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Richard Brandi Historic Preservation Consulting

I am a senior architectural historian providing timely and complete historic preservation services

for property owners, architects, developers, consulting firms, and public agencies in the Bay Area.


I have a reputation for credibility with planning agencies, boards, and commissions throughout northern California.  I am attuned to clients’ business needs and strive to meet deadlines.  

I have evaluated hundreds of buildings including railroad roundhouses, train stations, airports, golf course clubhouses, log cabins, theaters, courthouses, warehouses, farmsteads, public housing complexes, hospitals, stores, churches, and schools, as well as many types of houses.


A plan to alter a 50-year-old building usually triggers a requirement to determine if it is historic. Not every old building is historic, and seemingly newish buildings can be historic. The process may seem confusing, and I can help you get through it. Most cities in the San Francisco Bay Area follow a similar framework. Since I’ve worked in dozens of jurisdictions, I know what is required. 


If you want to alter the exterior of a historic building such as making an addition, the changes usually must meet federal guidelines called the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties. I review plans and make recommendations as necessary so your project meets the Standards and thereby avoids onerous environmental review. Even if you are familiar with the Standards, most jurisdictions require the services of an objective professional. 


Projects can trigger a costly and time-consuming Environmental Impact Report (EIR) if the project has an “adverse impact,” on a historic resource. I can advise ways to reduce or eliminate the impacts so you can proceed. I know how to assess whether a building retains sufficient historic integrity to be considered a historic resource. These issues often can make or break a project so it is important to hire someone with the experience, knowledge and credibility to speak before review boards.  

Garden Neighborhoods of San Francisco copy_edited.jpg

A look at 36 developments with picturesque streets, landscaping, and detached houses built between 1905 and 1924.  In spite of WWI, a recession, and inflation, many distinctive neighborhoods were built containing about 7,500 houses.

“Well-written, well-researched, interesting to read, it tells an essential and basic piece of the story of San Francisco's architectural history. What did we do without it?”


—Michael R. Corbett, architectural historian


“It abounds with fresh and interesting material, and it represents a new way of looking at 20th century residential development

—Richard Longstreth, Professor and Director,
George Washington University

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“Our firm has had the pleasure of working with Richard on several large and complex projects that included historical resources. Richard thoughtfully evaluated the historical significance of the neighboring context and the existing buildings. His published reports were well received by the city agencies involved with the projects. He skillfully presented his work at public hearings and retained his composure and professionalism under intense scrutiny from the public. I highly recommend Richard Brandi.”


Ted Korth
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