Historic Preservation Program
Creating the Port Townsend School of Woodworking and Preservation Trades

(Pictures by Al McCleese, sponsored by Centrum, from the March 2009 Historic Preservation course)

Fall 2010 Practical Historic Preservation Classes

  • Building Storm Sashes - September 17-18
  • Repairing Old Doors - October 2-3
  • Restoring Interior Finishes - October 9-10
  • Repairing Masonry -  October 16-17

Fort Worden Windows Restoration Project 2010

Fort Worden State Park, Peninsula College and the Port Townsend School of Woodworking are working in partnership to offer an innovative way of using energy conservation stimulus grants (ARRA funds). We've put 36 students through the first part of the program in May and June 2010 working on the Park Office (Building 200) and in August we'll be working on the Gym (Building 310) - home of the Madrona Mindbody Institute.

Check out the details of the project here

Introduction our Historic Preservation Program

We strongly believe that Historic Preservation: preserving the mixture of buildings and artifacts that make our communities will become an area of increasing demand. Communities see the value and beauty of preserving older buildings.

We also deeply believe that applying historic preservation practices to old buildings can be the greenest possible way to conserve and create new workspace or living space. One of the key goals of historic preservation is the preservation and retention of the original material in a building.

In the past "old" had equated with "bad" and the demolition and replacement of old material with new seen as good. We are now starting to see that old material embodies sequestered carbon and lots of stored energy. So being able to retain or reuse old material has a very high environmental benefit.

Getting that environmental benefit is not cheap but it doesn't need to be expensive either - this is a key reason behind using wanting to encourage the broad acceptance of historic preservation practices in the restoration and repair of older buildings. And why we want to train the next generation of craftspeople.

We're committed to creating a program that provides a broad array of high quality educational opportunities for Historic Preservation.

This document lays out some of early thinking on how we'll build the program and the types of offerings we hope to provide. This is an early and very broad brush view, and we admit pretty ambitious, but we want to share the scope of the vision and encourage other enthusiasts and professionals to help develop the program.

We're looking to partner with many other organizations to create this vision. We encourage you to contact us if you are interested in helping us.

Some background:

Broad Goals and Aims:

  • Establish the School as a regional center for Historic Preservation skills development and practice.
  • Focuses on adding value to existing skills sets. School should not compete with  community colleges to teach carpentry and other apprentice level skills.
  • Think of us as a "Postgraduate school for construction workers and HP Professionals"
  • Will teach a range of skills from basic Historic Preservation techniques and methodologies to the use of leading edge technologies in historic preservation
  • Learning center for organizations like the NW chapter of the Association of Preservation Technologies.

Proposed set of program areas

  1. Professional Development
    1. "Continuing Education Credits" for Architects, Planners, Engineers, Building Inspectors and other professionals
    2. Specialized courses for Historic Preservation Professionals - for example presenting new and emerging techniques, opportunistically leverage visits of experts to the Puget Sound Region
    3. Classes for members of Historic Preservation Committees and Historical Societies - create a series of classes to help committee and society members develop a deeper and more professional understanding of their passion.
  2. Building the Next Generation of Craftsmen
    1. Contractor Conversion - a program that builds on existing skills of a contractor.
    2. Construction worker
  3. Homeowner Program
    1. Recurring homeowner program - windows, weatherization, painting, historic landscaping, working through the permitting and planning process, tax credits, setting up neighborhood restoration programs etc
  4. Commercial Building Owner Program
    1. Restoring your building - Assessment and planning, permitting, working with State and Federal agencies, funding etc
    2. Working with contractors
  5. Volunteer Leader Program
    1. Train lead volunteers from Historical Societies and other community organizations to run local preservation / restoration programs
  6. Field School
    1. Experiential learning at Fort Worden
    2. High visibility projects in the NW with students and volunteers

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Port Townsend School of Woodworking and Preservation Trades Copyright © 2007-2014. All rights reserved.

200 Battery Way | Fort Worden | Port Townsend, WA 98368 | (360) 344-4455 | email

The Port Townsend School of Woodworking and Preservation Trades is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit. Any donations made to the School are tax-deductible to the extent provided by law.