Rehabilitation acknowledges a need for and allows for repairs, alterations, and additions to create a new use for an existing structure. Picture an old storefront with its exposed brick walls now housing a chic little coffee shop. Preservation, according to the guidelines, means “taking measures to sustain the existing form, integrity, and materials” of an old property. It can mean some upgrading of systems, but no exterior additions are allowed, and preservation emphasizes “retention of the greatest amount of historic fabric along with the building’s historic form.”
Restoration, though, is the gold standard. It involves reconstruction of missing features to bring the old place back to its original state. It allows for upgrading of systems, but it also calls for the removal of features that were added later and do not serve the original purpose of the structure. It is a return to and a preservation of the structure’s original state, but by allowing for systemic upgrades, it is also a way of making the place the best it possibly can be.
I believe restoration is a picture of what God wants for every one of us. He sees us in our current state and daydreams about how to fix us up. Like it does for an historic house, the restoration process involves removing the things that hinder us from being our absolute best while preserving what is good, so we will structure this book on the pillars of removal and preservation.