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First-of-its-kind public workshop to focus on historic campus preservation

August 24, 2018

Juvenio Guerra, National Trust for Historic Preservation
Michael Tullier, Tuskegee University Office of Communications, Public Relations and Marketing

Note: media representatives interested in attending should contact Juvenio Guerra with the National Trust for Historic Preservation at or 202.588.6030.

Brick masonry class, circa. 1928
Brick masonry class, circa. 1928

Proper preservation of Tuskegee University’s iconic buildings will be the subject of a two-day, hands-on preservation workshop scheduled for Aug. 24 and 25 on campus. This first-of-its-kind development workshop is intended to teach students, university officials, community members and preservationists valuable skills in architectural and construction restoration and conservation.

The Historic Preservation Workshop will be hosted by the Robert R. Taylor School of Architecture and Construction Science, in partnership with the National Trust for Historic Preservation, National Park Service’s National Center for Preservation Technology and Training, Preservation Trades Network, the Historic Documentation Programs through the National Park Service, and the Alabama Historical Commission.

“Tuskegee is the ideal campus for hands-on demonstration of preservation techniques because our status as a national historic site and our partnership with the National Park Service,” said Kwesi Daniels, Assoc. AIA, NOMA, head of the university’s Department of Architecture. “Additionally, we are an institution built upon Dr. Booker T. Washington’s educational philosophy of ‘learning to do by doing.’”

Participants working on the school’s historic buildings will have an opportunity to directly connect to and continue the legacy of Tuskegee University’s architects and builders, while acquiring advanced preservation trade skills that make them competitive in their professional career paths.

Many of the campus’ oldest buildings were designed by the school’s namesake, Robert R. Taylor, and constructed by Tuskegee students more than a century ago. Taylor himself was the nation’s first accredited African-American architect, the first African-American architecture graduate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Tuskegee’s first director of Mechanical Industries in 1901.

Daniels looks to the workshop as being a building block for the university’s future preservation efforts.

“Our long-term goal is to start a historic preservation program at Tuskegee, which will teach students how to address those needs on our campus and throughout the state and nation,” Daniels said.

Funded in part by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the Historic Preservation Workshop highlights the nationally significant contributions of Tuskegee University, the only historically black college and university (HBCU) campus to be designated a National Historic Site by the National Park Service.

“We’re excited to contribute to raising awareness of the cultural legacy of Tuskegee University and allowing students to engage with the important work that happens when theory meets practice in historic preservation,” said Monica Rhodes, director of the National Trust’s Hands-On Preservation Experience (HOPE Crew) program. “As part of the National Trust’s African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund campaign, we look forward to continue helping HBCUs amplify the often-overlooked stories of African-American achievement and inspiring future professionals to advocate for places that tell the full American story.”

The workshop schedule begins at 8 a.m. on both Friday and Saturday, and continue each day through dinner those evenings. Seminars, hands-on workshops and discussions will explore topics that include photogrammetry (photography and drone technology); documentation workflow; window restoration; brick repointing; and laser scanning.

Registration for all participants is free, and participants can register online. All workshop events will be held in the various Willcox Buildings on the Tuskegee campus. A full schedule is available for download.

About the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s HOPE Crew

A program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, HOPE Crew trains young people in preservation crafts while helping to protect historic cultural sites on public lands. Named for “Hands-On Preservation Experience,” the program links preservation projects to the national youth corps movement, as well as launch special volunteer efforts nationwide. Since the start of the program in 2014, HOPE Crew has completed more than 150 projects, trained over one thousand young people (including veterans) in preservation trades, performed more than $18 million of preservation work, and recruited thousands of volunteers to protect places that are significant to their communities. Learn more at

About the Preservation Trades Network

The Preservation Trades Network (PTN) is a 501(c)3 non-profit membership organization founded to provide education, networking and outreach for the traditional building trades. PTN was established on the principle that conservation of the built environment is fundamentally dependent on the work of skilled people in all of the traditional building trades who preserve, maintain and restore historic buildings, and build architectural heritage for the future.  Membership in PTN is open to all.  While many members are full-time, practicing tradespeople, PTN also includes architects, conservators, engineers, preservationists, home owners, students and interested members of the public. Learn more at

About the National Park Service’s National Center for Preservation Technology and Training

The National Center for Preservation Technology and Training helps preservationists find better tools, better materials, and better approaches to conserving buildings, landscapes, sites, and collections. It conducts research and testing in its own laboratories, provides cutting edge training around the U.S., and supports research and training projects at universities and nonprofits. NCPTT pushes the envelope of current preservation practice by exploring advances in science and technology in other fields and applying them to issues in cultural resources management. Learn more at

About the Alabama Historical Commission

The Alabama Historical Commission works to accomplish its mission through two fields of endeavor: preservation and promotion of state-owned historic sites as public attractions; and, statewide programs to assist people, groups, towns and cities with local preservation activities. It is responsible for the acquisition and preservation of state-owned historic properties and education of the public on historic sites in Alabama. It owns and manages 15 historic sites throughout Alabama as public attractions. The properties range from forts, battlefields, and archaeological sites to historic houses and museums. Learn more at

About the Historic Documentation Programs through the National Park Service

Heritage Documentation Programs (HDP) is part of the National Park Service. It administers the Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS), the Federal Government's oldest preservation program, and its companion programs: the Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) and the Historic American Landscapes Survey (HALS). Documentation produced through HABS/HAER/HALS constitutes the nation's largest archive of historic architectural, engineering, and landscape documentation. Records on more than 40,000 historic sites (consisting of large-format black and white photographs, measured drawings, and written historical reports) are maintained in a special collection at the Library of Congress, available to the public copyright free in both hard copy (at the Library of Congress) and via the Library's website. HDP also develops and maintains the Secretary of the Interior's Standards and Guidelines for Architectural and Engineering Documentation. Learn more at

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