The New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission has put together a manual for row house owners who need a reference for renovating or remodeling. If you’re wondering what style your row house is, or how old it might be, the row house manual can help.
After the introduction, there is a section that describes popular designs, such as Federal or Greek Revival, that explain the distinguishing features of those styles. Even if you don’t have a row house in New York City, these styles are universal and the manual is informative. Next, they provide a nice outline of what you need to do to get a permit if you are renovating your NYC row house. There is very little you should do to your row house without checking to make sure you’ve got the appropriate paperwork in order and the manual specifies what you can and cannot do. You definitely don’t want to start a project and have to stop because of violations. Finally, the manual dives into specific areas, such as cornices and stoops. There is a section for masonry repair at the end that I would add a postscript to that if you own a row house built before 1850, don’t use Portland cement. Instead, use appropriate mortar such as Limeworks, that has been designed specifically for older row homes.
The manual includes architectural drawings as well as photographs, which are very helpful when identifying styles and aspects of row houses.