New York City has 8,250,000 people and 975,000 buildings.
It also has the only high school program in the country for hands-on masonry preservation, building conservation and green sustainable construction.
This blog offers a glimpse into that program.

The textbook developed from the curriculum and lessons: "Masonry History Integrity An Urban
Conservation Primer" is a free download at this web site:

The recent entries are in the LinkedIn Group: Masonry History Integrity & Urban Conservation.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Masonry Preservation Program

Tom Russack designed the curriculum from his Master's Thesis, "The Development of a Preliminary Masonry Preservation Training Program” and became the Program Instructor. Classes began in September, 2007 and were held in a Workshop/Classroom built in the basement of a housing project on West 123rd Street, Harlem. Twelve trainees were selected from twenty five attending the first class.

After nine months of training, in June, 2008 seven students receive their GED diplomas. One student secured full-time employment with a New York City masonry preservation company and earned the title of "Outstanding Masonry Preservation Student of 2008." He was also awarded a full set of new mason’s tools as the graduation ceremony.

In September 2008, at the onset of the masonry preservation program’s second year, the Workshop/classroom was transferred to a new location in the basement of a West 129th Street building incorporating better security, lighting, storage space and ventilation.
Approximately 40 students began the program in October, 2008 and 26 graduated in July, 2009. The most outstanding student was awarded masons's tools and a Cathedral Stone scholarship for stone repair training, worth of over $1,000.

The Program’s third year is to commence in early October, 2009 with the addition of a masonry instructor teaching basic masonry fundamentals, two days a week.

The Masonry Preservation Workshop and classroom activities undertaken throughout the 2009-2010 semester are the basis of this blog.

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