New Scholarship in Honor of Chris Robinson

New Scholarship in Honor of Chris Robinson


The Preservation Trades Network (PTN) in partnership with the Family and Friends of Chris Robinson are pleased to announce the establishment of Christopher P. Robinson Memorial International Preservation Trades Exchange Scholarship. The National Park Service and Preservation Community mourned the sudden and untimely death of Chris Robinson on October 11, 2016. Many of us are still deeply shocked and saddened by his loss.

Chris’s passion for historic preservation began at the National Park Service-Williamsport Preservation Training Center, today’s Historic Preservation Training Center (HPTC). After several years preserving historic structures in western parks, he returned to HPTC in 1997 to serve as the Masonry Section Chief, then Deputy Superintendent and as finally the Center’s Superintendent in 2013.

During his years at HPTC, Chris was introduced to the larger preservation community and the Preservation Trades Network. In 1997, HPTC hosted the first International Preservation Trades Workshops (IPTW) which focused on the sharing and expansion of knowledge and skill in the traditional trades. Chris attended many IPTW events. He collaborated with its members and encouraged staff participation. He then hosted IPTW again in 2007 and 2013. Chris also participated in the Quinque Foundation Exchange program in Scotland, where he learned more and shared his knowledge about building conservation and traditional trades. One of Chris’s proudest accomplishments was reinstituting a youth program so the practice of the crafts would continue.

One of Chris’s proudest accomplishments was reinstituting a youth program so the practice of the crafts would continue.

These accomplishments do not fully capture the essence of Chris’s contributions to historic preservation. He thrived on challenge and possessed the confidence and perspective to take on most anything. Chris served as a subject matter expert on matters concerning the stewardship and preservation of cultural resources. Yet he was as skilled a leader as he was a craftsman. He took as keen an interest in the people he mentored as he did the places he preserved. His influence made average people, good, and good people, great.

To ensure this legacy lives on, the Robinson Family and Friends recommended the establishment of the Christopher P. Robinson Memorial International Preservation Trades Exchange Scholarship. The Preservation Trades Network ( is honored to host this fund in memory of Chris, who supported the PTN’s mission of promoting Traditional Trades for over 20 years.

Fund Purpose

This fund will establish a scholarship for the tuition and travel expenses for craftspeople to participate in international cross-cultural exchanges designed to increase the awareness of traditional trade skills, preservation knowledge, conservation techniques, and understanding of traditional building materials and their relations to the built environment.

A partnership between the Preservation Trades Network and Historic Environment Scotland will serve as a starting point for this fund, providing growth by participating in their Building Conservation program at the HES Engine Shed in Stirling.

For the purpose of this scholarship, traditional trades is loosely defined as the construction skills needed to preserve historic structures, such as brick and stone masonry, timber framing, log building, traditional roofing, wood joinery, plasterwork, painting, blacksmithing and similar trades.

Scholarship Process

The fund will be administered by PTN and recipients will be selected by PTN’s Education and Scholarship committee and members of the Robinson Family, based on a set of rating criteria. The application period will be open in January and February for programs to be completed in that calendar year.

Recipients will submit an application to include:

  1. Name:
  2. Current Employment or Education Program.
  3. International Program of Interest. (Ex. Building Conservation Summer School at the Engine Shed)
  4. Estimated budget for participation using government per diem rates . (tuition, air fare, lodging, meals, ground transportation, etc)
  5. Is your participation dependent upon receiving this scholarship?
  6. Please provide a written response to the following questions:
  • What is your current experience with traditional trades and historic preservation?
  • Please describe in your own words how you plan to utilize the new knowledge and skills you will gain from this experience to advance yourself, others and the care of historic structures?

Fund Disbursement Procedures

  • Tuition will be paid directly by PTN
  • 75% of travel funds will be paid by check to the scholarship recipient before the start of the program.
  • Remaining 25% of travel funds will be paid after the recipient submits a summary of their experience either in words and photos or video recording, to be shared on the PTN website.

Fund Income Generation

The CPR Fund will be administered by PTN and funds will be generated to replenish and increase the size of the fund as a goal. Fundraising will be conducted through:

  • direct donations submitted through PTN’s website;
  • a percentage of the Annual IPTW Benefit Auction will go to the fund;
  • benefit workshop hosted by PTN;
  • the Annual IPTW Chris P. Robinson Trades Olympics registration fees and additional fund collection.

CPR Trade Olympics

 The Trade Olympics will be a series of fun, competitive events designed to challenge the teams’ trade skills.  Four-person teams will compete over the course of the three-day IPTW in a series of challenges that test their skills across a variety of traditional trades with an emphasis on quality of workmanship. Teams will pay an entrance fee and friendly monetary encouragement of the teams by spectators will be allowed as all proceeds will go to benefit the Fund.

Donation InformationChris Robinson

Donations can be made via check to:

Preservation Trades Network
1858 State Rt. 66
Ghent, NY 12075

Attention "Chris Robinson Memorial Fund" in the memo line.

Online Donation can be made at Please select "Other" under scholarship or Donation Type and put “Chris Robinson Memorial Fund" in the blank.


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