by Joe Lauver

(Above:  Apprentices learning the basics of mortar removal and pointing from James Houston, the Preservation Field Services Supervisor at the apprentice training workshop at Daniel Boone Homestead (PHMC staff)

Just as rust (and rot) never sleeps, historic buildings rarely let those who are responsible for their preservation rest. The ultimate goal of preservation is to maintain a structure in such a way that only sacrificial elements (i.e. exterior paint, roofing, and mortar) ever get replaced. The ongoing task of performing this level of maintenance, and the additional work often necessary when it isn’t routinely done, requires special skills that are becoming harder to find in the general construction industry. In an effort to bolster the pool of preservation trades practitioners the PHMC started the Preservation Trades Apprenticeship Program in 2006. The program is a partnership between the PHMC, non-profit organizations that perform preservation trades, and private contractors from across the Commonwealth.  Continue reading