Only in the last few decades have we reconnected the suburbs to greenspace and connected to schools and shops, but we don't talk about architecture like we own it anymore. It's no longer part of our dialogue even though it underlies the decisions made about how wide your street is, the type of trim a developer puts on your new house, and the style in which the bank down the street is being built.
What does this have to do with your problem property?
An architect can take generations of architectural history and help you determine if that porch rail you pick up in Home Depot is actually appropriate for the style of your house. Buying cheap redwood on sale at your hardware store may backfire and cheapen your entire property. Not kidding.