John Fugelso1999 Askins Achievement Award Recipient
"He consistently strives to share his knowledge and experiences with his broad base of professional colleagues, unskilled youth, and in general, with anyone who will listen."
John ‘the Craftsman’ is an historian, a problem solver, and an educator. All throughout John’s professional career, he has in one way or another focused on history and historic preservation activities. His skills in these areas have developed, in part, within the programs of such organizations as the National Portrait Gallery, where he worked as a cabinet-maker’s helper, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation, where he worked as a restoration intern. John is driven to establish sensible, useable and practical solutions to problems involving the details, materials and fabrication of historic buildings. He will agree that he has spent at least the past 20 years in pursuit of a body of preservation trades professionals to develop, support and use such solutions. It is indeed people like John who have created the environment for the International Preservation Trades Network to succeed. During John’s process of pursuing a career in the preservation trades, he accumulated professional degrees in American History and Political Science from the University of Minnesota, and Historic Preservation from the George Washington University. His educational background has served to foster his never-ending goal of educating others. From the late 70's through the mid 80's, he developed and implemented a program in Preservation Carpentry and Historic Preservation at Durham Technical Community College in Durham, North Carolina. In 1991, John took a position with the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission as Historic Preservation Supervisor. John was originally hired to coordinate a preservation project training initiative utilizing the Pennsylvania Conservation Corps (PCC), which is a training program for 18- to 25-year-old youths administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry. Within a few years, this program grew from one crew at one site to ten crews at ten sites. Today, in addition to coordinating project activities of the PCC crews, he manages the Preservation Construction Section within the Division of Architecture and Preservation and a staff of two Preservation Construction Specialists. This section works in teams with the Architecture Section to design and manage preservation construction projects, and also undertakes their own preservation construction projects utilizing their trade skills. John has given many demonstrations of his skills as a preservation tradesman in carpentry, wood-shingle roofing and decorative finishes at historic site events, APTI and IPTW. He consistently strives to share his knowledge and experiences with his broad base of professional colleagues, unskilled youth, and in general, with anyone who will listen. The respect he shows for others never fails to garner the personal respect he receives in return.