The U.S. Secretary of the Interior's definition of rehabilitation was chosen from among several viable alternatives as the adaptive re-use standard for the Wynne Home project. As stated in Secretary's Standards for Rehabilitation and Guidelines for Rehabilitating Historic Buildings, rehabilitation is:
- "The process of returning a property to a state of utility, through repair or alteration, which makes possible an efficient contemporary use while preserving those portions and features of the property which are significant to its historic, architectural, and cultural values."
On July 6, 2000, the Arts Commission formally affirmed its selection of and intent to apply this standard to the Wynne Home project. It was believed that this definition would guide the Home's conversion toward maximum functionality without sacrificing historic and/or structural integrity.