Older homes sometimes pose unusual safety hazards, for example, their stairs may be steeper than modern Milwaukee law allows. The stairs that don’t conform to modern standards are often “grandfathered” in, meaning that the codes will not be enforced in this instance.
Despite that, responsible homeowners, as much as possible, are going to make their homes safe for their guests. For example, if the stairs have a steep grade, perhaps those stairs will require a tread to ensure people don’t lose their step, or a special railing or a secondary railing.
Similarly, outdoors, if the front porch won’t accommodate an ugly handrail, aesthetically speaking, you may need to investigate how to incorporate safety into the architecture of the design.
The bottom line is that your home shouldn’t be a hazard to the people you invite there and that means making sure that you are reasonably compliant with ordinary safety requirements, as well as good, common sense. Nobody gets a pass just because their house was built a hundred years ago.