Courtyard House in Old Delhi

A restored 1887 courtyard house in Old Delhi, India. Although rare in America, houses constructed around an interior courtyard are common in much of the world. These houses are largely hidden from the street with few windows and often an elaborate portal with solid doors.

Once inside, the houses have an entirely different character, with a private light-filled space at their heart. Rooms open onto balconies surrounding the interior court with large doors and windows, flooding the rooms with natural light.

This example was restored from a state of near ruin and now operates as a boutique hotel called Haveli Dharampura at the heart of Old Delhi. I took these photos in February when we stopped there for lunch. I love checking out examples of good historic preservation when traveling. The hotel’s website: https://www.havelidharampura.com/.

Providing accommodations for tourists can be a great way to pay for the restoration of a house. Many houses in the US have been restored thanks to the income generated by bed and breakfast or Airbnb accommodations. Restoring a house for an income producing use may also allow the use of state and federal historic tax credits to help pay for the work.

Houses outside North America are not covered in Restoring Your Historic House, The Comprehensive Guide for Homeowners, but lessons learn from visiting them are. The 720 page award-winning and best-selling hardcover book is available in bookstores and from online retailers.

Signed copies are available directly from the author in the shop on this page, click here: https://yourhistorichouse.com/shop/.

Bookstores can order copies from W.W. Norton.

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