historic.

2. Signs should be kept painted and mounting bolts checked periodically to make sure they are secure.

3. Light fixtures, conduits, and wiring should be replaced as necessary.

26. Material Changes

A. Substituting original materials in making repairs or in replacing missing features is prohibited.

B. Application of artificial and uncharacteristic materials such as steel, aluminum or vinyl siding, and imitation stucco obscures the original character of the building and neighborhood and is prohibited.

C. Save deteriorated parts which must be replaced. Wood siding, soffits, fascia, brackets, ornamental shingles, wooden sash windows and doors can often be restored or duplicated.

D. If original siding must be replaced, new siding should match the original as closely as possible, especially with respect to board size, profile and material. Original corner boards should be duplicated in their full original width.

E. Repair existing stucco and stucco texture. It is inappropriate to remove stucco from any originally stuccoed surface or to add stucco as a major wall material to any building which did not originally use stucco as the dominant exterior wall material.

Note: The application of synthetic wall material such as aluminum and vinyl siding has long been discouraged by preservationists due to the fact that the placement of these materials may seal the wall and cause the wood to rot. In many cases, existing rotted wood has not been not removed and the structural integrity of the house is at risk due to unseen progressive decay.

27. Manufactured, Mobile and Modular Homes

A. Manufactured and mobile homes are not permitted in the Historic District by Ord. 1984, Sec. 3, 2005.

B. Modular homes may be considered for New Construction.

28. Moving Buildings

A. It may be appropriate to move a building into the Historic District if that building is compatible with the District’s architectural character in style, period, height, scale, materials, setting, and placement on the lot. See 26. New Construction.

B. New foundation walls should be compatible with the architectural style of the building.

C. Moving existing buildings that contribute to the historic/architectural character of the district out of the district should be avoided unless demolition is the only alternative.

29. New Construction

New construction project applicants are advised to begin with a pre-application hearing and site visit with working drawings. See Design Review Checklist on page 48. 

A. New construction of primary buildings shall maintain, not disrupt, the existing pattern of surrounding historic buildings along the street by being similar in the following:

1. Scale (height and width)

2. Shape

3. Roof shape and pitch

4. Orientation to the street

5. Location and proportion of entrances, windows, columns, porches, and divisional bays

6. Foundation/first floor height

7. Floor to ceiling height

8. Porch height and depth

9. Material and material color

10. Texture

11. Placement on the lot

12. Rhythm and harmony of the neighborhood.

B. New construction of ancillary structures such as garages, gazebos, storage buildings and other outbuildings should be:

1. Smaller in scale than the primary building

2. Simple in design but reflecting the general character of the primary building

3. Located where such a structure would have historically been located (near the alley, not close to or attached to the primary building).

4. Compatible in design, shape, materials, and roof shape.

5. Metal carports are not permitted in historic neighborhoods.

6. See also 2. Ancillary Structures.

C. As an acknowledged fact of the continuing developmental pattern of a dynamic, changing community, non-period, innovative design of new structures may be acceptable, provided it is in keeping with the above-stated criteria of compatibility.

30. Non-Historic Buildings (generally less than 50 years old)

Non-historic buildings are considered non-contributing by the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program. Non-contributing structures are reviewed for their compatibility within the Historic District (size, massing, scale and rhythm) and not necessarily for their individual elements. Although a building may not be historic at this time, some day it will be. (It is generally accepted that a building is considered “historic” when it reaches 50 years.) Each building period has its own details and characteristics which give that particular building its uniqueness. Non-historic buildings should be maintained as close to their original design as possible. It is in the owner’s best interests to maintain the historic value of the property.

31. Non-Contributing Historic Buildings (50 or more years old)

Buildings that are 50 years or older are considered historic regardless of how plain, unattractive, common or unimportant their owners or others perceive them to be. Even though these buildings are historic, they may also be considered non-contributing by the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program for one or more reasons:

1. Non-historic materials have been used for replacement or added: i.e. wood windows replaced with vinyl windows, artificial siding.

2. Inappropriate changes or additions have been made: i.e. original details removed, primary or secondary porch enclosed, roofline altered, out-of-scale addition. If these changes were reversed and exterior once again made historically accurate, the building would then be a contributing structure. So all historic structures, even the non-contributing ones, must be protected from further inappropriate changes.

32. Paint Colors

A. Paint colors should highlight architectural details. Keep colors compatible with the building's style and period of construction; avoid loud, garish, or harsh colors, and bright hues; avoid too many colors on a building; and select where to highlight architectural details based on historic tradition for the building's type and style.

B. Craftsman style homes were generally painted or stained in deep rich tones with lighter trim. Colonial Revival buildings were generally pale tones with one or two accent colors. A broader color palette and accenting of details may be used on Victorian homes.

C. Do not paint brick, stone or other naturally unpainted materials unless the material has been painted previously. It is not appropriate to apply any liquid coating to an asphalt shingle roof which changes the color.

D. Color determination should be based on historic schemes appropriate for the style of the building. Reference materials are available in the HDC Resource Library and most paint manufacturers have historic color palettes available.

E. Non-historic faux finishes are not appropriate for exterior residential walls.

33. Parks / Playgrounds

A. In an existing park, original pre-1955 buildings, site features (such as benches, walls, etc.) and park layout should be preserved, if possible.

B. New park space should conform to its location. In a residential area, a low-impact park with playground equipment and benches is appropriate. Landscaping should conform to the surrounding area with as many original shade trees as possible.

C. Proposed new playground equipment must be reviewed by ES HDC.

34. Parking & Parking Lots

A. No property shall be converted to parking usage without Commission approval.

B. Parking is not permitted in residential front yards.

C. Residential and commercial parking areas should be gravel, concrete, concrete aggregate, patterned concrete, stone, crushed limestone, or brick. Asphalt is an additional option for commercial parking areas only.

D. Concrete “tracts” are encouraged for new paved residential driveways.

E. Parking lots for houses used for commercial purposes, churches, apartment buildings, or schools, whenever possible, should be located no closer to the street than the front wall of the building.

F. Parking lots between buildings should align edge screening with front facades of adjacent buildings.

35. Personal Wireless Communication Towers and Service Facilities

Wireless Communication Tower is any guyed, monopole, or self-support (lattice) tower, constructed as a free-standing structure proposed to contain or containing one or more antennas intended for transmitting or receiving television, AM/FM radio, digital, microwave, cellular, telephone or similar forms of electronic communication. This does not include amateur radio operator antennas or television antennas which are accessory to a residential use.

A. Personal wireless service facilities should be camouflaged or hidden from public view wherever possible by incorporating them into an existing or proposed structure, by using fiberglass to replace building elements, and/or through careful selection of construction materials and/or color. Equipment should be screened or hidden to the greatest possible extent while still achieving maximum function and effectiveness. Installation may be permitted if the Commission determines that the placement does not have an adverse effect on the character-defining features of the existing structure, street, or the District as a whole.

B. If personal wireless service facilities cannot be camouflaged from public viewing areas by placement on existing structures, they should be surrounded by buffers of trees, understory vegetation and/or privacy fencing.

C. Monopole mounts are the preferred type of ground-mounted tower structures. These are self-supporting units with a single shaft of wood, steel or concrete and a platform (or racks) for panel antennas arrayed at the top. No top lighting is permitted unless required by the Federal governing agencies.

D. Lattice Towers (self-supporting mount with multiple legs and cross-bracing of structural steel) are not recommended for placement inside the Historic District.

E. If the personal wireless service facility and/or ancillary equipment extend above the height of the surrounding vegetation, they should be painted in a light grey or light blue hue which blends with sky and clouds.

F. Equipment Shelters are reviewed as New Construction according to the Eureka Springs Historic District Guidelines. Other facility components such as fencing, lighting and signage shall be in accordance with Eureka Springs Historic District Guidelines.

H. Facilities no longer in use shall be immediately removed,

I. Applications for Certificate of Appropriateness for Personal Wireless Communication Facilities shall follow Level III public notification procedure.

J. Applicant is responsible for following Section 106 Review requirements of the State Historic Preservation Office -- the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program.

36. Porches

A. Porches on front and side facades should be maintained in their original configuration and with original materials and detailing.

B. The porch in its original design was intended as a focal point for the entrance to the house and must not be removed if original. Enclosure of a porch changes the overall character of a house and must be avoided. See 1.G. Additions and 36.A. Screens.

C. Enclosure or removal of a porch can make a building facade seem flat. Without a porch there is no transition from sidewalk to house. If a rear porch must be enclosed, the manner of the enclosure should not destroy the original openness, focus and transition from outside to inside. The use of materials and details compatible with the original character of the house is important in any necessary porch enclosure.

D. Porch details must be retained intact with repair and replacement of missing parts, such as columns, posts, railings, balusters, decorative molding and trim, to match the original in design, materials, scale, and placement.

E. Vinyl materials are not permitted. See also 22.E. Maintenance.

F.Applications for new porches will be considered Level II.

37. Railings

A. The style of safety railings should be compatible with the primary structure or landscape (if there are no nearby structures).

38. Retaining Walls

Retaining walls are walls with an average grade over two feet in height. Under two feet is considered to be a garden wall. See 20. Landscaping.

A. Stone, brick or concrete retaining walls that are original to the site must be preserved and maintained.

B. If a dry-stack wall is reconstructed, mortar may be approved, but it must be recessed to re-create the appearance of dry-stack.

C. New retaining walls must be stone, stone veneer or limestone-imprinted concrete of an approved pattern and color.

D. Stucco walls should be painted or stained in a color appropriate to the site.

39. Roofs

Although roofs are a building feature which must be regularly replaced, the preservation goals of appearance and authenticity should be balanced with sustainability in selecting a new roof for a historic structure. Removed roofing materials should be recycled as much as possible.

A. Historically, structures in Eureka Springs were roofed with wood on sloped roofs and tar products on flat roofs. These historic materials ranged from light brown to much darker colors. Today’s roofing materials come in many colors, but the darker shades are recommended as having a more historic look. Qualified roofing contractors can recommend roofing materials that combine energy efficiency and historic colors.

B. The following roofing materials shall be considered appropriate:

                        Asphalt     Stone-coated     True              FireResistant   Slate,   Metal     Lap

                        Shingles   Patterned          Standing-     Wood Shake     Faux   Shingles Panel

                                         Steel              Seam Steel   Wood Shingle   Slate                 Steel*

  1. Residential      yes          yes                 yes                   yes             yes                   no*
  2. Commercial    yes           yes                 yes                  yes              yes       yes       maybe*
  3. Additions        yes           yes                 yes                  yes              yes                   no*


Buildings              yes            yes                yes                  yes                  yes        yes   maybe*


Constructionyes     yes            yes              yes                  yes                   yes                 maybe*

C. *Lap Panel (interlock) Steel roofing is not considered appropriate for most existing residential structures. It may be appropriate on some commercial buildings, some ancillary buildings and some new construction.

D. Since the Eureka Springs Historic District is so eclectic, lap-panel steel (and other types of roofing materials not listed), as well as roofing color and pattern, will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis by the Historic District Commission using the following criteria:

   1. Consistency with the historic fabric of the surrounding neighborhood

   2. Consistency in appearance with the architectural style of the structure

   3. Documented proof that this material resembles the original roofing material of the structure.

E. Applications for roofing in the same material as existing can be given an Administrative Approval Certificate of Appropriateness by the City Historic Preservation Officer. Roofing material changes must be reviewed by the Historic District Commission.

F. Flat roof replacement with material similar to existing material or professionally applied new flat roofing materials can be given an Administrative Approval Certificate of Appropriateness by the City Historic Preservation Officer.

G. The original shape and pitch of the roof with original features (such as cresting, chimneys, finials, dormers, etc.) should be preserved and if previously altered, replaced with original form and detailing.

H. Unless original to the structure, dormers should not be placed in front rooflines. The addition of dormers to secondary and rear facades is appropriate if in keeping with the character and scale of the house.

I. Decks or balconies must not be added to a roof where visible from the street unless supported by documentation showing that they were original features.

J. Large skylights should be flat, not the bubble type. Smaller (under 12” diameter) solar tubular skylights may be considered appropriate. Neither type should be mounted on primary facades.

K. It is not appropriate to apply any liquid coating to an existing roof which changes the color.

40. Screens

A. Screening of front porches is not appropriate.

B. Side and rear porches may be screened (although discouraged) if the structural framework for the screen panels is minimal and the open appearance of the porch is maintained.

C. Screen doors must be preserved and maintained if original.

D. Screen doors if new, must be wood and full-view or with structural members aligned with those of the original door. Style must be appropriate to the building.

E. Window screens must be wood or baked-on or anodized aluminum and fit within the window frames, not overlap the frames.

41. Security Doors & Windows

A. Security doors should be simple and without excessively ornate grillwork.

B. The use of security bars on primary facade windows is discouraged, but if necessary, internal moveable gates may be considered.

42. Shutters & Window Boxes

A. Windows should not have shutters added unless the building originally had them, or they are appropriate to the style of the structure.

B. Shutters should be of louvered wood construction, and of a size appropriate to the window opening.

C. Window boxes should be of a size appropriate to the window opening and building.

43. Sidewalks

A. In areas where sidewalks exist, the existing sidewalk, including any with limestone, will be repaired and refinished if possible, but if the sidewalk is not repairable, then it shall be replaced, at the owner’s option with either:

1. Limestone that shall substantially conform in color, texture, thickness (minimum of four (4) inches) and surface size to the stone slab surfaces that were removed; or

2. Imprinted and tinted concrete in a pattern and color approved by the Eureka Springs Historic District Commission; or

3. Aggregate concrete that matches existing adjoining sidewalks in color and texture as closely as possible. If there are no adjoining sidewalks to match, the new aggregate should be of close texture, with a tinted gray palette preferred. Aggregate sidewalks must follow the concrete specifications set forth in 9.08.06 Construction.

4. Other colors, materials, or artistic treatments must be approved by the Eureka Springs Historic District Commission.

B. If the sidewalk is not repairable, then it shall be replaced with:

1. Limestone that shall substantially conform in color, texture, thickness (minimum of 4 inches) and surface size to the stone slab surfaces that were removed OR

2. Imprinted and tinted concrete with the following options:

   a. Wet concrete stamp pattern:

       (1). Sandstone: mediumOR

       (2). Slate: medium

   b. Tint:  

       (1). Stone grey tint with light grey release agent or comparable

C. If sections of a damaged limestone sidewalk cannot be repaired but the rest of the limestone is not damaged or can be refinished, then the new imprinted concrete should match the existing limestone in color and texture as closely as possible. It is recommended that the limestone and imprinted concrete each be laid in continuous courses if possible.

D. All sidewalks shall have a top coating of Surstep Anti-Slip Additive or similar treatment which must be maintained on a regular basis as per manufacturer’s recommendations.

E. In areas where no sidewalks exist, any new installation shall be, at the owner’s option, limestone slab (with a minimum thickness of four (4) inches, imprinted and tinted concrete in a patters and color approved by the Eureka Springs Historic District Commission, or aggregate concrete as described A.3above.

F. Sidewalks on the following streets may also have the option of poured concrete with broom finish: East Van Buren, West Van Buren, East Mountain Drive, Charles Circle, Cross Street, Elm Circle, Harvey Road, Oakridge Drive, Richard Circle, Tower Road, Drennon Drive, Wood Circle, Holiday Trail, Florence Drive, College Street, Hamilton Street, Martz Lane, Jay Lane, Victoria Woods Boulevard, Pivot Rock Road, Dairy Hollow Road, Breezy Point Road, Breezy Point Circle, Anderson Street, Ravine Street, Grand Avenue and Oregon Avenue.

G. Wooden board sidewalks will not be approved unless replacing one in existence before July 25, 2005.

H. The Commission shall review sidewalk alterations in this manner:

1. Existing concrete changed to imprinted concrete: Administrative Approval by staff

2. Existing limestone repaired and/or replaced with new limestone: Administrative

3. Existing limestone replaced with imprinted concrete: Administrative

4. New sidewalks in areas where no sidewalks exist: HDC Consent Agenda

I. See “Summary” ES Municipal CodeSection 9.08.04 Sidewalks.

44. Siding

Traditional building materials are preferred over substitute materials because how they work over a long period time is known and they are replaceable.

A. Siding original to the building should be repaired and maintained. Replacement is permitted only when necessary due to deterioration.

B. Decorative wooden wall shingles original to the building should be preserved. If replacement is necessary, new shingles should match the original in size, placement and design. (Replacement with regular lap siding is not appropriate.)

C. Existing siding of stucco and stucco texture should be maintained. It is inappropriate to remove stucco from an original stucco surface or to add stucco as a major wall material to any building which did not originally use stucco as the dominant exterior wall material. It may be appropriate to remove non-original stucco if the original siding material can be documented.

D. Siding of artificial or substitute materials such as steel, vinyl or aluminum, masonite, perma-stone, fiber-reinforced cement, etc. is not allowed as replacement or cover for original siding under normal circumstances.

E. Fiber-reinforced cement siding may be used for spot replacement of wood siding where there is a proven on-going moisture problem or as replacement of other artificial sidings such as asbestos, masonite or materials no longer manufactured. It must match existing siding on the structure in thickness, profile and standard board length. If a matching material is not available, then the replacement siding must be obviously distinguishable in pattern, but of the same color as existing siding. Corners must be finished in a manner consistent with the rest of the structure. Surface finish must be smooth, not textured.

F. Fiber-reinforced cement siding may be used for new construction and additions.

Warning: Applicants approved to install fiber-reinforced cement siding should carefully review the manufacturer’s installation information provided with the material or available on the manufacturer’s website. The manufacturer will state: FAILURE TO ADHERE TO OUR WARNINGS, MSDS, AND INSTALLATION INSTRUCTIONS MAY LEAD TO SERIOUS PERSONAL INJURY OR DEATH.

G. Other new siding products for new construction will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis using the following criteria:

1. Consistency with the historic fabric of the surrounding neighborhood

2. Consistency with the architectural style of the structure

45. Signs

A. Signage must not obscure the building’s façade or hide the building’s character. Signage must reflect or compliment the architectural features of the structure.

B. The placement of new signage in the same location as 19th century signage on a particular structure is encouraged. This may be determined from historic photographs.

C. Some examples of compatible signs are:

1. Signs painted directly on window glass.

2. Signs placed in the original signboard area.

3. Freestanding signs in yards.

4. Projecting signs with no guide wires.

5. Hanging signs.

D. Signage which was successfully integrated into a building’s design can be considered a historic addition and may be retained as a historic element. The conservation of signs painted on walls and historic neon signs is now recognized as an important part of historic preservation.

E. Colors and materials.

1. Colors should be the same as or compliment those used on the structure.

   Fluorescent colors and reflective paints or materials are specifically excluded.

2. Gold and metal leaf is appropriate for lettering and design elements but not as a background or major surface.

3. Neon will be considered as a material when appropriate to the age, architecture and location of the structure on a case-by-case basis. Signs may not use motion or flashing lights as per the Eureka Springs Municipal Code.

F. The shape of signs, design elements and style of lettering should be complimentary to the structure and have a professional appearance.

G. Supports, brackets, posts, and other visible devises for mounting or hanging a sign must be approved by the Commission and conform to the above guidelines.

H. All signs, number and location of signs and lighting must conform to the Eureka Springs Municipal Code, Chapter 7.84 Signs. This varies by zone.

46. Solar and Other Energy Conservation Equipment

Contemporary energy conservation equipment additions have no visual historic counterpart and make a strong impact on existing buildings. Both goals of historic preservation and energy conservation are important, and care must be taken that one is not achieved at the expense of the other. Before installing a large, publically visible energy retrofit, owners should first improve the building’s energy efficiency. It is much less expensive to reduce heating, cooling and lighting demand than it is to satisfy that demand with a high-tech solar energy system.

The Eureka Springs Historic District Commission will use the US Department of the Interior Guidelines for Rehabilitation Historic Buildings: Energy Retrofitting as a basis for Design Review in this section.

A. Character definingfeatures of existing buildings (i.e. roofline, chimneys, dormers) must not be damaged or obscured when introducing new roof or exterior wall-mounted energy conservation systems such as solar devises, skylights, or water retention systems.

B.Equipment should be screened or hidden to the greatest possible while still achieving maximum function and effectiveness. The goal should be high performance with low public visibility.Installation of an energy conservation system at a publicly visible location may be permitted if the Commission determines that the placement does not have an adverse effect on the character defining featuresof the building, street, or the District as a whole.

C. Publicly visible solar devises mounted on roofs shall be evaluated on the basis of: size; least visible/high-performance location; panel arrangement and design; system infrastructure; color contrast with roof, and glare.

D. Preferred location for arrays of solar devices on roofs shall be on a non-character defining roof line of a non-primary elevation which is not readily visible from public streets -- the least visible location where at least 85% of optimal system performance can be achieved. Location on the rear façade or ancillary structures is preferred. If the south side is publicly visible, solar devises should be installed on the west or east side if less publicly visible and shade factors are appropriate. (If solar panels are flat or installed at a 5 degree angle there will be only a slight decrease in productivity.) Shadow tolerant panels should also be considered for use in a less visible location.

E. On pitched roofs, solar arrays shall run parallel to the original roofline and shall not rise above the roofline. On flat roofs, solar arrays shall be set back from the edge and may be set at a slight pitch if not highly visible from public streets.

F. Solar devises shall be considered part of the overall design of the structure. Color, shape and proportions of the solar array shall match the shape and proportions of the roof. Single installations on single-plane roofs are preferable to disjointed arrays or arrays on multiple roof-planes. If more than one array is needed, it shall be limited to one panel section on each side of the structure with rear location preferred. Scattered or disjointed arrays are not appropriate.

G. Roof and building color and pattern shall be coordinated as much as feasible with the color and pattern of the solar devises. Darker roofing colors are preferred as better compliments to mounted solar energy systems.

H. Solar panels shall not be mounted to project from walls or other parts of the building.

I. Large skylights should be flat, not the bubble type. Smaller (under 12” diameter) solar tubular skylights may considered appropriate. Neither type should be mounted on primary facades.

J. Detached arrays of solar devices may be located in the rear or side yard if the arrays are not highly visible from public streets and do not detract from other major character defining aspects of the site. Visibility from adjacent properties shall be reduced to the greatest extent possible.

K. Solar greenhouses shall be treated as ancillary structures and located at least 2/3 back from the front façade of the primary structure.

L. Porch enclosures designed to be passive solar elements shall observe the guidelines for porches. Any exterior metal shall be finished to blend with surrounding building materials.

M. Wall energy conservations systems such as trombé walls and solar energy siding will be considered on a case-by-case basis for new construction or additions only.

N. COA applications for new construction are encouraged to include appropriate building integrated solar devices and other energy conservation equipment into the initial building design (while still maintaining compatibility with existing structures in the vicinity).

O. Before applying for a Certificate of Appropriateness for solar energy devises, applicants should be certain that enough sunlight is available to make the proposed system operative. Applicants are reminded to follow the rules and procedures in the Eureka Springs Municipal Code Chapter 7.56 “Tree Preservation” for all tree removals.

P. Applicants are reminded that the proposed system is subject to approval by the Building Official based on the Arkansas Mechanical Code, Chapter 14 “Solar Systems” and other applicable Codes.

Q. Application for a COA for a solar retrofit system shall follow Level III public notification procedure.

47. Staircases

A. It is preferable that staircases not be added to the front façade of historic building exteriors unless needed for safety and the surrounding terrain prohibits other locations.

B. Stair railings and gates must be compatible in design and materials with existing railings on the building.

48. Steps & Walkways 

A. Steps and walkways original to a property must be retained and maintained.

B. Step railings (if required) and gates must be of design and materials compatible to   the structure on the property and surrounding landscape.

49. Storm Windows & Doors

A. Storm doors must be full-view and baked-on enamel or anodized aluminum in a color compatible with the building. Silver aluminum storm doors on the primary and secondary facades are not appropriate.

B. Storm windows must be wood or baked-on enamel, or anodized aluminum in compatible colors and fit within the window frames, not overlap the frames. Silver aluminum storm windows on the primary and secondary facades are not appropriate.

50. Swimming Pools, Hot Tubs, Spas

A. Swimming pools, hot tubs and spas must be located in the rear of the yard; set back at least two-thirds from the front façade (wall plane) of the structure.

B. Swimming pools, hot tubs and spas must be screened from street view by fencing, evergreens or lattice appropriate to the usage.

51. Temporary Coverings

A. Outdoor weather protection on commercial property dining decks should be commercially manufactured roll-up heavy clear plastic curtain enclosures specifically designed for this purpose.

B. Tarpaulins are only appropriate for temporary weatherproofing for damaged roofs, windows or siding and should not be used for over three months.

C. Materials for temporary overhead weather protection products such as awnings or canvas sails will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis considering the surrounding neighborhood.

52. Wind Energy Systems

According the US Department of Energy, National Renewable Energy Laboratory Wind Power Classification map, Eureka Springs is rated “Poor” in annual wind power estimates. Therefore wind energy systems are probably not a cost-effective means of energy conservation here.

A. A COA for a small wind energy system will only be issued for location within a property of at least one acre of land.

B. The tower for a wind energy system must be set back from all property boundary lines at least the height of the system to the tip of the rotor blade. Supporting guy wires must meet minimum setback requirements for the city zone in which the tower is located.

C. Only one wind energy system shall be located on the property.

D. Additional requirements for a COA Application for a wind energy system shall be standard drawings of the wind turbine structure, including the tower, base and footings (if applicable) plus an engineering analysis certified by an Arkansas licensed professional engineer. The system is subject to approval by the Building Official based on the International Building Code and FAA regulations.

E. Any wind energy system that is not functional shall be immediately repaired by the owner or removed.

F. Application for a COA for a wind energy system shall be treated as a Level III application.  

53. Windows 

Original windows are made of better material than is available today and have already lasted up to 130 years. Modern epoxies and finishes make it possible to fully restore deteriorated wooden windows and doors. Storm windows can preserve original wood windows indefinitely. Plastic (vinyl) replacement windows, on the other hand, are often only guaranteed for 10 years and a broken sash cannot be repaired. "No maintenance" is a myth.

A. Windows should be preserved in their original location, size and design and with the original materials and numbers of panes whenever possible.

B. Windows should be repaired rather than replaced whenever possible. If replacement is necessary due to demonstrated severe deterioration, the replacement should match the original in material and design as closely as possible.

C. Non-original windows should not be added to primary facades or secondary facades of historic buildings where readily visible. Windows added to a historic building must match original windows in materials, size, design and scale.

D. Vinyl, vinyl-clad or any clad wood windows are prohibited on historic structures, but may be considered for new construction or if appropriate to the period of non-historic structures.

E. Jalousie, awning, or picture windows or glass block windows must only be used for replacement on buildings where it can be shown to have originally existed.

F. Historic window repair can be done by a homeowner or contractor. Books on window restoration may be borrowed from the Historic District Commission


54. Wood

A. Wood and wood details original to a building should be repaired rather than replaced.

B. Exposed structural elements such as beams and rafter rails are a decorative element in the Craftsman style and should be retained and maintained.

C. Replacement of wood features and details must match the originals in dimension, size, profile and materials.

D. Wood must always be treated and kept in good order (including paint, stain, nailing, etc.)

Certificate of Economic Hardship

In addition to determining whether a proposal will be appropriate to the preservation of the Historic District for the purposes of this chapter, the HDC may also consider whether failure to issue a Certificate of Appropriateness will involve a substantial hardship owing to conditions especially affecting the structure involved.

It shall be the incumbent on the applicant to demonstrate economic hardship to the HDC. In order to prove the existence of hardship, the applicant shall have the burden to establish that: the property is incapable of earning a reasonable return on the owner’s investment; the property cannot be adapted for another use that can result in a reasonable return; and no potential purchaser in the property with a reasonable offer who intends to preserve it can be identified. Economic hardship shall not apply to a property owner who has neglected the property, paid too much for the property, or purchased the property knowing ordinance provisions for intended use have not been met.

If the property is a significant historic and community resource, the HDC may invoke up to a ninety (90) day delay of proposed work. During this period of delay, the HDC shall propose suitable alternatives to the proposed work for the applicant to investigate. The applicant, with the assistance of the HDC and/or City staff, shall investigate the feasibility of the proposed alternatives, and report their findings to the HDC. If the applicant fails such, the HDC may consider this failure in their deliberations.

If, after the end of the ninety (90) day delay period, no reasonable use can be found or economic return can be obtained and there has been no substantial detriment to the Historic District, the HDC may issue a Certificate of Economic Hardship approving the proposed work. If the HDC finds otherwise, it shall deny the application for Certificate of Economic Hardship, and record in its records the reason therefore.