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Indiana Department of Natural Resources

Historic Preservation & Archaeology > Help for Owners > National & State Registers > National/State Register > National & State Registers - Application Process > How to Organize an Architectural Description How to Organize an Architectural Description

The following should be used as a general guideline and not a rigid formula. The description should be a well-written narrative that addresses most, but not necessarily all, of the following items.

  1. Summary Paragraph
    1. Name of Property
    2. Location of Property
    3. Date of Construction
    4. Style
  2. Opening General Description
    1. General Environment & Site
    2. Number of Stories
    3. Materials
    4. Style
    5. Roof Shape
  3. Exterior
    1. Main Façade
      1. Foundation, Structural System
      2. Wall Materials, Wall Characteristics (including belt courses, pilasters, etc.)
      3. Ground Floor, include:
        1. Number of Windows, Placement of Windows
        2. Porch
        3. Main Entrance
        4. Mention Any Decorative Details
      4. Second Floor (include same information as for 1st floor)
      5. Other Floors
      6. Cornice and Frieze Details, Eaves, Brackets
      7. Roof, Dormers, Chimneys (materials, shape, decoration)
    2. Other Facades
      1. Wall materials, Wall Characteristics
      2. Ground Floor
        1. Number of Windows, Placement of Windows
        2. Any Porches
        3. Entrances
        4. Decorative Details
      3. Second Floor
      4. Other Floors
      5. Cornice and Frieze Details, Eaves, Brackets
      6. Roof, Dormers, Chimneys
    3. Interior
      1. Main Entrance
      2. Basic Plan
      3. Stairways
      4. Major Downstairs Rooms, include woodwork, trim, fireplaces, ceiling details, fixtures
      5. Major Upstairs Rooms
      6. Attic Space
    4. Any Outbuildings, Grounds