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Patrick Kennedy

2018 Askins Achievement Award Recipient

"Patrick formed the Pine Mountain School for Practical Historic Preservation. What followed was a series of week-long intensive workshops that targeted particular aspects of preservation that had been identified as of critical importance."

Mr. Patrick Kennedy, a native of Kentucky, has had a passion for historic properties and of respectful preservation since he was a teenager working on the conversion of an old firehouse into a restaurant where the attention to detail and the meticulous craftsmanship of the artisan restoring the timber windows particularly resonated with him and inspired his life-long connection to both. A lifetime of working in several areas of construction, including log cabin relocations alongside door and window restoration and moving into window restoration.

During 1997 Patrick joined the Kentucky Heritage Council in their State Historic Preservation Office in the role of assisting public entities with their various projects of historic renovations which drew both on his years of meaningful experience and superb people skills to help guide owners and contractors on methods of approach and, for those unfamiliar, utilizing approved preservation techniques, in the quest for acceptable levels of renovation on historic traditionally constructed buildings.

Concern that a great number of contractors he encountered working on historic renovation projects were largely unfamiliar with the traditional aspects of their crafts and of accepted renovation techniques led Patrick to an initiative that was supported by his office, partnered with the Pine Mountain Settlement School, and under the leadership and guidance of Bob Yapp, Patrick formed the Pine Mountain School for Practical Historic Preservation. What followed was a series of week-long intensive workshops that targeted particular aspects of preservation that had been identified as of critical importance.

In a personal quest to both advance further his knowledge of high-level preservation, and to meet specialist artisans, led Patrick to attend his first Preservation Trades Network (PTN) event at the International Preservation Trades Workshop (IPTW) in Mobile, Alabama, in 2003. He is recorded as stating, “I was really blown away by the demonstrations and the members. The devotion to the preservation trades was impressive and the free exchange of information and strong emphasis on education clinched it for me, this was the group of professionals I had been looking for my only regret was ii had not discovered them earlier.”

Patrick remained a loyal PTN member attending as many IPTW’s as his professional career would allow. His connections with high-caliber professionals who responded positively to his invites to come to the pine mountain workshops to teach, saw not only fellow Kentuckians attend but also people from over 30 states, too, including California; in what has been an incredible success story.

 Working alongside some of these leading artisans also advanced Patrick’s already extensive depth of craft skills, knowledge and experience to even greater heights and enabled him, in turn, to pass all this on to those he teaches. One of those mentioned by Patrick in this respect, is Jim Houston, and yet another is Bob Yapp, two nationally recognized experts in historic preservation who he has continued to work with, since he left the Kentucky Heritage Council.

I first met Patrick at Mobile, Alabama, where I had been invited to give a keynote address and to demonstrate. He subsequently asked me to attend a major event in Covington, Kentucky, to give a keynote address, teach and demonstrate for the Kentucky Heritage Council in 2010. Later I was asked to run a week-long workshop called the art of the red mason, in Lexington, Kentucky for the Blue Grass Trust on the Pope Villa in 2008. Those events cemented a personal friendship that has endured down through the years, including several years on the board of directors of PTN where, together, we pushed for noble objectives for the advancement of the preservation crafts.

Patrick Kennedy is a soft-spoken, humble gentleman whose years of dedication to the preservation trades is very worthy of the highest recognition and I have no hesitation in proposing him for the Askins Achievement award, 2018!


Written by Dr. Gerard Lynch.

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