Since October of 2005, the Preservation Trades Network (PTN) has been working in partnership the World Monuments Fund (WMF) to identify how we can most effectively assist in the recovery of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast.

The WMF “Alternatives to Demolition” program was initiated in December of 2005, in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi to demonstrate the importance of restoring the Gulf Coast’s built heritage as part of the region’s long-term reconstruction. In December 2005, a PTN team worked with representatives of the World Monuments Fund, National Trust for Historic Preservation, and the University of Florida’s College of Design, Construction and Planning Historic Preservation Program to document and preserve the c. 1840 Phillips House, and hewn timber frame wing of the adjacent Hecker House, an important surviving remnant of the earliest settlement period of the town.

In July of 2006, PTN/WMF held the first of a series of community based workshop in partnership with the Holy Cross Neighborhood Association to restore flood-damaged buildings in the historic Holy Cross Neighborhood of New Orleans’s Ninth Ward, for reoccupation and to provide property owners with practical, hands-on knowledge for restoring their homes. The workshop took place June 19-25th at the Greater Little Zion Missionary Baptist Church. PTN members worked with the congregation and volunteers from the World Monuments Fund and the Nathan Cummings Foundation to make structural repairs and replace flood damaged wooden flooring.

In addition to the workshops, PTN and WMF have helped address the critical need for a continuing base of hands-on technical and practical assistance using a Mobile Preservation Unit and other community outreach efforts to meet with more than 75 individual home owners to provide specific practical repair recommendations. PTN has also developed a “Brief Guide to Understanding Repairs to Historic Homes Damaged by Hurricane Katrina and Other Related Floods” written to address some of the most common questions including:

  • Does the work on my house require a permit from the Landmarks Commission?
  • What will it cost me to save my historic building?
  • What do I remove and how do I remove it?
  • How do I handle flood damage and mold?
  • How do I stabilize and repair piers and foundations?
  • How do I repair roofs and gutters, windows and doors?
  • Where can I find more information and assistance?
Project Data
Date City State
2005 New Orleans Louisiana

Belmont Technical College and Ohio University Eastern hosted the 9th annual International Preservation Trades Workshop, in St. Clairsville, Ohio. Demonstrators and participants from North America, England, Ireland, Scotland, France, Germany, Poland, Sweden and Japan made this a truly international gathering, building both tangible and intangible bridges to international communication and exchange. Roy Underhill, host of the popular PBS series “The Woodwright’s Shop”, opened IPTW 2005 as keynote speaker and later joined in the demonstration sessions with his box of hand tools and foot-powered lathe. More than forty demonstrators presented sessions ranging from timber frame joinery, stone carving, window repair and brick masonry to the art of scagliola or “plaster marble”. The traditional lime burn was an especially popular spot for warming up between sessions. In addition to demonstrating the trades, workshop participants built permanent structures for the host institutions. The Dry Stone Conservancy of Lexington, Kentucky organized an international group of drystone masons from Ireland, Scotland and the US to build an arched stone bridge on the campus of Ohio University Eastern with stone donated by Rolling Rock Stone of Boyertown, Pennsylvania. PTN, Timber Framers Guild and Slate Roofing Contractors Association members worked together to build a permanent timber framed, slate roofed structure as a traditional blacksmith’s shed with assistance from student apprentices from the American College of the Building Arts. Material for the shed was donated by the Christman Company. The building will be used by students in the Building Preservation and Restoration Program metal arts and blacksmithing program. Virginia Lime Works of Madison Heights, Virginia constructed a cut and rubbed brick column demonstrating traditional methods of building with gauged brick. The Stone Foundation, an organization dedicated to preserving and perpetuating the time-honored art and craft of stonework held their annual Stonework Symposium in conjunction with IPTW 2005. Participants in both events moved freely from scholarly presentations on the history of stonework to “hands on” demonstrations such as the session on pre-Columbian Peruvian stonework techniques by Professor Jean-Pierre Protzen, former Chair of the School of Architecture at the University of California, Berkeley. The 5th annual PTN Auction on Friday night was the most successful ever. When Auctioneer Dave Acker brought down the gavel on the last bid, more than $17,200 had been raised to help support PTN. The Saturday night Barbeque and performance of the PTN All Star Band was judged by many to be the best yet. Mike Orrell, Duffy Hoffman and the other regulars were joined by Andy deGruchy for the premiere of Andy’s latest composition, “The Cover of the PTNews”. Roy Underhill sat in on harmonica and French Compagnon, Daniel Wawszczyk, demonstrated that music knows no language barriers when he picked up the bass guitar.

Project Data
Date City State Askins
2005 St. Clairsville Ohio Joseph Jenkins
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IPTW 2004, was held in Mobile, Alabama with the theme of “Education”. The state’s oldest city was founded by the French in 1702 and has buildings dating to the 1820s. The workshop took place in Spanish Plaza, which was built in the 1960s to recognize the Spanish contribution to Colonial Mobile and to honor Malaga, Spain, Mobile’s sister city. Co-sponsors included the Alabama Historical Commission, Alabama Preservation Alliance, Black Heritage Council, Historic Mobile Preservation Society, and Mobile Historic Development Commission. Three pre-conference workshops were held in conjunction with IPTW 2004. Participants in “Issues in Masonry Conservation”, a daylong workshop at Fort Morgan, Alabama’s 1834 brick fort at the mouth of Mobile Bay focused on developing appropriate methodologies for masonry repair in an interdisciplinary team setting. A half day Technology Trade Teacher’s Workshop covered preservation-sensitive techniques. Another workshop covered hands on repair techniques in the c. 1830 Bishop Portier House owned by the Catholic Archdiocese. The Friends of Magnolia Cemetery sponsored a Monument Restoration workshop by the Mississippi Stone Guild. In addition to the existing PTN Scholarship program, a number of scholarships allowing students, teachers, and trades apprentices to attend IPTW 2004 were awarded by the Mobile Historic Development Commission and the Historic Mobile Preservation Society through a grant from the Sybil H. Smith Charitable Trust. Workshops and discussion sessions focused on traditional trades education set the stage for the International Trades Education Symposium (ITES) to be held in conjunction with IPTW 2005. John William Laing of Edinburgh’s Telford College in Edinburgh, Scotland was presented the 7th annual Askins Achievement Award for his accomplishments as a master plasterer, and educator in the trowel trades. The Preservation Trades Network and the World Monuments Fund jointly presented, Preservation Trades Training: A New Perspective, a panel session and Trades Retreat at the 2004 Annual Conference of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, in Louisville, Kentucky.

Project Data
Date City State Askins
2004 Mobile Alabama John Laing
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IPTW 2003 held October 8-11th, in Columbia, Maryland with the Howard County Department of Recreation and Parks as co-hosts. The workshop utilized much of the historic farm complex for classrooms, and demonstration areas. The event began with a keynote speech by Clem Labine, founder and editor of Traditional Building and Period Homes magazines and the founder of the Old House Journal. Mr. Labine talked about historic preservation and his view of the past, present, and most importantly the future of preservation and how the traditional trades can help shape that future. The 300-acre Blandair Farm site, a rural enclave in the heart of the urban Baltimore-Washington corridor, featured a number of extant 19th century structures in need of stabilization and preservation. Many of the demonstration sessions at IPTW featured actual repair and conservation of the buildings including the timber frame Seed Barn, and plaster repair in the Main House. Approximately 350 people participated in the event. In April, 2004 the Howard County Department of Recreation and Parks, in partnership with PTN, hosted a 3-day timber frame repair workshop to continue frame repairs on the Blandair Seed Barn. Bill Gichner received the 6th annual Askins Achievement Award in recognition of his lifelong contributions to the art and craft of blacksmithing and metal work. In October of 2003, members of PTN, the Timber Framers Guild and the International Log Builders Association attended a 12 day working meeting hosted by the Association of Polish Conservators in the Bialystok, Podlaskie region of Poland, with representatives from Poland, Israel, Romania, Belarus, Germany, Canada, Lithuania, Israel and the Czech Republic. The meeting was focused on the potential for development of educational programs in the traditional trades.

Project Data
Date City State Askins
October 8-11, 2003 Columbia Maryland Bill Gichner
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IPTW 2002 was held in Fairmont, West Virginia on the 1,266 foot span of the historic Jefferson Street High Level Bridge above the Monongahela River. Located in the heart of a historic community founded in 1820, the newly restored bridge was closed to traffic for three days in August to serve as the venue for the workshop. IPTW 2002 was co-hosted by the Vandalia Heritage Foundation, established to promote historic preservation and redevelopment in northern West Virginia communities through partnerships with the Vandalia Redevelopment Corporation, and local nonprofit organizations. In addition to rehabilitation of commercial and civic structures Vandalia's Community and Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative continues to provide information and incentives for homeowners to preserve historic homes and neighborhoods. Congressman Alan B. Mollohan, welcomed IPTW 2002 to Fairmont, where the theme of “Community” was demonstrated through the work of local and international trades people, preservation professionals, and partners. PTN used the abandoned and neglected Alexander House as a venue for “hands on” workshops for trades people and homeowners. Using the building as a classroom, PTN helped reinforce the message of revitalization by changing community perceptions of historic structures from “eyesores” to assets. The relationship established between PTN and the Vandalia Heritage Foundation has been the catalyst for ongoing trades based preservation efforts including establishment of an annual West Virginia Preservation Trades Workshop held each spring, and creation of the Trades Preservation Council of West Virginia, Inc. In June 2002, the Preservation Trades Network began producing a quarterly newsletter called PTNews.

Project Data
Date City State Askins
2002 Fairmont West Virginia Bill Gichner
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In partnership with the National Park Service, Gateway National Recreation Area, IPTW 2001 was held in October at historic Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn, NY, with the theme “Partnerships”. The National Park Service requested help from PTN to develop facilities at the Ecology Village camping site in the Brooklyn unit of the park, where urban youth experience environmental studies in a natural environment. PTN and Timber Framers Guild members designed a small timber frame structure to be built with the active participation of students from the Brooklyn High School for the Arts. PTN also arranged for the donation of a large decorative wooden gate, constructed by the Timber Framers Guild during the 2000 Smithsonian Festival of the Building Arts in Washington, DC. PTN coordinated donation of materials for the Ecology camp shelter, and transportation of the Masters of the Building Arts Festival gate to the Floyd Bennett Field site. In the immediate aftermath of the events of 9/11, the timing and location meant that many members of the local trades community were involved in recovery and support efforts at the WTC site. Consideration was given to canceling or postponing the event. However, there was a strong consensus among event organizers that the commitment PTN had made to the National Park Service for work at the Ecology Camp site had to be honored. Although attendance at IPTW 2001 was fewer than 200 people, it clearly demonstrated the potential of the spirit of the network to prevail, and to gather despite adversity. At IPTW 2001, PTN members initiated an annual auction to raise funds for the organization which has become a lively and successful highpoint of every subsequent IPTW. Lisa Sasser, 1986 graduate of the National Park Service Williamsport Preservation Training Center, and a founding member of PTN was the recipient of the 4th annual Askins Achievement Award. The Preservation Trades Network was represented at the 2001 National Preservation Conference in Providence, Rhode Island by a panel of PTN members in a session on Building Craftsmanship – Sources, Resources and Initiatives. After five years as a Task Force of the Association for Preservation Technology International (APTI), PTN was formally established as a 501(c)6 non-profit corporation in 2001.

Project Data
Date City State Askins
October 2001 Brooklyn New York Lisa Sasser
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In November 2000, the IPTW was held in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania in partnership with the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. The Harrisburg event was attended by more than 500 people. The workshop theme – Convergence of Architecture and Craft – also became the focus of a special issue of the APT Bulletin, Vol. XXXIII, No. 1, containing articles by many of the presenters at IPTW. The purpose of the workshop and APT Bulletin was to open a dialog on creating a climate of inclusion among all members of the preservation team, including the trades. PTN began holding specialized workshops in conjunction with IPTW 2000. In partnership with the Timber Framers Guild, PTN held two workshops to reconstruct a traditional timber-frame Hay Barrack for the Landis Valley Museum in Lancaster, PA. The 3rd annual Askins Achievement Award was presented to Rudy R. Christian, founding member of the Timber Framers Guild, the Traditional Timber Frame Research and Advisory Group of the Guild, and noted lecturer and teacher of traditional timber framing techniques.

Project Data
Date City State Askins
November 2000 Harrisburg Pennsylvania Rudy R. Christian
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Without major institutional support, the trades community in the form of voluntary organizers, staff, demonstrators, and presenters worked together to donate time, materials and effort to hold IPTW 1998 and 1999 at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds in Gaithersburg, Maryland. In 1999, John Fugelso of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission became the 2nd recipient of the Askins Award in recognition of his career as an educator and preservation specialist.

Project Data
Date City State Askins
1999 Gaithersburg Maryland John Fugelso
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Without major institutional support, the trades community in the form of voluntary organizers, staff, demonstrators, and presenters worked together to donate time, materials and effort to hold IPTW 1998 at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds in Gaithersburg, Maryland. At IPTW 1998, PTN inaugurated the Askins Achievement Award to honor “significant contributions to the traditional trades”. The award is named in honor of James S. (Jim) Askins, founder of the National Park Service Williamsport Preservation Training Center. The initial presentation was made to Jim Askins in recognition of his lasting influence on the education of NPS Preservation Specialists, and many contributions to the traditional trades. IPTW 1998 marked inception of a PTN Education Committee, and the beginning of a PTN scholarship program for students and apprentices.

Project Data
Date City State Askins
1998 Gaithersburg Maryland Jim Askins
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The Historic Preservation Training Center of the National Park Service sponsored the first International Preservation Trades Workshop (IPTW) in 1997 in Frederick, MD in partnership with PTN. As the first event of this kind, attendance exceeded all expectations, and had to be limited to 375 people. IPTW 1997 demonstrated conclusively that there was both an audience and a demand for an event based around hands-on demonstrations of the skills of all of the trades engaged in preservation. It also established the basis for a system of networking and information sharing among people in all of the trades. Although trades specific groups such as the Timber Framers Guild, International Log Builders Association, and Stone Foundation had already established strong systems of communication and collaboration, it was the first domestic event “by the trades and for the trades” to bring practitioners of a wide diversity of trades together in a single venue.

Project Data
Date City State
1997 Frederick Maryland
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