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.

The Program in Theory



Thomas E. Russack

Thesis submitted to the Faculty of Goucher College in partial

 fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of 
Master of Arts in Historic Preservation



Advisory Committee

Mark L. Watson, Thesis Chairman

Jan C. K. Anderson

Dale Allen Gyure, Ph.D., Thesis Director


Copyright by

Thomas E. Russack


This thesis is dedicated my wife Susan for all of her patience, perseverance and sacrifice throughout this endeavor, and to my daughters Nicole Renee and Kristen Hope with joyful anticipation for their future.


 This thesis is a belated thank you to my father, Anthony E. Russack, (1922-1984) who told me: “Son, get an education and learn a trade. You’ll always be able to put food on the table with one of them.”



Degree Candidate: Thomas E. Russack

ree and Year: Master of Arts in Historic Preservation, 2006

Thesis directed by: Dale Allen Gyure, Ph.D., Thesis Director

Welch Center for Graduate and Professional Studies

Goucher College

The proposed outcome of this thesis is the formation of a preliminary preservation masonry training program for high-school-age students in New York City. The program would meld worksite training with classroom instruction by introducing trainees to preservation craftsmanship through a combination of hands-on experience and academic lessons. It introduces students to the proud traditions of preservation and the masonry trade, provides a preview of possible work and education opportunities in masonry preservation, and establishes standards for desirable work ethics including the qualities of tradition, recognition and integrity.

The thesis includes case studies of high school masonry and preservation programs, a description of a proposed preservation training facility and curriculum, work site responsibilities, administrative requirements, and a preliminary budget.

This program is proposed as a preliminary resolution to the dilemma of the dwindling number of skilled, quality craftspeople who are able to respectfully restore, repair, and maintain the built environment’s aging masonry structures.


Chapter I: Preservation Training Programs: An Overview 1

Preservation Training: Discussions and Proposals 2

Methods of Research and Investigation 8

Proceeding Forward 10

Chapter II: Case Studies 11

Introduction 11

The Putnam/Northern Westchester Board of Cooperative Educational Services, Yorktown Heights, New York 12

Eight Comparative and Contrasting High School Masonry Programs 20

The Preservation Arts Program at Brooklyn High School of the Arts 22

Conclusion 32

Chapter III: The Proposed Preservation Masonry Program Facility and Curriculum 37

Introduction 37

The High School Preservation Masonry Program Facility 38

The Bobby Scola IMI Training Center Facility and Curriculum 41

The Program’s Curriculum 45

Standards and Values 55

Presentations from Masonry and Preservation Disciplines 59

Conclusion 65

Chapter IV: Considerations 67

Introduction 67

Worksite Training 67

Preservation Worksite Responsibilities 69

Wages, Compensation, and Insurance Issues 71

Additional Preservation Training and Work Opportunities 73

Administration Requirements 74

Director’s Qualifications and Responsibilities 75

Instructor’s Required Experience and Training 76

Estimated Start-up Budget 77

Chapter V Recommendations & Conclusions 80

 Recommendations 81

Tradition 85

Recognition 86

Integrity 88

Conclusion 90

Appendix I Recent Preservation Trades Education Initiatives 92

Appendix II Program, Employer, Parent/Guardian's Responsibilities for

Worksite Training 97

 Appendix III Work Responsibilities Agreement Form 98

Appendix IV Work Ethic Skills Evaluation 99

Appendix V General Information About Masonry Careers 100

Appendix VI Colleges, Schools or Programs Offering Diplomas, Degrees or

AIA Credits For Preservation Masonry 101

Appendix VII Organizations, Schools, Vendors or Manufacturers Offering

Seminars or Workshops In Preservation Masonry Training 103

Appendix VIII Websites of Apprenticeships, Internships And Work Opportunities

For High School Students Interested In Masonry Preservation 105

Appendix IX Director’s Job Description And Qualifications 106

Appendix X Glossary 108

Notes 109

Bibliography 121


1. Chart comparing the difference in potential gross earnings for

career paths in masonry and architecture after five, ten, twenty

and thirty years 29

2. The Masonry Preservation Program’s twelve-week academic

components 47

3. Proposed budget 78


1. Erik Cantamessa, Instructor of the Putnam/Northern Westchester

 Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) masonry

 training program at the Technical Center Construction Division

 masonry facilities in Yorktown Heights, New York 15

2. Guest Instructor Thomas E. Russack, demonstrating how to lay

bricks to a line at The BHSA Preservation Arts masonry seminar and

 demonstration 27


3. Bricklaying practice session at The Bobby Scola Training Center,

International Masonry Institute (IMI), Long Island City, New York 44



Introduction to Preservation Training Programs

These ancient crafts are a significant part of our national cultural resources. Their continuation as a living tradition is essential to insure the authentic conservation of

our early buildings…The survival of these crafts will require the most thoughtful solutions to human as well as economic problems. No existing formula can be used. A new solution must be found, based on a national realization of the importance of these skills to our continuing culture.

—The Whitehill Report

In 1900, according to figures from the United States Census Bureau, 13,000 New York City residents listed their occupation as stonemason or bricklayer, and an additional 5,000 listed themselves as stonecutters. In a federal survey conducted in 2005, only 1,030 people in the New York metropolitan area identified themselves as stonemasons.

These figures illustrate the need to replenish the dwindling numbers of the skilled craftspeople who are vital to the preservation trades. The question of how to increase these numbers has been formally addressed by preservationists and others for nearly forty years. Through reports, discussions, committees, and symposiums, those who teach and practice architectural preservation as well as representatives of government, community organizations, and other interests have framed a debate on preservation training. From these explorations, designs for the content, practice, and implementation of programs to train people in the restoration arts have emerged. Some of these efforts are outlined in this chapter in order to chart the past travels and current guideposts of preservation skills instruction. The aim is to provide a historical frame of reference for the preservation masonry training program for high school students that this thesis will propose.

Preservation Training: Discussions and Proposals

The earliest report to address the need for education in the preservation trades was initiated by the National Trust for Historic Preservation in 1967. In January of that year, the National Trust’s director, Robert R. Garvey, assembled a committee to address the topic, “Professional and Public Education for Historic Preservation and Restoration.” Among the committee members were representatives from the Smithsonian Institution, the University of Virginia, the Ford Foundation, and the National Park Service; Walter Muir Whitehill, director and librarian of the Boston Athenaeum, served as chair of the committee. Two subcommittees were formed: one addressed architectural education for historic preservation; the other dealt with the conservation of traditional building crafts and trades.

The document submitted to the Trustees of the National Trust for Historic Preservation in April 1968 is generally referred to as the “Whitehill Report,” after the committee’s chair. The report expressed the committee’s concern that the preservation trades were in danger of dying out. To illustrate the reasons for this concern, the committee cited the limited number of civil service jobs available to preservation trade workers, and noted that technological innovation in the form of “prefabricated and disposable construction” had largely displaced traditional craftsmen and their materials. “We do not know of any training centers for the traditional building crafts within the United States,” the committee stated in its report. “Neither the vocational schools, nor the unions, nor the preservation agencies have developed any systematic training to preserve skills.” The Whitehill Report urged the recruitment and training of “carpenters, masons, plasterers, wood carvers, and painters increasingly needed in preservation and restoration work.” It also advocated a nationwide effort to provide stable employment and appealing career prospects in the preservation trades.

As a result of its findings, the committee recommended that the National Trust establish a permanent Conservation Council for the Traditional Building Crafts, which would review the conclusions of the Whitehill Report and draft guidelines for preservation training centers to be established throughout the U.S.

In 1968, the National Park Service seemed on track to address the Whitehill Report’s recommendations when it proposed the establishment of the William Strickland Preservation Center. The Center was intended as a three-year pilot program to recruit and provide job training for preservation craftsmen and historical architects. However, the National Park Service could not obtain the funding necessary for this project.

In 1976, historical architect Charles E. Peterson reiterated the nationwide need for preservation training programs. “The longer the delay in establishing a substantial program for the revival of the old crafts, the more difficult it will be to accomplish,” Peterson wrote. “One of the most obvious dangers is the loss of the old builder’s vocabulary. Many of the terms used to describe the building parts and processes were transmitted orally and do not appear in written records.” The following year, the National Park Service succeeded in establishing a three-year program for preservation specialists in Maryland, now based in Frederick and known as the Historic Preservation Training Center, in which masons and other skilled craftsmen offer hands-on training to students at National Park Service historical sites. In September 1986, the U.S. Congress also weighed in on the challenges facing historic preservation with its report, “Technologies for Prehistoric & Historic Preservation.” “[S]ites, structures, and landscapes that may have prehistoric or historic significance may not be cataloged and protected before they have been destroyed or dramatically altered,” the report warned, further recommending that “[c]raftspeople skilled in restoration techniques should be made part of the decision-making process for restoration, conservation, and maintenance.” One outcome of the Congressional report was the establishment of the National Center for Preservation Technology & Training in Natchitoches, Louisiana, in 1992, which provides some degree of funding and a limited amount of historic preservation training through the National Park Service in cooperation with Northwestern State University.

A quarter-century after the publication of the Whitehill Report, the issues it raised about the health of the preservation arts remained vital. In July 1993, the World Monuments Fund (WMF), a nonprofit organization devoted to the preservation of endangered architectural sites, sponsored the conference, “Employment Strategies for the Restoration Arts: Craft Training in the Service of Historic Preservation” in New York City. The wide variety of participants at the conference (which also received support from the Vincent Astor Foundation and the Samuel H. Kress Foundation) included employees of the city’s Departments of Parks and Recreation, Cultural Affairs, Employment, and General Services, as well as community organizers, local councilmen, architects, conservationists, clergymen, and representatives of existing craft training programs and the National Trust for Historic Preservation, among many others. The conference aimed to address the continuing erosion of New York City’s historical fabric and the loss of craft skills that produced the city’s architectural legacy. The presentations and discussions in this conference examined how young people could be recruited and trained for rewarding jobs in the restoration arts, which would also serve as an important aid in preserving the nation’s architectural history and traditional crafts. The attendees posed questions that remain essential to any debate on preservation arts training: Will the U.S. job market sustain workers skilled in the restoration arts? What criteria should be set for their training? Who should be trained, and for what skills? Is education in the humanities also necessary as part of their training? How could such programs contribute to maintaining the historical fabric of New York City? How can the public, government, and potential funders be educated about the need for historic preservation and training?

Participants divided into groups to discuss issues of administration, funding, education, and technology related to the preservation trades. They identified a range of problems, including the following: the lack of young people who consider the potential of crafts as a career option; preservation education programs that are oriented toward administration and high technology, offering little in the way of craft training or appreciation; a perception that craft workers suffer from a negative image or are not in well-respected professions; the absence of union involvement in preservation training; a shortage of qualified instructors; and finally, a lack of certification and knowledge on the part of clients and architects, which at once obscures the value of craft skills and contributes to depressed demand for them. The identification of these primary problems set the stage for a second meeting of the groups to propose solutions, which included the following: unions should be involved in the development and implementation of training and retraining programs in the restoration arts; summer jobs programs should train and employ more youth in restoration crafts; more educational opportunities should exist for instruction in historic preservation principles and crafts training, and job opportunities should be available at different levels along this educational ladder; education in historic preservation should be provided through the existing educational system, beginning in elementary school and continuing through college; and more hands-on preservation training should be available in architecture schools as well as on-site.

Perhaps the most significant outcome of this conference was the proposal for what would eventually become the Brooklyn High School of the Arts, the nation’s first high school with a curriculum based in preservation arts and training. The proposal for the school was backed by Brooklyn council member Kenneth Fisher, who attended the conference. The New York City Board of Education approved the establishment of the Brooklyn High School for the Arts in 2000, and the first graduates received their diplomas in 2004. (This program will be discussed further in Chapter II.)

Another new entity in the world of preservation arts training was conceived at the 1995 annual conference of the Association for Preservation Technology (APT) in Washington, DC, where a small group of contractors, educators, and preservation specialists established the Preservation Trades Network (PTN). Initially launched as a special task force of APT, which would address and acknowledge the role of trades people and contractors in the preservation industry, PTN since 1996 has hosted annual gatherings of trades practitioners and contractors, who assemble to display their skills in demonstrations, exhibit their handiwork, and exchange information. PTN, a nonprofit organization, was also involved in the development of the International Trades Education Initiative (ITEI), which aims to create an international network of trades professionals, including architects, conservators, and educators. The first major step in this process was marked in October 2005 by the inaugural International Trades Education Symposium (ITES), which brought together preservation trades professionals and educators from around the world. The symposium, held at Belmont Technical College, was hosted by PTN and funded in part by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation and the World Monuments Fund.

Also in 2005, David Mertz, program director for the Building Preservation Technology Program at Belmont Technical College, coordinated a special issue of the National Trust’s publication Forum Journal, devoted to the theme, “Building Trade Education in the 21st Century.” Authors addressed the loss of quality craftsmanship in the preservation trades and the necessity for further development of training programs in preservation. Mertz wrote, “The time has come to think ‘outside the box’ and explore the root of these problems and become creative in identifying possible solutions… In addition to academic training, students in the building trades must also have hands-on-experience.” Bryan Blundell, managing director of the Preservation Trades Network added, “A more robust system of trades education needs to evolve to attract more people to the preservation trades.” Elsewhere in the issue, Morris Hylton III of the World Monuments Fund proposed that, in addition to formulating new programs, advocates of preservation-arts training should “collaborate with existing high school and post-secondary level vocational and technical trades programs, integrating restoration-arts education into established curricula.”

Although there is an increasing demand for masons to attend to the needs of aging masonry structures, statistical indicators predict a decline in the number of those able to undertake the task at hand. The Brick Institute of America estimates that approximately 14,000 new bricklayers will be needed annually for each of the next ten years to keep up with the demand for new construction. According to the Broome-Tioga Board of Cooperative Educational Services, the average age of a bricklayer working in the United States today is fifty-six years old. This present shortage of qualified workers along with dwindling reserves of competent masons will compound the difficulty in finding qualified craftsmen to undertake necessary repairs and increases the necessity for the commencement of a program that provides training to a new generation of preservation masons.

Methods of Research and Investigation

Thirty-seven years have passed since the publication of the Whitehill Report, and its clear that knowledge-gathering, debate, and advocacy related to historic preservation has been vigorous in subsequent decades. A crucial question remains: What is required for the development of a masonry preservation training program for high-school-age students, incorporating classroom instruction and worksite training? Finding the answer to this question is the basis for this thesis.

The preliminary preservation masonry training program that this thesis will propose has been developed from research and interviews, concerning case studies of masonry training program facilities of the Putnam/Northern Westchester Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) in Yorktown Heights, New York, and the Preservation Studies program at the Brooklyn High School of the Arts. Further research was carried out through discussions with instructors and administrators of high school masonry programs throughout the United States; through attendance at preservation seminars and symposiums; and through the collection and synthesis of information from books, magazine articles, pamphlets, manuscripts, essay reports, and electronic information sources accessed via Internet sites (which are cited in the Bibliography). This research provided a cross section of high school masonry education, high school preservation studies, and career masonry training to propose the creation of a preservation academic program that intersects with a masonry worksite experience.

Additional components for the preliminary preservation masonry training program include: the proposed prerequisites of the program’s administrative director and responsibilities of the preservation masonry instructor, a proposed start-up budget, curriculum, criteria for worksite responsibilities, information on wages, insurance, college-level preservation masonry training programs and career opportunities in preservation masonry; along with a proposed set of “Standards and Values” that establishes desirable work ethics and recognizes the necessity of including the qualities of tradition, recognition and integrity. These components, particularly the incorporation of proposed standards, are derived in part from personal experience along with investigative research on numerous existing high school masonry training programs and one preservation arts program, which will be the subject of close examination in the next chapter.

Proceeding Forward

In his Forum Journal article, “Thoughts on Developing Preservation Building Trades Training,” David Overholt of the National Trust for Historic Preservation states, “Mastering a trade specialty and also understanding the broad overview of the complexities in the preservation field is ideal. The person who does this is truly a preservationist.” This is an excellent prescription for a preservation training program for young people, in which a broad education in historic preservation is combined with a learned skill.

Proceeding forward, the following chapters of this thesis will propose a preliminary guideline for the development of a training program that will not only preserve the built environment’s deteriorating masonry structures but also provide a format to build future preservationists.




Over the next ten years, the United States Department of Labor estimates that there will be 23,000 newly-created jobs in the masonry industry, and that more than fifteen percent of the current experienced masons’ jobs will need to be refilled. As our nation’s population increases, the demand for new homes, schools, and industrial facilities, as well as for the restoration of older buildings will make any well-trained and dedicated mason a valuable commodity. David Mertz, Chairperson for the Building Preservation Technology Program at Belmont College, wrote of the effects of the dwindling number of skilled craftspeople in his essay “Trades Education in the 21st Century” for the National Trust’s summer 2005 issue of Forum Journal: “One of the chief complaints echoed by preservation architects, museum administrators, and homeowners is that they can’t find craftspeople sensitive, educated, and skilled enough to do preservation work.”

The Mason Contractors Association of America reports, “The masonry industry’s workforce population is waning and it has been for over a decade…It is the time to recruit talented, hardworking youths that will carry on the trade’s reputation for quality workmanship into the future.”

To prepare a new generation of masons and, of more relevance, to train a new type of craftsman to undertake the challenges of masonry preservation, the development of an introductory, non-traditional preservation masonry program for high-school-age students is imperative.

Chapter I provided an introduction to preservation training programs and a schedule of recent preservation trade education initiatives is provided in Appendix I. This chapter provides case studies of the sole high school masonry training program immediately adjacent to the New York City metropolitan area, the Putnam/Northern Westchester Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) in Yorktown Heights, New York; and the only high school preservation program in the United States, the Preservation Studies Program at the Brooklyn High School of the Arts (BHSA). Background research was also obtained from eight high school masonry training program facilities located in the northeastern and central sections of the United States. Reviewing these programs provides information pertinent to the development of a basic, short-term, high school preservation masonry training program that utilizes traditional classroom scholastics reinforced by a preservation masonry worksite experience. The research in this chapter also includes information obtained from interviews with instructors of both the BOCES and BHSA programs along with background information collected from New York City restoration mason contractors, engineers, architects, instructors from the International Masonry Institute (IMI), and instructors of high-school masonry programs throughout the United States.

The Putnam/Northern Westchester Board of Cooperative Educational Services, Yorktown Heights, New York

Within the five boroughs of New York City, there are no Department of Education-sponsored programs allowing high school students the opportunity to learn the fundamental elements of the masonry trade. The closest high school program offering this training is located in Yorktown Heights, approximately fifty miles due north of New York City, at the Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES.

BOCES is a collection of New York regional education agencies created when two or more school districts recognize their similar needs and supply services by sharing programs resources and expenses. There are thirty–eight systems in New York State excluding the so-called “Big Five” city school districts in New York City, Buffalo, Rochester, Yonkers, and Syracuse. The BOCES were first established by the New York State Legislature in 1948.

Westchester County is bordered to the south by the borough of the Bronx in New York City, to the west by the Hudson River, to the east by Connecticut and the Long Island Sound, and to the north by Putnam County. Putnam County is directly north of Westchester County, and is bordered by the Hudson River to the west and by Connecticut to the east.

The Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES serves approximately 35,000 students from preschool through twelfth grade, in eighteen school districts. (Those districts are Bedford, Brewster, Briarcliff, Carmel, Chappaqua, Croton-Harmon, Garrison, Haldane, Hendrick Hudson, Katonah-Lewisboro, Lakeland, Mahopac, North Salem, Ossining, Peekskill, Putnam Valley, Somers, and Yorktown.) It also serves some of the students in school districts and municipalities in Rockland, Southern Westchester, and Duchess Counties. The main campus of the Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES is on BOCES Drive in Yorktown Heights, with ancillary campuses at twelve local school buildings in ten school districts. The main campus offers a variety of programs and services including Career and Technical Education, Curriculum and Instructional Services, Guidance and Child Study, Special Education, and Management Services.

The Masonry Program at Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES is part of the Engineering Technologies Career Academy, with facilities at the BOCES Technical Center located on 200 BOCES Drive in Yorktown, New York. Its facilities include a 60’x 45’ work room that is large enough to accommodate the construction of several building elements and is equipped with masonry tools, material and supplies, lavatories, lockers, and classroom facilities along with an adjacent outdoor storage area.

The program is available to high school juniors and seniors throughout the 185-day school year, and requires two hours of attendance at the Career Academy facilities, three mornings a week. Students continue with the remainder of their required courses at the main BOCES campus or other high school facility. There are one or two-year courses of study available and certificates are awarded to students completing the two-year program. The program also offers a four-hour daily option that enables selected students to gain required academic credit for English and either Mathematics, Social Studies, or Science along with a Regents Diploma with Technical Distinction. To graduate from a New York State high school, a passing grade is required in the five Regents exam subjects of Math, Global History, U.S. History, Government, and Science. The Instructor and Lead Teacher for the Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES masonry program is Erik Cantamessa, a third-generation, union-trained mason with over thirty-five years of construction experience (Figure 1).

Fig. 1. Erik Cantamessa, Instructor of the Putnam/Northern Westchester Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) masonry training program at the Technical Center masonry facilities in Yorktown Heights, New York. [Photo by Thomas E. Russack]

Mr. Cantamessa studied Vocational Education at the State University of New York at Oswego, construction technology courses at Westchester Community College, and special education/psychology courses at Mercy College. He has also studied masonry with the International Masonry Institute, and masonry preservation through the RESTORE masonry conservation program in New York City. With fifteen years experience as the Instructor and Lead Teacher of the Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES masonry program/Career Academy, he has developed a course of study with practical application so students can acquire the primary abilities to undertake basic residential and industrial masonry tasks. He has also incorporated creative teaching elements not usually related to construction training into the program, in order to develop social and communication skills in those under his tutelage. Besides masonry, students learn the importance of working as part of a team, the necessity of accepting responsibility, and they are provided the opportunity to expand their personal physical attributes such as discipline, coordination, stamina, and strength.

The general curriculum for the Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES masonry program provides training for safe and proper use of hand and power tools, proper handling of masonry supplies, understanding of mortar mixing by hand and machine, and the basic cutting and laying of masonry materials such as brick, block, and flagstone. Students build chimneys, barbecue pits, fireplaces, arches, piers, porches, steps, planters, and, according to Mr. Cantamessa, “just about every type of wall imaginable.” The forty hours of instruction per semester follow a schedule divided into ten hours of “Orientation” that develops an understanding of the work of a block/brick mason, the school and shop rules and regulations, grading requirements, employment opportunities, expected earnings, and standard working conditions and trade practices. There are also five hours of “Shop Safety” instruction, outlining personal safety practices along with safety at the Technical Center, and ten hours of “Hand Tools” instruction, which includes identification, maintenance, proper use and storage of trowels, hammers, joiners, pointers, levels, and measuring devices. Passing these courses allows student to receive an Occupational Safety and Health Organization (OSHA) ten-hour training card.

Along with this technical instruction, students also receive academic training in basic math and English. The math instruction is incorporated into the program through a five-hour development of “Whole Numbers,” which includes rounding, addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division; five hours of “Fractions,” including definitions of their parts and meaning, proper, improper, mixed, equivalent, conversion, and reduction, with addition, subtraction, and multiplication; and five hours of “Measurement,” which includes understanding of linear, time, and liquid measurement, along with the use of a calculator.

Mr. Cantamessa also weaves related courses of study throughout his instruction to teach other subjects relevant to masonry. For science, students learn the use of a transit, blueprint reading, the different types of masonry cleaners, (including their molecular make-up and effect on various types of stone), the chemical composition of various types of cement mixes, and the identification of numerous masonry materials and brick bond patterns. He incorporates arithmetic for the mason in his instruction so students are able to estimate material quantities for building projects, and he teaches geometry using the Pythagorean Theorem as a practical means to lay out a building foundation. Every Monday, one hour of English studies is taught to develop the students’ fundamental writing skills. This practice is geared towards the development of a resume with cover letter, a list of references, and a description of career and education goals. Students are also required to write four papers during the course of the year on topics related to the masonry industry. The Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES masonry program is a “portfolio-driven” form of instruction, whereby students design, build, and document the projects built during class. The portfolio package contains photographs of completed work, along with essays and other personally written documents that assist students in their preparation for real-life experiences and future career opportunities.

The 180-page text used at the Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES Masonry Program is Masonry Skills by Richard T. Kreh, Sr., an illustrated book offering step-by-step procedures to guide the students through actual construction projects. It contains basic information about masonry, materials, tools, and brick and block laying methods, with fourteen pages designated for rudimentary diagnosis and repair procedures. Jerry Alonzy, also known as “The Natural Handyman,” reviews Masonry Skills as “up-to-date, skillfully blended, easy to understand with history and trivia, and probably all the masonry information you will ever need to know.”

Posters and information sheets relating to the masonry experience are displayed around the classroom, many provided by The Bon Tool Company, headquartered in Gibsonia, Pennsylvania. Bon Tool donates masonry instruction, material data sheets, posters, and educational videos to the students along with providing informative material via lectures by visiting field representatives.

The Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES masonry program usually begins each fall semester with ten to fifteen students, and five or six drop out by the end of the school year. Although a few teenage girls have started the program, Mr. Cantamessa reports that they find the behavior of the adolescent boys overwhelming, and none have completed the program.

Mr. Cantamessa utilizes the philosophy “The hand teaches the mind” throughout his courses, and several students from his program have won awards in national high school masonry competitions sponsored by SkillsUSA.

Each year, a few masonry program seniors participate in an apprenticeship program that involves increased worksite experience in lieu of the Tech Center classes. These students receive a unique opportunity to gain employment skills, and in some cases college credits, while still in high school. They start with entry-level positions as masons and mason tenders (construction laborers) to further their understanding of the techniques of bricklaying, concrete work, and stonework.

Even if not pursuing a full-time masonry career, all of Mr. Cantamessa’s students are encouraged to develop job-seeking and job-keeping skills as part of their future career development training. Advanced placement is available for highly qualified graduates through the BOCES job shadowing program, and as a New York state requirement, the school tracks the career path of each student for one year after graduation.

From these findings, it is of little surprise that in October, 2006, the Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES masonry program received the highest rating by the National Association of Career and Technical Educators, and the school was one of three in the United States to receive the Academy for Educational Innovation award from the Ford Foundation. Pertaining to the preservation of aging masonry structures, Mr. Cantamessa, though knowledgeable, insightful and perceptive of the special care required of the built environment’s deteriorating brick, stone and terra cotta buildings, does not overtly feature a philosophy of historic preservation in his course studies; nor does he utilize unique masonry repair materials or the specific procedures designed specifically for those purposes. He noted, however that this would likely change in the immediate future, and these elements would be included in the curriculum as he continues to develop insightful, practical, and entertaining instruction methods throughout his the academic and work-training sessions.

Eight Comparative and Contrasting High School Masonry Programs

To provide comparison and contrast to the Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES program, additional information was obtained by researching eight high school masonry training programs from the central and north eastern sections of the United States. They are: Lewis and Clark Career Center in St. Charles, Missouri; Maplewood Career Center in Ravenna, Ohio; Ocean County Vocational-Technical School in Jackson, New Jersey; Penta Career Center in Perrysburg, Ohio; Polythech High School in Woodside, Delaware; and Prosser School of Technology in New Albany, Indiana; Sun Area Career and Technology Center in New Berlin, Pennsylvania and Vanguard Career Center in Fremont, Ohio. These eight were selected for their relevance to New York City masonry in variables such as climate, seasonal working conditions and the use of similar construction means, methods and materials. The universal similarities of these programs includes the identification of equipment, tools, and materials; the instruction of general masonry building techniques; and work site safety training. Other similarities include the Ocean County Vocational Technical School’s “shared time” format where students spend part of the day at a home school for academic courses and the rest of the day at a Vo-Tech center for hands-on instruction. An opportunity to work with experienced masons at job sites is offered at the Vanguard Career Center which also provides students with an early placement program. Individualistic characteristics include the Sun Area Career and Technology Center’s active marketing of masonry as an avenue of economic advancement offering earnings that nearly double the median household income of New Berlin, Pennsylvania. The elements of pride, satisfaction, and excellence in workmanship are standards emphasized at the Maplewood Career Center by instructor, Richard Nagy, who said, "I think students should be made aware that even though the trade can be labor intensive at times, you can take pride in being involved in the construction of a project that will serve a purpose and stand the test of time." Concerning preservation interests, Saint Charles, Missouri, home of the Lewis and Clark Career Center, was the state’s first capital and contains numerous historically significant structures. Likewise, New Albany, Indiana, has many nineteenth century ship builders’ mansions along with the Prosser School of Technology; yet neither school’s masonry program provides instruction for the repair of historic masonry structures. A few programs have ventured towards preservation-like practices, and although masonry preservation is not a standard part of the curriculum, students studying at the Penta Career Center have worked with lime mortar and dismantled a local historic post office for future re-assembly. In 2001, Polytech High School attempted to develop a high school training program designed specifically for masonry preservation. Working with the Wilmington Job Corps Center, it was intended to integrate with the school’s current building technology curriculum. But, according to Polytech’s masonry instructor, Tom Pleasanton, the program never got off the ground as students preferred to learn new construction and building techniques rather than study historic buildings and practice masonry preservation. From the information collected from vocational schools across the United States, and from the eight high school masonry training programs reviewed, there does not appear to be an active, short-term high school program solely designed to provide students with a combination of hands-on training and academic study for the development of preservation masonry awareness, philosophy, skills, and techniques.

The Preservation Arts Program at Brooklyn High School of the Arts

According to a recent survey by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission, there are 23,056 landmarked structures, eighty-three historic districts, and more than 1,100 individual landmarks in New York City. In an attempt to address the need of preserving these continually aging resources, the New Jersey Institute of Technology/Center for Architecture and Building Science Research (NJIT/CABSR), the New York City Department of Education (DOE), and the World Monuments Fund (WMF) collaborated in the design of a high school program to develop preservation arts skills.

Brooklyn High School of the Arts (BHSA) is a New York City public high school located in the Boerum Hill section of Brooklyn, a few blocks from the Mark Morris Dance Center, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, and at the crossroads of the borough’s new visual arts district. BHSA offers majors in the Fine Arts (visual and design), Dance, Instrumental Music, and Vocal Music (performing arts). In the midst of these artistic and developmental opportunities, it is the first, and currently the only, high school in the United States offering a major program of study in Historic Preservation, otherwise known as “Preservation Arts.”

BHSA is available to all students of the Brooklyn borough, but admission is limited to those selected from auditions conducted before the relevant program’s teaching staff. Prospective candidates are asked to provide a portfolio of artwork and original writing that addresses their particular theme of desired study. The school offers Brooklyn students an opportunity for scholarships, internships, and career options similar to prestigious schools of Manhattan such as LaGuardia High School of Arts and Music. BHSA is a relatively new endeavor, having commenced in 2000 by a directive from the New York City Department of Education, and it celebrated its first graduating class in 2004. It has 755 students with a racial mix of seventy-eight percent Black, nineteen percent Hispanic, four percent White, and one percent Asian. There is an average of thirty students per class, with an attendance rate of eighty-four percent and a graduation rate of seventy and-one-half percent. Free lunch is provided for approximately fifty percent of the students and overcrowding is rated at forty-six percent.

Discipline and other behavioral problems often associated with inner-city schools are not foreign to BHSA, and they are addressed in School Rules, a twenty-six page book distributed to all students. Infractions ranging from “level one” (not wearing a school uniform if required, or being late) to “level five” (selling illegal drugs or using a firearm in school) are listed along with penalties that range from a reprimand to suspension. A principal may suspend a student for no longer than five days.

The concept for a high school for the preservation arts originated from the proceedings of the 1993 symposium of the World Monuments Fund, “Employment Strategies for the Restoration Arts: Craft Training in the Service of Historic Preservation.” The symposium addressed the need for skilled preservation artisans, the limited number of programs training people in these highly specialized skills, and the revitalization of communities through historic preservation. The WMF enlisted Kate Burns Ottavino, an attendee of the symposium and Director of Preservation Technology at New Jersey Institute of Technology Center for Architectural and Building Science Research, to address these concerns by designing an infrastructure that could support restoration arts training in a sustainable manner. Ms. Ottavino is currently the Director of the BHSA Preservation Arts program and originated the concept of incorporating the training program within a New York City high school.

The Preservation Arts program consists of students interested in history or historic preservation, along with those transferred from other BHSA programs due to behavioral problems or failure to achieve the goals of their preferred discipline. For the 2005-2006 school year, there were thirty freshmen, thirty sophomores, seventeen juniors, and one senior (who took part in the program with the eleventh grade); with about a 50-50 male-female ratio. Students attend a forty-minute preservation themed class for one period along with their other classes each school day. In theory, the program’s sophisticated curriculum is designed to address historic preservation themes using history, social studies, English, math, and sciences to focus on a specific historic structure or an artifact and allowing the study of its elements, design, and interpretation to “permeate through the lens of historic preservation”. In theory, high school students are expected to undertake concepts such as Viollet-le-Duc’s Monument Historiques; Pugin’s Contrasts and the Industrial Revolution; and Early Preservation Legislation in the United States. Another teaching premise is for instructors of the core academic subjects to integrate their lessons around recognizable New York architectural themes such as the Brooklyn Bridge and Grand Central Terminal; or other world-renowned structures such as the Taj Majal and Eiffel Tower. For example, students would explore the history of transportation and industrial development through the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge. The study of the bridge and its engineering would offer lessons in applied mathematics and science, including analyses of natural forces such as wind, waves and erosion, and their affect on its design and preservation. According to this format, students would also attempt to gain an understanding of the period in which the bridge was constructed by reading contemporary works by Whitman, Douglas, and Wharton, and in theory, historic preservation would thus functions as the “bridge” to link these disparate academic subjects.

The school’s facilities, typical to New York City space constraints, are “awkward” according to Robert Finley, the BHSA principal; and the lack of space feels cramped for strapping fourteen-year-olds. The Preservation Arts program is currently housed in two classrooms, approximately 15’x 20’and 20’x 40’ respectively. As it develops, the program expects to acquire additional space from adjacent classrooms in order to facilitate activities usually undertaken at construction sites and outdoor spaces.

The concept of having students experience a trade or profession by serving an internship has been a founding principle and continues to be part of the Preservation Arts program. In 1997, a summer internship program was designed by Ms. Ottavino in collaboration with Youth Employment Services of New York City, the World Monuments Fund, and the Times Square Business Improvement Fund. Three students from the New York City High School of Graphic Arts assisted in the restoration of statuary in the Times Square area, incorporating hands-on work with relevant academic components. By 2001, the internship program grew to eleven students with nine site sponsors; including government, not-for-profit organizations and private businesses that focused on historic preservation. In 2004, twenty-seven students worked at nineteen intern sites, providing a unique introduction for the exploration of urban architecture, researching historic structures, documenting adaptive reuse programs, participating in government and community preservation projects, and practicing conservation techniques on stained glass, brick, stone, and plaster.

Although the summer intern experience is not required, and presently less than one quarter of the Preservation Arts students participate, there are school-financed opportunities available at restoration studios, preservation construction sites, and engineering or architecture firms throughout New York City. Students taking advantage of the internship program are offered opportunities that cannot be obtained in a classroom. In addition to discovering more about the world of historic preservation, students observe employment in the “real world” and experience the value attributed to punctuality, a positive work ethic, and understanding an employer’s expectation of “a day’s work for a day’s pay.” Every year at a fall gathering, interns have an opportunity to exhibit their portfolio products with parents, employers, teachers, mentors, and other students. The event provides a well-suited capstone to complete the summer experience. It also represents the completion of a strategic component that is added to the student’s list of personal accomplishments.

The Preservation Arts program is also uniquely designed for students to receive an introductory, hands-on experience to the preservation trades and crafts as part of the classroom instruction. Approximately six times throughout the school year, preservation specialists or artisans visit the classes to explain their work and demonstrate their acquired skills. The seminars last for one to three days and students explore the preservation of stained glass, plaster casting, carpentry, gilding, and masonry. Students attending the masonry seminar received an opportunity to see tools and materials common to the trade, hear stories about tools origin and use, and watch the correct use of a mason’s trowel, hammer, level, joiners, tuck pointers, line, line blocks, line pins, and brush. The composition of lime, natural and Portland cement mortars were also described and the ingredients of concrete were reviewed. Students were then divided into groups and competed against one another to mix the proper consistency of mason’s mortar for laying bricks. Accessing work areas on tall buildings and safety issues were illustrated via photographs, and a competition was held to see which group could first correctly put on a scaffolding safety harness. Students were told of various brick manufacturing processes and shown several types of bricks and brick bonding patterns. Some of the students had an opportunity to practice laying bricks to the line (Figure 2).

Fig. 2. Guest Instructor Thomas E. Russack, at The BHSA Preservation Arts

masonry seminar and demonstration. [Photo courtesy Mary Delano, Assistant

to the Executive Director, Preservation Division, New Jersey Institute of

Technology/Center for Architecture and Building Science Research.]

During the seminar, one topic that seemed to grasp the immediate attention of the students was a quick review of the average annual earning difference between a brick layer and an architect. The elongated answer to the question, “How much does an architect make?” is provided by an anonymous Midwest architect who estimates that after graduating from an accredited school, an “intern architect” can expect an annual salary of no more than $36,000. Then one needs to complete Intern Development Program (IDP) training, which takes a minimum of three years, and the Architectural Registration Exams (ARE), which takes at least one additional year before one is classified as an architect. Two to three years out of school without a license, one can expect an annual salary between $40,000 and $45,000; and after four to six years with a license, approximately $45,000 to $52,000. This is essentially the peak earning until one becomes a consummate professional at an established firm with over ten years experience and full command of architecture. When reaching that level, an annual salary of $55,000 to $70,000 may be expected. If one is practicing architecture in coastal California or New York City, all figures can be increased by about $10,000. To answer the question, “How much does a brick layer make?” The Trade Agreement manual between employers and Local Number 1, New York, of the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craft Workers, says a New York City journeyman Union bricklayer, with benefits, earns $63.22 per hour, for an annual salary of $126,440. A career comparison graph, developed by Lawrence L. Darling, Director of Education and Professional Development for the IMI, charts the difference in potential, national average, gross earnings for masons and architects (Table 1).

Table 1: Chart comparing the difference in potential gross earnings for career paths in masonry and architecture after five, ten, twenty and thirty years. Prepared by Lawrence L. Darling.

From the personal experience of teaching a seminar in masonry preservation, it appears that the over-all effect of providing students with an opportunity to investigate, explore and experiment with masonry tools and materials is more successful than an informative, but perhaps stuffy, lecture; and students apparently enjoyed the intertwining of pertinent information with a hands-on learning experience.

Ed Falcone is the BHSA Preservation Arts instructor. He attended local New York City technical schools for electronics, earned a degree in computer technology from City College, and became a builder, carpenter, and cabinet maker. He attempts to develop technical programs to fit the Preservation Arts academic curriculum and has given students an introduction to architecture while teaching them how to use tools of various trades. In one project they made a wooden model of Weeksville, a historic site honoring a community founded by freed slaves. Mr. Falcone believes that hands-on experience is the best method of teaching and that students learn more when they have

the opportunity to work with tools. He says the Preservation Arts program offers a unique opportunity to urban students who might not often come in contact with the trades, and find broken plumbing, electric wiring, and plaster repaired by a building superintendent or tradesmen when they are at school or away from their residence. While assisting students during a plaster casting session, he said, “Reading about something is just not the same as doing it.” According to promotional information provided by NJIT/CABSR, students completing all four years of the Preservation Arts program receive an education that meets the New York City DOE’s performance standards and the New York State Regents standards for academic content. They obtain a Preservation Arts and Technology diploma, fulfill requirements for a New York State Career and Technical Education (CTE) high school diploma and are eligible for a two-year Associates Degree program designed by the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) that can lead to a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Objects Conservation. “Graduates from the program can expect to earn a good starting salary with a head start on post–secondary education opportunities and careers as preservation architects, contractors, civil engineers, or other preservation-related careers. Some students may decide to pursue professional careers in completely different areas, yet they and all who participate in the program receive a unique experience to explore and appreciate the expanding universe of historic preservation.” From the research findings and participation in the BHSA Preservation Arts program, this first attempt in high school preservation training can be applauded as a determined pioneer effort to provide students with an introduction to the philosophy and practices of historic preservation. However, the observed difficulties in classroom discipline, the complex curriculum, restrictive facilities, along with student’s indifference towards internships, flaws in student recruitment and the transferal of students from other BHSA programs have rendered the fledgling Preservation Arts program a work in progress, at best.

Pertaining to preservation masonry, the BSHA Preservation Arts program does not concentrate on developing the skills and expertise of any one specific trade or craft, let alone enable students to confidently enter the preservation masonry work force. However, it is possible that through the environment fostered at BHSA, students will investigate a career in masonry preservation and perhaps provide the members needed to replenish the dwindling ranks of the masonry trade. The face of the masons will be changing over the next ten years, and hopefully through efforts like the BHSA Preservation Arts program, there will be a younger, more diverse, and better educated group of craftspeople standing in the place of those retired and departed.


In her article “Industry Training Report Card,” Melissa Polivka, Director of Workforce Development for the Masonry Contractors Association says that “training future masons must become an ongoing focus if we are going to keep up with the economic predictions for the next decade.” During that same ten year time span, the Department of Labor estimates fifteen percent of current experienced masons’ jobs will need to be refilled, making “any well-trained and dedicated mason a valuable commodity.” In light of this escalating demand for qualified masons, the training of future practitioners of the trade has become an increasingly important topic. For years, the industry has discussed the aging and retirement of the trade’s veterans, those with the skills and knowledge gained from decades of job experience. By 2012, the number of workers who are fifty-five and older will increase almost fifty percent, making them twenty percent of the total workforce population. It is therefore imperative that an army of apprentices acquire the training and experience of the trade before the industry’s most valuable assets leave the workforce. As a response to that need, the development of a basic, short-term, high school preservation masonry training program that utilizes traditional classroom scholastics reinforced by a preservation masonry work site experience is proposed. To develop such a program, the findings derived from personal experience and the research featured in the Case Studies of Chapter II are provided.

The program should be for students who express a sincere interest in learning masonry preservation. A thorough screening of prospective applicants is required to provide this opportunity to those who truly want the training.

Previous work or internship experience should be a prerequisite. If a student has not previously experienced work place discipline and the mechanics of employment, a demanding trade at a dangerous construction site is not the best first-time experience.

In recruiting students, the realities (i.e., hardship) of work should be brought to the student’s attention. Explaining the benefits and possibilities of a greatly increased income should not be the only part of the program emphasized. It is expected that the drop-out rate will not be as dramatic if the realities of the program are presented early on in an honest and forthright manner.

It should be made understandable that if a student is willing to work, study, and obey the rules, the program is however, an opportunity to increase, or perhaps double, one’s anticipated household income. Statistics for the masonry trade in comparison to white-collar construction and other building professions should be presented for comparative career earnings.

The location and proper size of the training facilities along with the availability of adequate light, ventilation, plumbing, storage space, and noise allowance are all of importance, and in New York City, the facilities should be accessible via subway or bus; ideally with a location near predominant preservation work sites.

Care should be taken in the selection of instructors (full time and seminar) to acquire someone qualified with both field experience and the ability to relate academic parts of the program to students. The service of instructors who are rigid, or cannot relate to the limited attention span and learning capacity of high-school-age students, should not be enlisted for lectures or presentations.

The academic section of the program should be designed for a high school student to understand. Providing graduate-level information is of little to no benefit to students in a basic, preliminary, training program.

The instructors should have advanced capabilities in both preservation and new construction techniques, be knowledgeable of the industry’s ever increasing array of new construction/preservation materials, and provide pertinent information on these products.

The program should promote methods of developing the student’s social and communication skills, including experiences in team-building and opportunities to develop leadership, integrity and responsibility.

A proper class size should be calculated so as not to overload the program.

An established organization affiliated with inner-city construction work projects for youth would need to be appropriated to provide insurance and act as intermediary between the construction site and instruction venues.

Adequate funding should be procured and a realistic budget should be adhered to for the start-up, development, and continuation of the program.

The preservation work site projects should be of interest to students and encourage them to continue with further study and training. If possible, students could be enlisted for work that is relative to their personal surroundings or community. This might foster a neighborhood-wide identification as a learned and skilled tradesman.

An agreement with contractors should be negotiated so that fair and adequate payment is provided for the student’s half-day of work. Schedules should be devised for the agreement of all concerned parties pertaining to responsibilities, and for the contractor to administer weekly progress reports, along with a mid-point and final evaluation describing the trainee’s progress and areas needing improvement.

Experienced masons should be procured who are able to work with students and who are willing to patiently teach preservation means and methods. The mason must have a personality that is amiable toward inexperienced adolescent students (who will hinder their own work progress) as they attempt to work alongside them on the job site.

Opportunities should be provided, as much as possible, on the work site and during academics, for students to discover the joy of work, the satisfaction of accomplishment, and the fulfillment of learning a trade.

Celebrating closure for the successful completion of the program should be undertaken as a strategic and festive time to review the student’s experience and display a portfolio of their work site and academic experiences.

A set of standards should be developed to foster respect for work ethics and pride of workmanship.

Regulations should be set for honesty along with consequential, quantitative penalties that will be administered for disruptive, deceptive, and destructive behavior on the work site or during class time. Theft at the work site or cheating in the class room will not be tolerated and encouragement of such practices should be reason for expulsion.

The program should be independent of the New York City Department of Education to prevent hindrances, both political and beaucracic. This independence would remove the possibility of the program becoming a dumping ground for students rejected from other programs, and provide more flexibility with curriculum, conduct and especially discipline. For instance, a trainee bringing a fire arm to the work site or classroom would be expelled from the proposed program, not merely suspended for five days. To implement these findings, a description of the proposed academic facilities, curriculum, work site criteria, budget, and administrative responsibilities will be provided in the remaining chapters of this thesis for the start and possible perpetuation of a preliminary high school preservation masonry program.

In concluding Chapter II, the summation of findings provides the realization that only teaching the philosophy of preservation and the techniques of the masonry trade are worthless to students if standards for honesty, respect, pride of work, and discipline are not introduced and implemented in the preliminary stages of the learning process.




A few of the recommendations for the development of a preservation trades education program outlined in the 1968 Whitehill Report encouraged the adoption of training standards by government, unions, and preservation agencies. They included the development of methods for gaining experience; the promotion of proper pay scales for trades workers; and methods for providing formal recognition to draw attention to the special status of these craftsmen.

The Whitehill subcommittee on Conservation of the Traditional Building Crafts further addressed these needs by targeting the necessity of formulating practical, comprehensive, and trustworthy teaching guidelines; building consensus and unity among the estimated millions of national and international workers affiliated with the construction and craft industries; reforming the wages for blue collar workers; and focusing an unprecedented (and heretofore unknown) spotlight of appreciation on the talents of builders, craftspeople, and those involved with preserving the built and historic environment. As unattainable as they may first appear, these monumental goals can be achieved. But to attain a high-quality final product with the caliber of, for instance, a professional sports team, it is proposed that one would have to start with the development of young trainees through a minor league “farm team” system. With this sort of development structure in mind, providing the opportunity for young apprentices to obtain practical experience in preservation and masonry fundamentals would, in theory, allow young participants to advance along a well-directed career path, leading toward the goal of becoming a master preservation mason.

Chapter I of this thesis presented the historical background of preservation trades training in the United States, and Chapter II provided case studies of high school programs offering an introduction to masonry and preservation studies. This third chapter provides information for developing a preservation training facility and the academic curriculum for a twelve-week, high school masonry preservation training program. The proposed program would incorporate a part-time preservation worksite experience with half-day classes, lectures, and masonry practice sessions. Also included in this chapter are examples of masonry training facilities, with particular focus on the Bobby Scola International Masonry Institute (IMI) Training Center in Queens, New York; a preliminary course of study with twelve-week curriculum, a format for the student’s “Standards and Values,” and examples of masonry and preservation trade representatives who would provide lectures, presentations, and demonstrations.

The High School Preservation Masonry Program Facility

In his essay, “Putting Value Back Into Craft Education,” written for the summer 2005 issue of the National Trust’s publication Forum Journal, Gerard C. J. Lynch, an international authority on the historic masonry trade, described an elementary problem within the preservation trades today as a lack of understanding of the methods, tools, or historical practices of the buildings worked on by today’s construction and architectural craft workforce. He explained that this knowledge is vital if we are to ensure that craftspeople can confidently meet the combined practical demands and high standards of traditional buildings.

It seems that if these needs are to be addressed in the preservation workforce today, a starting place for the training of practical and fundamental preservation masonry practices would be at a facility that offers training for interested youth, starting with trainees of high school and working age. The rudimentary components of this ideal masonry training facility would provide space for learning and practicing preliminary masonry skills and include an area to facilitate classroom instruction, lectures, and study.

A few basic considerations for the development of such a facility were provided by Eric Cantemessa, the Director of the Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES masonry training program in Yorktown Heights, New York (reviewed in Chapter II). He estimates that a facility with a training area that could comfortably accommodate twenty students would require approximately ninety square feet of shop/working area for each student. The facility is to be situated on a building’s ground floor with concrete walking surface and have ample drainage with special catch basins to trap loose sand. The facility requires capacity for at least two special outlets providing 220 volts of electricity for masonry saws and mixers. It would need to have proper ventilation, such as an exhaust fan for dust, and an adequate water supply with hose bib connections for washing the floor and mixing mortar.

In addition to these recommendations, other criteria for a combination teaching and practice facility would include the availability of natural light, adequate space for tool and material storage, sufficient electrical wiring, and proper year-round heating and cooling capabilities. There should also be space for seating with desks in a classroom area along with accoutrements such as chalkboard, cabinets, and lockers to facilitate instruction and lectures. Ideally, there would also be a separate office area for the program’s administration and staff, outfitted with telephone service, communication capabilities, and a relevant library. If at all possible, an optional display area would be provided to exhibit students’ handiwork; and as this is a New York City facility, available access to subway and bus transportation would be mandatory.

Such a state-of-the-art masonry training facility is not imaginary, and there are actually several currently in operation to facilitate training offered by the International Masonry Institute (IMI) to become a union mason.

The IMI is a labor-management cooperative in partnership with the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craft workers (BAC) and is recognized throughout the United States and Canada as the international union of bricklayers, stone and marble masons, plasterers, tile setters, terrazzo and mosaic workers, and pointers, cleaners, and caulkers. Founded in 1865, BAC is the oldest continuously operating union in North America, with a membership numbering over 100,000. The IMI has a national training and educational center at Fort Ritchie, Maryland, along with the largest masonry training center of its kind in Addison, Illinois. The 35,000-square-foot Addison facility has the capacity to allow over 700 students to learn the skills of bricklaying and allied crafts.

There are twelve IMI regional centers situated throughout the United States. These regional centers offer training at all career levels, from apprentice to supervisor, with programs teaching basic job skills for brick, stone, tile, terrazzo, refractory, and restoration work. Of particular interest is the inclusion of masonry restoration into the spectrum of masonry instruction. According to Larry Darling, Director of Education and Professional Development for IMI, restoration is a trillion-dollar industry, with $100 billion required just to “make safe” the existing built environment. IMI statistics show that restoration, preservation, and maintenance account for half of all construction projects and 17 percent of the construction dollar.

To facilitate this need, the IMI undertook a debut venture in 2004 in Annapolis, Maryland, in association with the Maryland Historic Trust and offered a Historic Masonry Restoration Conference. The symposium focused on historic masonry mortars and adaptive reuse. Attendees watched demonstrations in masonry restoration techniques and listened to lectures by Columbia University’s Norman Weiss and preservation architect Lorri Sipes.

IMI also offers various other opportunities for further preservation instruction, such as AIA-accredited seminars directed toward instructing architects and engineers, a masonry camp for young masons and architects to foster teamwork, and a contractor’s college for further advancement of craftsmanship. Required courses for IMI Instructor’s Certification are taught at regional training centers and include “Masonry Restoration Techniques.” This certification training will be reviewed further in the Instructor’s Experience and Training requirements in Chapter IV of this thesis.

The Bobby Scola IMI Training Center Facility and Curriculum

The metropolitan New York IMI Regional Instruction Center, located in Long Island City, is named for John Bobby Scola, member and officer of the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craft workers (BAC) for more than sixty years. Mr. Scola attended his first BAC convention in 1936 and served as business agent of Local 9 (the former New York Bricklayers, Mason’s and Plasterer’s Union) from 1940 until 1979. In 1980 he became the Director of the IMI Mid-Atlantic Regional Training Center, a position he held until his passing in July of 1997.

According to Dennis Holloway, Mr. Scola’s successor as director of the Training Center, the union’s apprentice program is available to applicants who are at least eighteen years of age and have a high school diploma or GED. The center trains about 144 apprentices each year, and presently there are 400 applicants waiting approximately forty-eight months to undertake the four-year program. Once accepted, there is a twelve-week job training program that includes 420 hours of classroom training, taught seven hours a day, five days a week. After completion of the classroom sessions, the apprentices go to construction projects and start work site training.

Larry Darling explained that the IMI offers pre-job apprentice programs and full apprenticeships in all of the masonry crafts, including some training in masonry restoration. He also said that there is a list of special certifications for union apprentices and journeymen for stone patching and repair. For the most part, certificates are material-oriented, as in the case of patching with Cathedral Stone Products (discussed later in this chapter).

The Bobby Scola IMI Training Center is located at 12-07 44 Avenue in Long Island City, Queens, a commercially zoned section of the borough that contains light industry and manufacturing. It is two blocks from the New York Metropolitan Transit Authority “E” and “V” subway trains, and one block from the city’s Q19A bus stop. The facility has two floors for a combined area of 20,500 square feet. The ground floor is used for the teaching and practice of masonry building arts. It has approximately fifteen-foot floor-to-ceiling clearance, with wide expanses of open floor interspersed by steel support columns. It has concrete floors, overhead fluorescent lighting, sash windows sound walking surfaces, and adequate lighting and ventilation for the instruction and development of skills for the construction of walls, columns, piers, arches, and other hand-built masonry components. (Figure 3). There are especially designated areas with workbenches for undertaking stationary work such as individual segments of stone or terra cotta repairs and permanently installed vertical panels of limestone for practicing the technique of Dutchman stone repairs. The facility is large enough for the use of a motorized forklift to transport large quantities of materials such as brick, block, stone, sand, and cement; it has hose spigots for water distribution and is adequately heated for year-round use. Storage bins are available for loose sand and bagged cement, metal rebar and stabilizing dura-wire, gang boxes for hand and other small tools, and space for keeping bricks which are routinely scraped clean for re-use after practice sessions. This ground floor training area is accessible to both the street and a rear parking/loading dock area and is equipped with student locker facilities for changing clothes. The Director’s office is also located on the ground floor with additional offices for the IMI secretary and instructors on the second floor. The second floor also has a combination conference room/classroom that serves as the gathering space for seminars and demonstrations and is equipped with tables, chairs, chalkboard, and other necessary items to serve as the center of the IMI apprentice program’s academic instruction. The Bobby Scola Training Center facility is the starting point for introducing young masons into the world of restorative masonry practice. It symbolizes the resurgence of a guildhall master-to-apprentice teaching philosophy and fulfills IMI’s mandate to “bridge the gap between theory and practice through training and education in the fields of restoration, historic preservation, and adaptive use.” A facility to accommodate the proposed high school preservation masonry training program would have similar characteristics and attributes, albeit not of the size and dimensions of The Bobby Scola Training Center, but with the capability to provide the basic necessities required to learn preliminary masonry and preservation skills.

Fig. 3: Bricklaying practice session at The Bobby Scola Training Center, International Masonry Institute (IMI), Long Island City, New York [Photo by Thomas E. Russack]

The Program’s Curriculum

The following components of the program are provided as the basis for a basic, three-month work site and academic instruction program intended to introduce eight-to-ten aspiring high school age trainees to the skills required to become a master preservation mason.

The program consists of four hours of work site training per day at a building undergoing some aspect of masonry preservation. This would take place Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. (Worksite activities will be discussed further in Chapter IV). Following lunch and travel, three hours of classroom instruction and training would take place at the Program training center, from1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., completing the day’s activities.

The afternoon session is to be taught by an “Instructor,” a skilled mason craftsman with preservation experience and teaching capabilities, aided by the service of a volunteer who would assist with classroom preparation and clean-up. The Instructor’s duties, responsibilities, and qualifications will be defined in greater detail in Chapter IV.

Each afternoon class will commence with approximately a half-hour of “Update,” allowing all students to discuss what work was undertaken during the morning and to explain what was observed, learned, or experienced.

Each week a demonstration and lecture lasting a minimum of one hour and no longer than ninety minutes will be provided by representatives of the masonry and preservation industry. These presentations are scheduled to coordinate with the afternoon

instruction curriculum at pertinent junctures and examples of possible representatives are provided later in this chapter.

Throughout the three months of afternoon instruction, students will be reminded to observe all the different workers on-site to notice the various activities required of a preservation project, and to note what are considered the preferred qualities of a skilled craftsman’s work.

Each student will be responsible for completing a “Final Project” consisting of a self-manufactured article made during class time, such as a photo essay of their preservation work site project, a report describing the work of a skilled craftsman, or a journal-type essay describing and explaining what had been learned from the work site or the classroom (or a combination of both). Each student will have an opportunity to present their “Final Project” to the rest of the students, family, and employer during the final week of the Program.

The program’s administration consists of a “Director” who is responsible for the facility’s operation, academic curriculum, coordination, acquisition of work site opportunities, and financial management; and the “Instructor” who is primarily responsible for classroom training, among other duties that are defined in greater detail in Chapter IV.

The program will utilize information obtained (with permission) from the United States government, non-profit organizations, and preservation training programs, including the Department of the Interior Parks Service, the National Council for Preservation Education, The National Trust, the Association for Preservation Technology, Preservation Trades Network, and the RESTORE Program for Training in Architectural Conservation and Preservation Maintenance. Students can expect weekly tests and quizzes along with reading assignments.

A textbook that could be utilized in teaching basic masonry skills is Building With Masonry: Brick, Block & Concrete by Richard T. Kreh, Sr. According to a critique by Bon masonry tools, this text is considered ideal for first-year masonry students. It includes diagrams, photographs, and provides the fundamentals of laying brick and block as well as basic tools and terminology. Chapter Eight, “Masonry Repair And Restoration” provides basic preservation instruction on brick repointing and crack repair, paint and stain removal, waterproofing, dampness troubleshooting and the repair of retaining walls and chimneys.

The program’s twelve-week curriculum does not follow the contemporary masonry training format for new construction described in detail in the Case Study section of Chapter II. Though related to those standard practices for modern masonry construction, this curriculum contains individual segments designed to address the various preservation entities that are unique to older buildings and the craftsmanship required to provide for their preservation, restoration, maintenance, and upkeep. Each week, described below, offers a separate unit of study and practice. (Table 2 lists the weekly curriculum, tests and presentations.)


Week One Orientation and introductions. Coordination of the student’s work site locations, work and class schedules, outline of the twelve week curriculum. Review of the goals, expectations and rules of conduct. Introduction to fundamental masonry practices including work site and construction material safety and identification of tools and equipment. A quiz for identification of masonry tools and safety practices. Essay of expectations from the program and career goals.

Worksite Safety

Week Two Introduction to basic masonry terminology, history, origins of the trade, history of U.S. architectural preservation, the European Guild system, artisan training, and traditional standards for craftsmanship. Comparisons of new masonry construction to preservation masonry work including building materials, tools, and methods.

A quiz featuring identification of masonry materials, words, and history.

Masonry Preservation Basics

Week Three The role and responsibility of a mason tender. Practice carrying, stocking, and handling of masonry materials and scaffolding. Brick manufacturing and identification of brick bond patterns. Sources of masonry deterioration with repair methods and practice of laying block and brick.

The proper handling of masonry materials and accuracy in basic masonry practices such as laying brick or block. Bricks

Week Four Investigation, evaluation and identification of masonry mortars and mortar deterioration. Practice mixing and spreading mortar, buttering bricks, tooling and re pointing mortar joints.

Identification of different properties, characteristics and types of historic and contemporary mortar mixes. Lime, Natural and Portland Cement Mortars

Week Five Investigation and identification of architectural stone types, patterns and facing. Review of stone carving and finishing techniques, Identification of stone deterioration and practice of repair methods.

Identification of various types of stone; their usage, types of deterioration and repairs. Stonework

Week Six Concrete and cement history and manufacturing and use. Practice forming, mixing, pouring and finish concrete. Review stone casting and use of manufactured stone.

Test to identify the advancement of concrete citing the different material components. Concrete in the Classroom

Week Seven Exploration of ornamental terra cotta including identification, manufacturing, structural properties, attachment mechanisms, deterioration, repair, replication, and replacement. Practice simple terra cotta mold making.

Quiz identifying the effects of poor maintenance and deterioration on terra cotta with various ways it fails or dislocates from a building facade. Terra Cotta Replication and Manufacturing

Week Eight The identification and use of contemporary masonry preservation materials to repair stone and terra cotta.

Performing basic stone patching procedures with repair materials. Stone Patching

Week Nine Introduction to contemporary masonry cleaning products and procedures. Students will wear protective gear and practice masonry cleaning with a pressurized power-washing machine.

Quiz identifying proper masonry cleaning procedures with demonstration of the safe handling of equipment. Safe Cleaning of Masonry Structures

Week Ten Discussions and experiences relayed by masonry preservation craftsmen. Students will practice skills previously demonstrated. Testing supplemented by introduction and preparation for final project.

Case Studies in Masonry Conservation

Week Eleven Exploration of masonry preservation career possibilities. Resume development and listing of references. The completion of a resume and list of references serves as the week’s test. Students continue work on final projects.

Continuing Your Preservation Training

Week Twelve Discussion of work ethic, attitude, self-discipline, integrity, and reliability with examples of the necessity for both communication and preservation trade skills. Commencement and awards ceremony to showcase final projects. Commitment

Table 2: The Masonry Preservation Program’s proposed twelve-week academic components

Week One provides orientation with an introduction of students, staff, and the course’s twelve-week work and academic format. It will include an overview of basic coordination points such as the identification of the student’s work site locations, times for starting work and class, an outline of the weekly curriculum, and a schedule of pertinent telephone contacts. The orientation phase will include a review of the goals and expectations of the students along with the program’s rules of conduct, referred to as “Standards and Values.” An introduction to fundamental practices related to the masonry trade would include instruction in safe work practices, identification of tools and equipment, and an exploration of the historic roots of terminology and tools used in masonry. At the end of the week, a test would be administered on proper identification of tools and safety practices, and students would write about their expectations of the twelve-week program and their career goals.

Week Two provides an introduction to basic masonry terminology, history, and origins of the trade. A brief background of the history of architectural preservation in the United States would also be provided, with a preface that includes a retrospective of the European Guild system, artisan training, and traditional standards for craftsmanship. This review is provided to increases student’s association to their work by relating their own preservation experience to the bigger pictures of preservation heritage and philosophy. Comparisons and contrasts of new masonry construction to preservation masonry work will be identified along with masonry preservation terminology. Historic building materials and tools will also be explored to provide background on masonry methods past and present. A quiz featuring identification of masonry materials, words, and history would be administered during this week.

Week Three will provide practice in procedures related to the basic elements of the masonry industry, including correct ways of carrying, stocking, and handling bricks, block, and stone; the role and responsibilities of a mason tender (helper); and the building and material stocking of pipe scaffolding. The background and identification of brick bond patterns will be reviewed along with the historic and contemporary process of manufacturing brick. The source and cause for deterioration, along with identification of replacement bricks and preferred methods of replacement, accompany practice of “dry” laying block and brick to the line (without mortar). The student’s familiarity and proper handling of the materials, along with accuracy in basic masonry practices (such as setting and laying brick or block to the line), will be evaluated for the week’s testing.

Week Four will investigate different masonry mortar types used throughout the United States for the past 300 years. The evaluation of various mortars will include an explanation of different ingredients along with their distinct characteristics and properties. Students will be provided with photographic and commonly found examples of mortar deterioration and improper mortar joint pointing repairs. They will practice mixing mortar, spreading mortar, buttering head joints for brickwork, striking, or tooling mortar joints, and practice using various repointing hand tools. The weekly test will

require students to identify different properties, characteristics, and types of historic and contemporary mortar mixes.

Week Five will investigate stonework construction with identification of types of stone commonly used throughout the urban landscape. There will be an explanation of stone as a structural element in construction, the identification of various stonework patterns, and the names of cut stone facing. Students will review traditional techniques for carving and finishing various types of stone; they will also be instructed in how to identify causes for stone deterioration and be introduced to available materials for stone repair and replication. Students will be shown the use of “Dutchmen” for stone repair and be provided with hand tools and blocks of sandstone to practice carving with chisel and mallets. The week’s test will include the identification of various types of stone, their usage along a building’s façade, and types of deterioration to be recognized.

Week Six will focus on fundamental information relating to the history of concrete and the cement manufacturing industry, including the ingredients and uses of concrete. Students will also be provided with tools used to form, pour, and finish concrete and will practice mixing materials and floating a concrete slab in class.

A review of methods of stone casting and the use of manufactured stone as a building, repair, and replacement material will be provided. Testing will include identifying the advancement of concrete on a timeline and citing the differences between cement, mortar, and concrete.

Week Seven will investigate the building material terra cotta, including its composition, manufacture, and use as a decorative architectural building material. An exploration of ornamental terra cotta will include its identification on a building, its various structural properties, attachment mechanisms, causes for deterioration, and methods of repair, replication, and replacement. Students will practice mold making of the surface detail of a decorative terra cotta element. Students will take a quiz in which they will explain the effects of poor maintenance and deterioration on terra cotta and the various ways it can fail or dislocate from a building facade.

Week Eight will move further into the repair and replacement of masonry materials with demonstrations of contemporary masonry preservation materials used to repair stone and terra cotta. Students will be provided with composite stone-patching materials and practice working with hand tools to fabricate decorative stone or terra cotta replacement segments. Students will review substitution materials including glass fiber reinforced concrete and plastic (GFRC/P). Testing for the week will include performing basic and rudimentary stone patching procedures with the composite materials.

Week Nine will explore the cleaning of masonry facades and introduce contemporary masonry cleaning products and procedures. It will also incorporate an explanation of the effects of pollution and deferred maintenance as a cause of masonry deterioration. Students will be shown the cause and effects of efflorescence (salt-based masonry staining) along with examples of damage caused from pigeon guano and improper masonry cleaning practices. A great portion of class time will be spent on safety procedures along with the proper use of safety gear, equipment and required safety practices. Students will be allowed to wear protective gear and practice masonry cleaning with a pressurized power-washing machine. The week’s testing will be a quiz to identify masonry cleaning “dos and don’ts,” along with an individual demonstration of the safe handling of pressurized power-washing equipment.

Week Ten will be comprised of “Case Studies in Masonry Conservation” with discussions and experiences relayed by various masonry preservation craftsmen. Their talks will feature work site photographs providing “before and after” documentation of high-quality restored or rehabilitated buildings, and they will discuss the satisfaction received from undertaking and completing work done to the best of one’s abilities. Throughout the week, students will be provided time to practice the skills previously demonstrated, such as laying brick, pointing mortar joints, and patching or carving stone.

A discussion and preparation of a final project culminating the 12- week experience (to be ready in two weeks) will supplement any testing.

Week Eleven will be dedicated to exploring masonry preservation career possibilities available to the students. Academic and trade information will be provided along with presentations to give students an array of possible opportunities for future employment. This will include identifying associations and organizations that can assist or direct students into becoming skilled craft workers as well as electronic resources pertaining to preservation work and educational opportunities in masonry preservation. Instruction for the week will include development of a resume and list of contacts. At the end of the week, the completion of these two documents will serve as the testing vehicle which could then be used by the students to prepare for future employment and career opportunities. Students will also continue to work on their final project.

Week Twelve concludes the Program and includes a discussion of personal work ethic and the importance of the proper attitude for success on the job. The utilization of the program’s “Standards and Values” of self-discipline, personal integrity, and reliability will be reviewed along with interactive discussion providing relevant examples of the importance of combined of well-developed communication and preservation trade skills.

In an effort to personify the continual striving for quality workmanship, students will have an opportunity to describe the worksite learning experience and extol the positive attributes explored and examined as demonstrated by the employers and craftsmen with whom they worked during the three-month program. To celebrate completion of the Program, a concluding commencement and awards ceremony will be held to showcase all of the students’ final projects and to provide an opportunity for each student to describe the three-month experience. The festive ceremony will be attended by students’ parents, relatives, teachers, mentors, employers, and associated craftspeople. Each participant completing the program will receive a Masonry Preservation Certificate citing successful completion of the preliminary academic and technical training in masonry preservation.

Although not endorsed at this time, Certificate holders wanting to further their education in masonry preservation might be able to incorporate their experience toward articulation agreements with cooperating post secondary institutes. (Listed in Chapter IV) The Certificate could also serve as a recognizable award similar to that received by masons who undertake the training course to become certified for the use of Cathedral Stone brand masonry materials.

Standards and Values

Another poignant question posed by Gerard Lynch in his aforementioned essay, “Putting Value Back Into Craft Education,” asks, “How can we ask professionals and clients whose employment we seek to value our crafts and craftspeople if we fail to place value and pride in them first?”

To begin answering this question, it seems that integral principles would need to be incorporated into the general approach to education serving as the foundational support of any instruction program relating to preservation training. In order to establish guidelines and parameters for the training of young preservation masons, it is proposed that this program’s standards would be based on an already tested and proven model. One of the most successful masonry instruction programs, from the Williamson Free School of Mechanical Trades, cites the establishment of and dedication to their “Credo of Commitments to Heritage, Craftsmanship, Community and Values” as a reason for their numerous accomplishments.

The schools’ founder, Isaiah Vansant Williamson, was born in 1803 in Fallsington, Bucks County, Pennsylvania, to a Quaker family whose ancestors came to America before William Penn. As a boy, Williamson worked as an apprentice in a country store, saving enough money to open his own dry goods business in Philadelphia. For a number of years, he ran the store and several subsequent businesses quite successfully, enabling him to retire in 1838 with a small fortune. By 1880, Williamson had become one of the wealthiest men in Philadelphia and he turned to philanthropy, giving away much of his fortune anonymously to favorite charities, hospitals, colleges, and homes for children. In December 1888, he founded the Williamson Free School of Mechanical Trades. His purpose in founding the school was to provide financially disadvantaged young men with the opportunity to become productive and respected members of society. In his own words, “It was seeing boys, ragged and barefooted, lounging on the streets, growing up with no education, no idea of usefulness, that caused me to think of founding a school where every boy could be taught some trade free of expense.” The founding of the Williamson Free School with $2 million endowment was one of his last charitable acts before he died in 1889.

The 220-acre campus is located in Media, Pennsylvania, approximately fourteen miles southwest of Philadelphia. The school offers three-year programs in bricklaying, carpentry, machine shop, and pattern-making. For more than 100 years, Williamson has been using its unique approach in vocational education to prepare high-quality tradesmen and technicians. In the process, it has gained a national reputation for producing graduates who have become expert craftsmen, successful businessmen, respected citizens, and recognized leaders in their fields.

Williamson offers post–high school instruction to approximately forty young men in the masonry program. The students start by spending four hours in academic instruction and four hours in shop, learning basics such as the use of tools, the spreading of mortar, and safety; they then progress to intermediate projects, such as building straight walls, arches, and chimneys, and continue with more complex projects, such as fireplaces and decorative work. The program also covers other areas of importance to a mason, such as cost estimation, foremanship, site layout, and general contracting.

Participation in national masonry competitions has become an integral part of the training at Williamson. In the past six years, Williamson has twice won first place in national masonry competition at the post-secondary school level.

Upon founding the school, Isaiah Williamson directed through a deed of trust that the ideals of hard work, honesty, religious faith, and a modest lifestyle be instilled in the students. He said, “In this country every able-bodied, healthy young man who has learned a good mechanical trade, and is truthful, honest, frugal, temperate, and industrious, is certain to succeed in life, and to become a useful and respected member of society.” These beliefs became the school’s Commitment to Heritage. Williamson’s Commitment to Craftsmanship states that work should be done out of personal integrity, to the best of one’s ability, that high expectations of achievement must never be compromised and that work done to the best of one’s ability is honorable. The Commitment to Community is a conviction that all those associated with the school should be disciplined, honest, fair, confident, frugal, committed to excellence, and professionally skilled. It is a belief that student’s work will manifest a spirit of unity and harmony; that everyone would be treated with fairness, dignity, and respect, and that a culturally diverse campus setting enhances the quality of training, education, and campus life. Although some of its original rules have since been adapted to the times, the school remains dedicated to the principles upon which it was founded: Williamson’s core values of Faith, Integrity, Diligence, Excellence and Service, along with the conviction that the practice of Judeo-Christian ethics and values will help prepare graduates to be dependable, honest, and productive workers. An example of the program’s success is provided in the biography of Andrew deGruchy, president of deGruchy Masonry Restoration, who has worked on hundreds of historic buildings, helped write masonry restoration specifications for national landmark buildings, lectured on the subject of historic masonry restoration and is active in promoting volunteerism for the protection of our national heritage. “I was accepted to the Williamson Free School Of Mechanical Trades…I lived there three years to study only the masonry trade. Thanks to my instructor, the late Stacey Cartledge, I had the love of the trade (p.s. - which is key to actually getting a good job from any craftsman), transferred to me and to many of my fellow classmates from him. I thank God that the current instructor also has a love for the trade...and the young men now attending will soon catch the fire from him and carry it to many applications that will affect the future quality of our built environment.” Although the preservation-based practices incorporated throughout the proposed training and curriculum require diligence and commitment, the Program outlined in this thesis would not be affiliated to any readily identifiable religious or other faith-based doctrine. However, a code of ethics similar to Williamson’s credo could possibly provide the beneficial “centering” principles necessary to assist students in focusing on the present preservation-based learning opportunity, to navigate their various career possibilities, and to prepare for a life-long future of multiple explorations and other creative endeavors.

Presentations from Masonry and Preservation Disciplines

In his essay, “Putting Value Back into Craft Education,” Gerard Lynch discusses the need for quality learning environments in order to develop an ethos that produces superb craftspeople in an industry that promotes quality work and service. For a masonry preservation training program based in the metropolitan New York City area, it is suggested that advocates from local and national organizations, representing outstanding leaders in their field of expertise, provide weekly seminars, lectures, and demonstrations for the students during the afternoon sessions. Those cited below are provided as first round selections with the understanding that other vendors, educators, or experts would be enlisted if these persons were unavailable or not motivated to participate.

For Week One, the introductory presentation on “Worksite Safety” could be conducted by a representative from Extech Industries. Extech is a respected New York–based distributor of building restoration supplies. They service several thousand restoration masons and other contractors throughout the New York tri-state area. Extech offers AIA credit-approved training seminars in subjects such as exterior masonry building maintenance, restoration, fire stopping, and safety.

For Week Two, a presentation continuing with safety and venturing on to preservation terminology, philosophy, and methodology under the heading “Masonry Preservation Basics” could be presented by RESTORE Masonry Program. “RESTORE is a not-for-profit educational corporation licensed by the Board of Regents of the University of New York State that offers a range of innovative educational programs and services related to the technology of building conservation. Since 1976, RESTORE has provided workshops and courses on the technology of architectural preservation to building industry professionals who are directly responsible for the preservation and maintenance of our architectural heritage. RESTORE provides a unique forum for design professionals, craft workers, contractors, cultural source managers, architectural conservators, preservationists as well as others in the field of building preservation to learn and work together as a team.”

For Week Three, the topic of “Bricks” could be investigated in a lecture from a Glen-Gery brick manufacturer representative. Founded in 1890, Glen-Gery Corporation is the largest molded brick and fifth largest overall brick manufacturer in the U.S. They operate ten manufacturing facilities throughout the east and Midwest, producing extruded, machine molded, glazed, face, pavers, and other types of bricks, representing over 1,000 different colors, sizes, and textures. Their plant in York, Pennsylvania, is noted for its handmade brickworks.

For Week Four, a seminar on “The Difference between Natural and Portland Cement Mortars” could be presented by Edison Coatings. In the 1890s, nearly 3 billion pounds of natural cement were produced each year; half of it coming from the Edison facilities at Rosendale, New York. During the twentieth century, the demand for higher-strength, faster-curing cements overtook the natural cement market and Rosendale mining operations closed in 1970. Edison Coatings, Inc., recently restarted production of Rosendale natural cement, and in 2005 featured the first modern conference to address the history, technology, and restoration practices of natural cements in the United States. For Week Five, to address the subject of “Stonework,” a demonstration in “The Art of Stone Masonry” could be presented by Ottavino Stone Works. The A. Ottavino Corp., is a third-generation stone-working facility in Ozone Park, New York, that began operation in 1913. The company has provided material for a number of prestigious projects around the New York metropolitan area, and one of the principals, Kate Burns Ottavino, is the Director of the Brooklyn High School of the Arts’ Preservation Arts Program (discussed in Chapter II). One of the Ottavino stone carvers would demonstrate his handiwork and skill by working a piece of limestone using mechanical and handheld carving tools.

For Week Six, the subject of concrete could be addressed by a program entitled “Concrete in the Classroom,” presented by the Lehigh Cement Company. Lehigh Cement Company was founded in 1897 in Allentown, Pennsylvania, where it still maintains its headquarters. Lehigh employs more than 5,500 people in North America and generates sales of more than $2.6 billion annually, placing it among the top cement producers in North America. Its association with the Portland Cement Association would allow them to provide the “Concrete in the Classroom” seminar, which would be designed to help students understand the difference between cement and concrete and obtain a working knowledge of the science underlying the composition and behavior of the material. Students would be able to explore cement and concrete during the demonstration by separating out ingredients of concrete, varying the proportions of water and cement, mixing additives, checking temperature changes, and finding the pH of the mixture to further learn about the products.

For Week Seven, the topic of terra cotta could feature in a seminar on “Terra Cotta Replication and Manufacturing” presented by Boston Valley Terra Cotta. Boston Valley Terra Cotta is one of the largest manufacturers of architectural terra cotta in the United States today. Located twenty miles south of Buffalo, New York, the facility was once a brick factory that was later utilized to manufacture flower pots. The 30,000-square-foot factory now houses eight kilns and employs highly skilled ceramic technicians, engineers, and artists who tend each piece of terra cotta through an intricate production process production.

For Week Eight, the topic of repairing architectural ornamentation could feature in a demonstration on “Stone Patching” presented by a representative from Cathedral Stone Products. In 1982, master stone carver Dennis Rude discovered Jahn Restoration Mortars, manufactured in Holland. Rude then began a life-long study of good and bad restoration materials and practices to develop a line of highly regarded restorative masonry materials. Cathedral Stone trains thousands of craftspeople in the proper application and finishing techniques of masonry restoration and claims to have introduced the first training program in the restoration trade in 1989. They believe in the importance of using appropriate restoration materials and the use of a qualified craftsman: “Craftsmen should be dedicated and specifically trained in historic restoration and maintenance—there is no compromise.” Students could use some of the Jahn Restoration mortar to practice correct procedures for patching spalled limestone segments. The experience could provide for future certification from Cathedral Stone which is required to purchase and utilize their products.

For Week Nine, the topic of cleaning masonry structures could be facilitated by a demonstration of “The Safe Cleaning of Masonry Structures” by ProSoCo Industries. ProSoCo is a recognized leader in the architectural masonry cleaning field and their products have been used on the United States Capitol Building, Grand Central Station, the World Trade Plaza, the Smithsonian Institute, and Jacobs Field. Founded in 1939 by Albert J. Boyer as the Process Solvent Company, ProSoCo originally produced specialty cleaners and engine treatments for the automotive and railroad industries. During the 1940s, they expanded their product line to include industrial cleaners for concrete ready-mix trucks, which led to the development of products used to address cleaning problems commonly found in the construction industry.

For Week Ten, the topic of “Case Studies in Masonry Conservation” could be addressed by interactive discussions with representatives of Preservation Trades Network (PTN), presenting talks entitled “The Skilled Preservation Craftsman.” Preservation Trades Network (PTN) is a non-profit, education, networking, and outreach organization founded on the principle that conservation of the built environment is fundamentally dependent on the quality, availability, and viability of the skilled trades. It is firmly committed to working to sustain the success of the existing domestic trades’ education programs, recognizing the contributions of the masters of the trades, and creating opportunities for future generations of trades people. PTN has a track record of producing an annual conference based on networking and education, working with other organizations and non-profits to expand educational opportunities, and providing a network for individuals involved in the trades.

For Week Eleven, the students’ future opportunities and possibilities could be explored in the presentation “Continuing Your Preservation Training,” delivered by a representative from Algonquin College. Algonquin College, Heritage Institute is located in Perth, Ontario, Canada, about an hour southwest of Ottawa. It offers degree and diploma programs in masonry preservation, enabling graduates to enter the masonry field with the sound knowledge and skills required for the respectful restoration of architectural heritage. Concurrent with the development of manual skills, students acquire knowledge in related areas such as the principles of architectural conservation, the history of building technology, drafting and recording, construction safety, mathematics, and communication skills. The masonry preservation program at Algonquin College is described further in Chapter IV of this thesis.

For the concluding Week number Twelve, a representative from the Williamson Free School of Mechanical Trades could discuss the school’s Credo of Values, Commitments to Heritage, Craftsmanship, and Community, and the relevance of these commitments to a working career in preservation. As previously discussed in this chapter, the Williamson Free School of Mechanical Trades is entering its 108th academic year as an independent, post-secondary vocational technical school whose mission is to prepare men of good moral character to be productive, respected members of society.


The issue of adopting standards of training for the development of traditional building craftsmen, as originally proposed by the Whitehill Report, was briefly addressed in this chapter. The issues of trainees’ pay, insurance and worker’s compensation along with the Director’s and Instructor’s responsibilities will be addressed in Chapter IV. Possible employment and additional educational opportunities available to those interested in pursuing a career in preservation masonry will also be reviewed. Formal recognition identifying the special status of preservation craftsmen will be addressed further in Chapter V. At the start of this chapter an analogy was made in reference to the development of a professional sports “farm team.” As a concluding statement, a recent article in the New York Times discussed a change in training strategy and the need for incorporating standards, rules, and discipline into the regimen of young “star” athletes. In his first public discussion of the topic, David Stern, the commissioner of the National Basketball Association (NBA), said that the system for developing young players in the United States is severely flawed and he wanted the NBA to begin a youth academy to help nurture high school athletes both on the court and in the classroom. With United States teams recently humbled in international basketball tournaments, Mike Krzyzewski, the coach of the national team is attempting to recapture the lost glory by instilling a disciplined approach; even reminding his star players to tuck in their jerseys. If discipline of this nature is recognized as a missing and necessary element for the development of high school athletes, perhaps this realization could also find a place in the structure of preservation education programs. Those foundational standards would be established by the individuals undertaking masonry preservation training via the program proposed in this thesis.




The concept of “learning by doing” is emphasized throughout the writings of Gustav Stickley, who suggested that a student is made alert by becoming actively involved in their training, “work[ing] side by side with experienced craftsmen so that every lesson will be the solving of some problem and the doing of actual work according to the methods employed by the best workmen.”

With a historical context of a workman’s hands developing his mind, this Chapter addresses considerations pertaining to a high school student’s introduction to masonry preservation via worksite training. It examines worksite expectations and responsibilities; reviews the trainee’s wages, worker’s compensation and insurance issues; provides information about additional employment, education and career opportunities; lists the proposed program Director’s and Instructor’s qualifications and responsibilities; and includes a start-up budget.

Worksite Training

There are a few preliminary aspects of masonry construction that need to be brought to the attention of an individual exploring the possibility of becoming a preservation mason, or starting the discovery process of restoring masonry structures via the trade of a brick layer or stone mason. First, it is recognized that masonry work is usually undertaken outdoors, involves lifting heavy materials and working on scaffolds. It is recommended that the individual enjoy demanding work, be unafraid of heights, physically capable, disciplined, and motivated enough to work without constant supervision. Knowledge of math, algebra, geometry, and mechanical drawing is important, as there are building challenges requiring mental along with physical aptitude. The ability to get along with co-workers is also important, as many bricklayers and masons work in teams. Bricklaying is an exacting job, and a bricklayer’s work must be precise, accurate, and neat. Michael Sumichrast, in “Opportunities in Building Construction Trades” notes that the kind of person best qualified for this trade is one who is precise, meticulous and has the aptitude for hard work. He also notes that, “stone masons are artisans, and part of a very thriving trade.” It also needs to be taken into consideration that uninterrupted employment as a brick, block, stone, or preservation mason is prone to changes in the national economy. When construction activity decreases, these trade workers can experience periods of unemployment; earnings can also be reduced due to poor weather or regional slowdowns in construction activity.

To initiate a masonry career, one might ask how or where to begin learning the trade. Many masons are taught by the generational “father-to-son” passing of skills and most masons start out by observing and learning from experienced workers. Others receive training in vocational education schools or from industry-based programs. Another way to learn the trade is through apprenticeship programs, which are recognized throughout the industry as providing the most thorough training. Teenagers usually commence the learning experience by starting out as helpers, laborers, or mason tenders. These workers carry materials, move scaffolds, mix and supply mortar throughout the construction site. When (and if) the opportunity arises, they learn from experienced masons the basics spreading mortar, laying block, or setting stone. Gradually, as they gain experience they make the transition to full-fledged masons.

Apprenticeships for brick, block, and stone masons are usually sponsored by local contractors, trade associations, or union-management committees. An apprenticeship usually consists of approximately three years on-the-job training in addition to classroom instruction in subjects such as blueprint reading, mathematics, work layout, and sketching. According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, typical requirements require applicants to be at least seventeen years old and in good physical condition. A high school education is preferable and completing courses in mathematics, mechanical drawing, and basic carpentry is considered helpful.

To provide clarity in the understanding of the work order titles commonly used at the masonry worksite, a lexicon of hierarchy and definitions is included in the Glossary.

Preservation Worksite Responsibilities

As noted in Chapter III, the students enrolled in the proposed masonry preservation program would start their half-day training at the worksite along with the rest of the construction crew (typically in New York City, beginning at 7:30 AM). They would work a half-day and leave the site after finishing lunch (typically at 12:30 PM), then journey to the program’s academic, lecture, and practice facility.

While at the work-site, the trainee’s instruction would follow the particular masonry preservation activity being undertaken. This could take the form of replacing brick work, rebuilding a wall, repointing mortar joints, or installing stone patches. Trainees would undertake activities in a teaching method called “job shadowing.” Job shadowing is a technique that allows a student to follow, observe and ask questions of one particular employee. The outcome is an impressionable experience learning by watching, listening, and actually participating in a particular occupation or trade. According to The Employment and Training Glossary provided by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration, “Job shadowing can help students explore a range of career objectives and select a career major during the latter part of high school.” As an alternative to job shadowing, the trainee could be held accountable to the project’s site supervisor and undertake various assigned work tasks around the project to get a sense of the various activities that are required in the preservation of a masonry structure. These tasks would have already been reviewed beforehand by the site supervisor and the masonry preservation program Director.

Committed communication and coordination efforts on behalf of the Director, Instructor, contractor and students is necessary to provide a mutual understanding of agreements and responsibilities amongst all parties, and to promote the trainees’ progress and development. A few documents to assist in outlining responsibilities, agreements and evaluations are provided as Appendix I- III. These preliminary documents were selected from various high school training programs and have been revised to suit the needs of this particular program. It is understood that these schedules are prototypes and will undoubtedly undergo revision and transformation to suit the various needs and concerns of the trainees, program and employer (contractor) as the program develops.

A sample of a signed agreement form between the contractor, program administration and parent/guardian outlining the most obvious work site responsibilities is provided in Appendix I. An affidavit providing agreement for all parties, along with additional contractor/student responsibilities is provided in Appendix II. These two documents serve as a dual confirmation of responsibilities, expectations and commitment pertaining to work site activities. An evaluation form listing the student’s attendance, punctuality, attitude and effective interpersonal relations is provided in Appendix III. For the evaluation, the trainees are to be observed by the site supervisor and scored on a scale from 1 to 5 at the halfway and conclusion of the worksite training experience. This critique of the student’s work performance will help to cite areas requiring improvement and provide encouragement for those responsibilities and skills already mastered.

Wages, Compensation, and Insurance Issues

As previously discussed in Chapter II, the hourly wage, including benefits, for a Union bricklayer according to Local Number 1, New York of the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craft Workers is $63.22 per hour. The industry standard rate for non-Union bricklayers in New York City, without benefits, is between $21.00 to $25.00 dollars. This price differentiation has been verified by Rueben Blachorsky, site supervisor for Skyline Restoration, Inc., a New York City-based construction/preservation contracting company that runs both Union and non-Union masonry crews. The following key staff members of Rand Engineering & Architecture, PC are currently working with numerous masonry restoration contractors on projects throughout New York City and also verify these as industry standard prices: Steven Varone AIA (Principal), Lynne Funk AIA, Ivan Mrakovcic RA (Senior Architect), Peter Demb PE, Steven Samiljan PE (Senior Structural Engineer) and Steven Tingir MSE (Chief Specification Writer). Steven Samiljan, PE also added, “It’s a pretty established fact that having to pay prevailing wages will triple the cost of a project.” It is noted that the hourly wage for union and non-union bricklayers in other cites is not provided as the preservation masonry program outlined in this thesis is designed for New York City and information pertaining to other locations is beyond the scope of this thesis.

With these considerations, it seems a high school age trainee’s starting wage would be somewhere between $8.00 and $10.00 an hour. To all parties concerned, this appears to be fair compensation for work expected and delivered by an untrained, starting worker.

After payroll, some of the largest expenses incurred by New York City masonry restoration companies are costs for insurance and workman’s liability. Because of the proposed preservation training program’s limited size and staff, worker’s compensation and insurance issues would be best provided by a larger organization serving as an umbrella agency to supply these services. Following an evaluation of organizations that offer career opportunities to high school students through the construction industry, YouthBuild USA appears to be best suited to assist with the proposed masonry preservation program’s agenda. YouthBuild USA was founded in 1990 and has appropriated more than $500 million for use in low-income communities nationwide through more than 225 YouthBuild programs. It facilitates training that integrates academics with life skills, endorses sound work habits, promotes career development and provides counseling to address complicated issues such as truancy and substance abuse. YouthBuild is actively rehabilitating homes for the homeless and restoring multi-unit buildings for low-income families throughout New York City. It offers many of the administrative and operating components that cannot be ignored but are not be easily provided by the proposed preservation masonry program’s limited staff and budget. Therefore, the training program outlined in this thesis could utilize the YouthBuild USA organization as the umbrella agency to provide their already established policies of insurance and worker’s compensation.

Additional Preservation Training and Work Opportunities

John Ruskin, in The Seven Lamps of Architecture, wrote, “Whatever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; and no other might.” Fortunately, at the present time there is a lot for a mason’s hands to do in New York City, and throughout the nation. According to the United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, job opportunities for brick masons, block masons, and stonemasons are expected to increase to the year 2014 due to a large number of masons retiring and the need to restore a growing stock of old masonry buildings.

Ron Darling, the Director of Education and Professional Development for the International Masonry Institute, explains in his seminars how a sustained growth in masonry construction for more than thirty years has increased the demand for highly skilled workers. He also says, “the demand for the masonry restoration trade has never been greater.” But notes that “restoration is a different kind of animal.”

In order to address the advancement of this “different kind” of career training a schedule of resources and information pertaining to both educational and possible employment opportunities leading to a career as a preservation mason are provided in Appendices IV through VII. Appendix IV provides a schedule of organizations that are informative and relevant to masonry construction, albeit all listings are not predominantly oriented toward masonry preservation. Attachment V provides an annotated schedule of colleges, schools or programs offering degrees, diplomas, or credits in the study in preservation masonry. Attachment VI provides an annotated schedule of organizations, schools, vendors or manufacturers, offering seminars or workshops in preservation masonry training. Attachment VII provides an annotated schedule of web sites offering information about preservation oriented apprenticeships, internships, and other programs that would be of interest to high school age students pursing opportunities in masonry preservation.

Administration Requirements

In an attempt to train a new generation of preservation masons, a general outline of expected administration requirements is provided for the proposed program offering work-site experience and classroom instruction for high school age students. It includes the Director and Instructor’s responsibilities along with the proposed financial outlay to start the program.

The proposed academic, lecture, and practice facility as described in Chapter III is intended to be utilized for only three months of the year as both the academic training and administrative center. For the remaining nine months all administration duties are to be conducted at personal facilities that are the responsibility of the two key Administrators, the Director and the Instructor. At the onset, all secretarial work would be a shared responsibility of the Director and Instructor who would undertake these positions in accompaniment with their current occupations. The cost for purchasing masonry equipment, academic supplies, the rental of the academic training site and other administrative or affiliated components deemed necessary for the commencement of the program are included in the “Estimated Start-Up” budget provided later in Table 1. The appropriation of these funds is not included in the scope of this thesis.

Director’s Qualifications and Responsibilities

In general, the Program’s Director would be expected to have a background of at least ten years working experience in masonry preservation along with a Master’s Degree in Historic Preservation. As with any New York City administrative position, excellent oral and written communication skills, along with the ability to address multiple and fast-changing activities simultaneously, would be expected. The ideal program Director would also have experience in conflict resolution, advanced interpersonal skills, foresight for the needs of the preservation industry and perseverance to achieve the program’s goals. The Director’s diversified activities would include, but not be limited to, fund-raising, marketing, budgeting, student/trainee recruitment, locating worksite placements for students, updating curriculum, and advancing the program’s development. (The Director’s job description and qualifications are provided in Appendix VIII.)

Instructor’s Required Experience and Training

The Instructor for the half-day academic portion of the program would be responsible for developing and administering all activities undertaken during the twelve-week afternoon academic sessions. He would also be instrumental throughout the rest of the year by assisting the Director in the student recruitment process and developing worksite training locations and scheduling. The ideal individual for the Instructor’s position would have qualifications that included a minimum of fifteen years masonry preservation experience along with the completion of both the International Masonry Institute (IMI) Instructor Certification Program and the RESTORE Masonry Conservation Course with Workshops. The combined thoroughness of IMI’s fundamental masonry training along with RESTORE’s emphasis on masonry preservation would provide a comprehensive background enabling the Instructor to present the program’s curriculum with both experience and understanding.

The IMI training program mandates their trowel trades instructors undertake at least 200 hours of course work to become IMI Instructors, and many of the courses are relevant to this program as they address teaching the basics of the masonry trade. A few offerings are: “Masonry Mortars,” “Stone Patching,” and “Basic Craft Familiarization.” Courses such as “Managing Learning Activities,” “Helping Students Learn,” “Presenting Information,” “Dealing with Student Discipline and Conflict,” “Facilitating Learning” “Teaching Problem Solving,” “Building Work Teams and Work Values” would also assist in the teaching of high school age students.

Along with mastering these masonry fundamentals, completing the RESTORE program provides the Instructor with an understanding of analyzing and resolving complex masonry conservation, restoration, and maintenance problems. A few of the many RESTORE courses pertinent to the proposed program focus on the technology of cleaning masonry structures, the formulation of composite repair materials, the correct use of coatings, the conservation of architectural terra cotta, and the philosophy/ methodology of preservation.

Estimated Start-up Budget

The preliminary cost to initiate a masonry preservation training program to teach approximately twelve high school students is provided in Table 3. The masonry material and equipment estimates were deducted from the Bon Tool 2006 Master Catalog. Some of the estimated prices for industrial education, classroom equipment and supplies were provided by Erik Catamessa, Instructor and Lead Teacher for the Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES masonry program, described in Chapter II.

To delineate the total for this budget the salaries for the Director and the Instructor are detailed as follows. Throughout a fifty two-week year, The Director would be expected to work fourteen weeks “half time” at twenty-five hours per week during the most active three months of the training program, and fifteen hours for thirty six weeks “part-time” throughout the less active nine months. The Director’s time allotment to the program would be an estimated 890 hours annually, at $75.00 per hour.

The Instructor’s estimated time expectation to the program throughout the program’s three month duration would be a minimum of three hours of classroom instruction/demonstration along with one hour of preparation and cleanup, Monday through Friday. During the “off season” he would assist with orchestrating student recruitment, coordinating contractor/work site training locations, preparing lesson plans and scheduling lecturer/demonstrations amounting to approximately ten hours a week for twenty six weeks. The Instructor’s estimated yearly total hours for the program would be 500 hours at $60 per hour.

The Table below is provided with listings of proposed categories, costs and descriptions for the institution of the program.

Cost Category Amounts Description

Director’s salary $66,750.00 Three months (twelve weeks) half-time

and nine months part-time.

Instructor’s salary $30,000.00 Three months (twelve weeks).

Academic Facilities Rental $2,000.00 Three months.

Training Facility Equipment $7,500.00 Desks, chalkboard, portable

cement mixer, and computer.

Masonry Supplies & Materials $8,000.00 Trowels, hammers, line and pins, mortar pans, levels, brushes, rulers, joiners, pointers, and sundry other hand held tools, bricks, blocks, cement, sand, buckets, pipe staging, planks, safety belts.

Academic supplies $2,500.00 Curriculum text, notebooks, career development resources, handbook for job shadowing, preservation and masonry books, videos, magazines, career guidance and graduate tracking software, preservation magazine subscriptions and A/V equipment.

Overhead $2,500.00 Three months electric, water,

telephone, paper, supplies, etc.

Marketing $2,500.00 Networking and recruitment materials.

Affiliation dues for non-profit umbrella organization $2,000.00

Insurance $2,000.00 Liability.

Accountant, lawyer fees $2,000.00

Students graduation and post graduation materials $2,000.00 Awards, certificates, career materials, membership to preservation organizations.

Consultants, stipends $2,000.00 Travel expenses.

Other $5,000.00 Preservation organization dues, etc.

Total Estimated Cost $136,750.00

Table 3: Proposed budget



“Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins and will raise up the age-old foundations; you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.”

At the present time, there is no shortage in the demand for masonry work in New York City. According to New York City Construction Outlook, an annual report prepared for the New York Building Congress, construction spending in the city will surpass $20 billion in 2006 (an all-time high) with about half of the money spent by local, state, and federal governments to build and maintain the city’s infrastructure. Edward Sullivan, the editor of Building Operations and Management magazine, explains where this massive amount of money is being spent: “It’s a truism in the building industry that over fifty percent of budgets go to restoration.” But, according to recent New York Post headlines, even with all of this available work there is “due to the fast pace of planned building and renovation, a shortage of skilled workers in New York City.”

This final chapter provides closure for the present discussion on the development of an introductory preservation masonry training program for high school age students. It includes “Recommendations” and a “Conclusion” along with relevant examples to serve as both the theoretical finale and proposed starting point for the commencement of the program. This chapter also includes the following disclosure that many elements required to start such a program have not been addressed and preliminary issues that need to be considered, investigated and researched further would include, but are not limited to: methods of student recruitment, management of trainee truancy, disciplinary measures for drug or alcohol use, issues of criminal behavior and legal counsel, the influence of and recommendations from preservation organizations such as the International Trades Education Initiative (ITEI), the importation of highly skilled, foreign trades people, the type of honor befitting a preservation mason for recognition of excellence in workmanship and work site mentoring, along with considerations for the program’s perpetual furtherance. These are but a few of the unexplored entities outside the scope of this thesis.

It is also understood that to fully answer the questions regarding the possibility of starting such a program, the directional guidelines provided in this thesis will require revision, adaptation, expansion, and experimentation. To experience the full measure of its intent, it is hoped that everything described and devised on these pages would be sifted through the sieve of experimentation according to the maxim of Goucher College, “Test everything. Hold on to the good.”


A recent report by the anti-poverty group, Community Service Society, describes how the strongest job market in decades has not helped New York City’s youngest workers find jobs. A sharp decrease in employment of teenagers and young adults was noted throughout the last six years, and in 2006, only slightly more than one-third of those between the ages of sixteen and twenty-four held jobs. According to David R. Jones, the chief executive of Community Service Society, some of the joblessness among younger residents is due to a decline in emphasis on vocational training in the public school system. “There hasn’t been much focus in this particular area in the city in a long time.” The New York City newspaper headlines express the immediate need for providing vocational training to young adults. The answer to the Thesis Question of developing a possible preliminary training program that introduces both preservation theory and practice to high school-age students in order to meet the demand for more preservation masons has been provided throughout this thesis as part of a possible answer to that need.

Along with the proposed program’s guidelines and framework presented in the previous four chapters, the following additional observations are included as recommendations to promote the program’s institution.

Starting at an elementary level, it is recommended that a general understanding of preservation work be brought to the attention of grade school children with the intent of

fostering an early appreciation of good workmanship. Cultivating this awareness could begin by instilling a general sense of respect for construction/repair work and identifying quality workmanship. This could be achieved by having students recognize the contrast between good craftsmanship and shoddy work in preservation or general home repairs. Children could also examine the cost effective benefits of durability and permanence in contrast to the short-range effectiveness of substandard work; the dangers underlying poor construction practices and the cost to replace or rebuild defective work could also be identified. It is also recommended that students be continually reminded that good wages can be earned for performing good work. As the instructor for a masonry preservation seminar at Brooklyn High School for the Arts, I observed that the most powerful topic to draw the focus of student’s distracted attention was my discussion of the possible earnings available in the masonry trade.

As an example of promoting early career awareness, The Arkansas Historic Preservation Program provides opportunity for cultivating this appreciation by offering programs for grade school children that promote preservation awareness. Courses include “Architectural Styles,” “History in Your Backyard” and “Arkansas' National Historic Landmarks,” and are connected with the Arkansas Social Studies Standards, the Arkansas History Guidelines, and the Arkansas Visual Arts Curriculum Framework. Students are taught the importance of local and statewide historic places, civic pride, and the wonders of the built environment to foster an appreciation of historical landmarks. These preliminary introductions may further develop into a serious interest for the preservation of historical and cultural buildings.

Chapter I brought forward a few problems and initiatives concerning the development of preservation tradesmen discussed at the “Employment Strategies for the Restoration Arts: Craft Training in the Service of Historic Preservation” conference in July 1993. They included the need for improving respect for the preservation workman’s occupation, the development of summer job programs to train youth in preservation work, and finding new methods to demonstrate the economic potential behind craft training and the restoration arts. Some of the answers to these specific problems have been proposed throughout this thesis, but it is suggested that the following additional recommendations also be included.

The program should be offered during the months of June, July, and August so as not to interfere with students’ other academic regimen and a system of record keeping developed to provide acknowledgment of students completing the course.

Implementing a post-program monitoring system to chart student’s direction after graduation would also be helpful for accountability, networking, assisting trainees with long-term direction, and finding immediate job placement.

It is noted that this preliminary program has been developed specifically for New York City, but this format could be modified and possibly implemented to fit other location’s specific needs and available resources. Its implementation in New York City would commence after the preparation of a succinct proposal containing these findings and appropriation of various components such as the Director, Instructor, seminar lecturers, training facility, work-site locations, supplies, affiliation with a non-profit umbrella organization, trainee recruitment and funding.

Funding for the program could possibly be appropriated through the World Monument Fund, the National Center for Preservation Technology & Training, the New York State Historic Preservation Office, the Vincent Astor and Samuel H. Kress Foundations, The National Trust for Historic Preservation, New York Landmarks Conservancy along with various New York City construction contractors and construction material suppliers.

Besides these practical considerations, it seems that there are three core qualities of paramount importance that need to be incorporated, developed, demonstrated, and practiced throughout the program’s onsite work and academic regimen. Those qualities are Tradition, Recognition, and Integrity.


In the commentary, “Putting Value Back Into Craft Education,” Gerard J. Lynch explains that students learning crafts and trades need “high standards and ideals to aspire to in order to produce work that is equal to that created by their historic forebears.” A relevant example, as previously noted in Chapter III, is the number of award winning students graduating from The Williamson School of Free Trades. The high quality of skill demonstrated by this schools graduates, as attested to by construction craftsman Irv Detwiler’s work experience with them, is attributed to the founder’s understanding of the importance of high standards and instituting his ideals of a “Commitment to Heritage.” This creed instills into students the desire to become tradesmen who are truthful, honest, frugal, temperate, and industrious. It is of paramount importance that students participating in the proposed preliminary masonry preservation program be reminded that work done poorly is dangerous, unprofitable, unacceptable, and temporary as compared to something that is built correctly, which is dependable, durable, and can be passed along to following generations with pride.

The understanding of tradition as something that is teachable is proposed not from the observation and identification of an aged item or structure, but through appreciating the worth of something built by a previous generation, and by having the knowledge and practical experience of repairing, replacing or re-building it correctly.

This concept of teaching tradition is probably most directly personified by the life work of Earl A. Barthé, an 83-year-old resident of New Orleans and master craftsman in the plastering trade. The city of New Orleans, with 20 historic districts encompassing some 37,000 buildings, has the greatest concentration of historic architecture in the country and has relied on craftsmen, or tenders of its heritage, to combat plagues of hurricanes, rot, humidity, and Formosan termites. Mr. Barthé, who has been called “the Jelly Roll Morton of plaster,” has continued the plastering trade passed down from his father, grandfather, great-grandfather, and great-great-grandfather, who founded the business in 1850. As such, he is a living example of the work itself, not the product, which is a lifeless artifact, but a multi-generational trade, skill, and practice that is over 150 years old. His knowledge and skill of plasterwork is a tradition that he was given and he in turn can give to others. He represents a living family legacy, an heirloom that can only be lost if it is left unshared. Reed Kroloff, the Dean of the Tulane University School of Architecture in New Orleans, rightly calls artisans like Mr. Barthé, “living traditions.”

In Chapter II the word “tradition” was not used throughout the documentation of nine high school masonry-training programs. In the proposed masonry preservation program tradition will be a key word used to accentuate the act of building skills handed down from one worker to another, as from one generation to another, with respect to the craftsmanship and honor toward those who transported the skill through time.


As noted in Chapters I and III, The Whitehill Commission in 1968 understood the necessity of providing formal recognition toward craftsmen to draw attention to their exceptional talents and abilities. In September of 2005, Earl A. Barthé was awarded a National Heritage Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). The National Heritage Fellowship Award was established by the NEA as a way of honoring American folk artists for their contributions to the nation’s culture. The fellowship recognizes lifetime achievement, artistic excellence, and contributions to the nation's traditional arts heritage. Fellows are selected according to criteria of authenticity, excellence, and significance within the particular artistic tradition. Since its inception, over 200 artists have received National Heritage Awards which includes a celebration of recognition in Washington D.C. and a “no-strings” grant of $20,000. Mr. Barthé was the first tradesman to be presented with this honor since the Fellowship’s inception in 1982.

It is recommended that through this preliminary program, recognition similar to that awarded to Barthé filter down to the level of the preservation masonry worksite where preservation masonry students would be expected to observe the special attributes of quality workmanship. The recognition of these favorable characteristics and skills would be discussed and reviewed by students during the afternoon academic and practice sessions as an integral part of the program training. As they identify and describe these favorable abilities, it is proposed that exceptional work practices would be appreciated, shared, and imitated by the students. This would not only encourage better quality workmanship by learning and practicing from an exemplary role model, but would also provide a sort of admiration by imitation. It might also perpetuate a certain individual work style, type, or characteristic inherent to the experienced mason and provide uniqueness that delves into the topic of regional customs or vernacular styles of building in masonry. But that topic is outside the scope of this thesis.

The recognition of a respected preservation mason’s skill would be acknowledged during the celebration ceremony at the conclusion of the twelve-week program. This recognition, appreciation, and respect for high quality workmanship would allow an individual craftsman the opportunity to receive, on a local level, an honor equivalent to a National Heritage Award.

A Biblical proverb states that “A man’s gift (talents and abilities) makes room for him, and brings him before great men,” and so there are decorations and honors of national magnitude. The axiom, “When I shake a man’s hand and feel calluses, I listen to him more intently” is also provided here, not as a statement of anti-intellectualism, but merely as a simple attempt to increase recognition and respect towards those physically working in the preservation trades and crafts.


A repeatedly-asked question throughout the building industry is how to stop or curtail poor work practices that are nearing pandemic proportions. In New York City, there have been eighty-eight construction accidents in the first ten months of 2006, resulting in fifteen deaths and ninety-eight reported injuries. Inferior work is not only inherently unsafe and less durable but also prone to more rapid deterioration, which is the antithesis of preservation principles and practice. As a possible remedy to deter sloppy or unprofessional workmanship, the proposed preservation masonry program would provide an opportunity for students to establish an attitude of pride and a personal commitment to the task at hand. This would be done by applying a code similar to The Williamson School of Free Trades’ “Commitment to Craftsmanship,” which states that work should be done out of personal integrity, to the best of one’s ability, and that high expectations of achievement must never be compromised. Transferring these attributes and standards to students is not as straightforward as teaching with a trowel and textbook. The Webster’s Dictionary defines “integrity” as “being undivided, a condition of completeness.” These are qualities that have to be explored and developed from within the individual. Examples of quality workmanship can be shown, demonstrations of its skill provided, and practice sessions reviewed, tested and graded, but the integrity of an individual’s work is ultimately a personal decision. Students would have to be allowed to make their own decision on integrity because excellence in quality of workmanship is not something taught, it is something that must be sought. It is my belief that the continual striving for excellence needs to be introduced early in the training program to keep standards high, and that with this sort of commitment to excellence instilled in the hearts and minds of preservation craftsmen, the work of their hands would then be vaulted to the highest levels of quality and dependability.

To answer one of the questions brought forward at the “Employment Strategies for the Restoration Arts: Craft Training in the Service of Historic Preservation” conference in July 1993, this continual searching for excellence might be a way to

improve respect for the preservation workman’s occupation and transform the perceived negative image of the mason into a more positive one.

In summary, the diversified ideas, thoughts, suggestions, and traits cited throughout these Recommendations are summarized by stating that Recognition comes from others, Tradition come from the past, but Integrity is something that only comes from within. It is noted that the likelihood of something made without integrity and constructed with faulty or defective workmanship would not warrant recognition, nor would its practice likely be passed along to other generations as a tradition. Therefore, it is mandatory that the three characteristic features of Integrity, Recognition, and Tradition be incorporated into the proposed training program in order to establish that which would eventually become a preservation mason’s identifiable reputation.


It is perhaps possible in an academic treatise to scientifically document, chart, and graph the experience of joy encountered through the endeavors of preserving decaying masonry. However, the identification and measurement of this element of satisfaction was not part of the scope of this thesis and has not been attempted, or undertaken to support the theory that there are possibilities of finding rewards and gratification through the pursuit of preserving aging masonry buildings. It is my personal belief however that there’s truth to the proverb that, “a man can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in his work” and that contentment should not be regarded as a religious or philosophical entity but as a key component in the matrix for developing future preservation masonry craftsmen. To understand the combination of emotions such as fulfillment, pleasure, camaraderie, fellowship, and delight that are experienced when work is being done correctly, along with the feeling of satisfaction when a completed work stands as a representation of one’s best abilities, are perhaps best explained by John Ruskin, who provides a glimpse of this experience by writing, “…and if the man’s mind as well as his heart went with his work, all this will be in the right places, and each part will set off the other, and the effect of the whole…will be like that of poetry well read and deeply felt…”

An example of the combination of Recognition, Tradition, and Integrity providing social, cultural, and economic ramifications is exemplified by the actor Glenn Ford, who was told by his father, early in his career, to “…learn something else first. Be able to take a car apart and put it together. Be able to build a house, every bit of it. Then you will always have something.” Mr. Ford followed his father’s advice and worked in various occupations in the construction trades. In the 1950’s, when he was one of the nation’s most popular actors, he regularly worked on plumbing, wiring, and air conditioning and at various times would re-visit previous worksites to relish the experience he had learned while building not only houses, but also his reputation.

During my high school years I received similar advice from my father, who said, “Son, get an education and learn a trade. You’ll always be able to put food on the table with one of them.” In concluding this Thesis and to answer the Thesis Question, it is understood that the development of a preservation masonry program that provides worksite instruction and academic studies to high school age students is merely conjecture. Integrating the qualities of Recognition, Tradition, and Integrity would constitute only a cursory attempt at reestablishing the practice of quality craftsmanship extolled by the European Guild system for trades and crafts and exalted in earlier celebrated works of masonry like the Egyptian pyramids, Solomon’s Temple, and the Roman aqueducts. However, the advice I received from my father is expounded throughout these pages in an attempt to substantiate how the development of the described program could provide the needed mechanics and quality masonry craftsmanship required of the preservation industry at the present time.



Chronology of recent North American preservation trades education initiatives

1956 National Park Service Historical Architects Charles E. Peterson and Henry Judd gain approval from the US Civil Service Commission to create a Building Restoration Specialist series for federal employment

1968 The “Whitehill Report on Professional and Public Education for Historic Preservation” submitted to the Trustees of the National Trust for Historic Preservation

1968 The National Park Service proposes establishment of the William Strickland Preservation Center at Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia

1971 National Trust Conference on Training for the Building Crafts

1973 The National Trust completes a one-year internal review and reverses support for the regional preservation training center concept. Develops proposals for preservation skills short courses, establishment of a small training center at a Trust property, and creation of links with union and vocational training programs.

1976 ABANA – Artist/Blacksmith Association of North America established

1976 RESTORE, Inc. begins offering workshops and training programs in preservation technology and practice

1977 The National Park Service establishes the Williamsport Preservation Training Center

1977 The National Trust publishes a preservation trades supplement to Preservation News

1977 The National Park Service North Atlantic Historic Preservation Center begins a 2-year Preservation Maintenance Skills Training Program

1978 National Council for Preservation Education (NCPE) established on the recommendation of the Higher Education Study Group sponsored by the National Trust for Historic Preservation Higher Education Study Group sponsored by the National Trust for Historic Preservation

1978 Preservation trades Associate Degree program developed at Durham Technical Institute, Durham, NC by John Fugelso

1979 The Campbell Center for Historic Preservation Studies in Mt. Carroll, IL began offering courses in museum collections care, architectural conservation. Preservation trades workshops are also offered

1982 The Preservation Education Institute in Windsor, VT began offering preservation workshops, leading up to development of a preservation trades certificate program

1985 Timber Framers Guild formed

1986 Publication of the National Park Service “Skills Development Plan”

1986 Stone Foundation established to offer masonry workshops

1986 Report of U.S. Congressional Office of Technology Assessment published report on “Technologies for Prehistoric and Historic Preservation”

1989 Cathedral Stoneworks opened craft training program at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine

1989 The Building Preservation Technology Program offers Associate Degree at Belmont Technical College

1992 The National Park Service establishes the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training (NCPTT) in Natchitoches, LA

1993 National Park Service Historic Preservation Training Center begins “Preservation and Skills Training” (PAST) program to expand beyond the existing 3-year internship program

1993 World Monuments Fund Conference on “Employment Strategies for the Restoration Arts: Craft Training in the Service of Preservation”

1994 Preservation Industry Network (PIN) established in New York

1995 Ad hoc roundtable discussion at the Association for Preservation Technology Conference in Washington, DC leads to the creation of the Preservation Trades Network as a Task Force of APT

1995 National Center For Preservation Training and Technology funds publication of a training manual for “Preservation Education Skills for Building Trades Teachers” developed by the Preservation Institute for the Building Crafts and the University of Vermont Historic Preservation Program

1995 James Marston Fitch proposal for model program in preservation trades in community colleges

1995 University of Oregon School of Architecture and Allied Arts, Historic Preservation Program offers 1st Summer Preservation Field School for craftsmen and preservation students

1996 College of the Redwoods in Eureka, CA establishes the first Historic Preservation and Restoration Technology Program certificate program west of the Mississippi within the Department of Construction Technology

1997 The Institute for Preservation Training in Providence, RI develops Department of Labor certified apprenticeship program

1997 1st International Preservation Trades Workshop in Frederick, MD

1997 Publication of the CRM Preservation Trade and Craft issue

1998 School of the Building Arts established in Charleston, SC

1999 COLTS (Community Organized for Learning, Training and Sharing) program for at-risk high school students established by the Huffman, TX School District to teach skills in timber framing, shop carpentry, and construction

1999 The National Center for Preservation Training and Technology funds publication of “A Graphic Guide to Historic American Timber Joinery” developed by the Timber Framers Guild

2000 New York City Board of Education approved the establishment of the Brooklyn High School of the Arts

2000 IPTW 2000 co-hosted by the Pennsylvania Museum and Historical Commission with the theme “Convergence”

2001 The Preservation Trades Network, Inc. (PTN) was formed in the state of Connecticut on as a 501(c)6 non-profit

2001 Masters of the Building Arts at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington, DC

2001 “Building Craftsmanship” Session at National Trust for Historic Preservation Conference in Providence, RI

2001 IPTW 2001 at Floyd Bennett Field, Brooklyn, NY with the theme “Partnerships”

2001 Historical Restoration and Renovation Institute in the School of Applied Technology established at Alfred State College, Wellsville, NY

2002 Proposal submitted for Associate of Applied Sciences in Historic Preservation Trades at Phillips Community College of the University of Arkansas

2002 The NYC Department of Education drafts memorandum for the Brooklyn High School for the Arts featuring Preservation Arts as an overarching academic theme, the first model program of its kind in the nation.

2002 Publication of special issue of the APT Bulletin, “Convergence of Architecture and Craft”, Vol. XXXIII, No. 1, containing articles written by many of the presenters at IPTW 2000

2002 Quinque Foundation International Preservation/Conservation Forum: Setting an Agenda for the 21st Century, Newport, RI

2002 IPTW 2002 co-hosted by the Vandalia Heritage Foundation with the theme “Community”

2002 Preservation Delaware, Inc. develops Wilmington Job Corps Center under cooperative agreement with the National Trust and NCPTT

2003 Establishment of a Building Preservation/Restoration Program (Associates of Applied Sciences degree) at Harford Community College in Bel Air, MD

2003 The Preservation Trades Network announces the International Trades Education Initiative in partnership with Belmont Technical College

2003 IPTW 2003 co-hosted by the Howard County, MD Department of Parks and Recreation with the theme “Futures”

2003 The National Park Service and National Trust for Historic Preservation announce plans to create the Western Center for Preservation Training & Technology at the former White Grass Dude Ranch in Grand Teton National Park

2004 Masters of the Building Arts Festival sponsored by the School of the Building Arts, Charleston, SC

2004 The American College of the Building Arts formerly (SoBA) in Charleston, SC licensed as a college by the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education

2004 “Preservation Trades Training: A New Perspective” session and Preservation Trades Group Retreat at National Preservation Conference in Louisville, KY

2004 The World Monuments Fund initiates Preservation Arts Training Program in North America

2004 IPTW 2004 co-hosted by the Alabama Historical Commission with the theme “Education”

2005 International Trades Education Symposium, Belmont Technical College, St. Clairsville, OH

2005 National Trust Forum Journal, Volume 19, No. 4, devoted to “Building Trades Education in the 21st Century”



The School District of Palm Beach County, Cooperative Training/Work-Based Experience Agreement

WE, THE UNDERSIGNED, have read and understand the conditions and provisions contained therein.





• the employer will adhere to all State and Federal Regulations regarding minimum wages when appropriate; employment, child labor laws, and will not discriminate in employment policies, educational programs or activities for reasons of race, sex, color, religion, national origin, marital status, age or handicap.

• the work activity will be under the supervision of a qualified site supervisor.

• the work will be performed under safe and hazard-free conditions.

• the student will receive the same consideration given employees with regard to safety, health, social security, general work conditions and other policies/ procedures of the firm.

• the site supervisor will oversee the working relationship with the person to whom the student is responsible to “i.e. shadowing” while on the job.

• the site supervisor will attempt to resolve any complaints through the cooperative efforts of all parties concerned.

• the employer will meet with student’s parent or guardian prior to the three month work training program.

• the site supervisor will complete student evaluations to be delivered to the program administration.

• the student will follow rules and guidelines established by the program and employer regarding hours of work, after work school attendance and reporting procedures.



Work Responsibilities Form, State of Michigan

Program Name:


Phone: Fax:

Contact Person:

Work Provider’s Name:


Phone: Fax:

Contact Person:

Student’s Name:

Date of Birth:

Out of School Hours Emergency Phone No: Year:


Address of Work Site:

Start Date:


I will attend my placement for the full work experience period. I will ensure that both the program administrator and the work experience provider (i.e. contractor). The site supervisor will be notified by 8 AM if I am unable to attend the workplace. My dress and behavior will be in keeping with the accepted standards of my work experience provider. I will perform my duties to the best of my ability and comply with all reasonable directions given by the work experience provider. I will promptly tell my supervisor of any personal injury or damage to property which may involve me.

Student’s Signature______________________________________________ Date: Day/Month/Year

2. PARENT/GUARDIAN/CAREGIVER’S CONSENT (Applicable to students under 18 years of age)

I consent to Student's Name participating in work experience as stated.

Signature of parent/guardian/caregiver ____________________________________ Date: Day/Month/Year

(if applicable, attach details of any medical condition)


I enter into an arrangement for the named student to be placed with me for the purpose of work experience. Conditions of placement:

1. I understand my obligation of care for the student under the Workplace Health and Safety Act 1995.

2. I agree to inform the student of particular safety requirements of this workplace.

3. I agree to notify the Program Director of any accident involving a school student, any actions undertaken and damages to property involving the student during this placement.

4. The student will work under my supervision or my nominee.

5. The arrangement may be terminated at any time by either the Program Director or myself.

6. Previously agreed payment will be made to the student participating in work experience.

7. The hours worked will not exceed those previously agreed.

8. The student will not perform work which is prohibited by law.

9. I agree to notify the school of any unexplained absences by the student.

10. I understand the level of liability coverage provided by the Program.

Signature of work experience provider ___________________________________ Date: Day/Month/Year


I enter into an arrangement for the named student to be placed for the purpose of work experience with the above named work experience provider.

Administrator’s signature _______________________________________ Date: Day/Month/Year



Evaluation Form, South Central Workforce Council

Program Trainee:

Employer (Contractor):

Work Site Location:

Site Supervisor:

Period of Training: from: / / to: / /

Evaluation: Interim 􀁆Final 􀁆

Instructions: Evaluate the trainee’s performance using the scale below. The rating scale applies to the level of training and progress at the time of evaluation, based on the expected progress for a trainee by this point of time in the training.

5 = excellent, 4 = above average, 3 = satisfactory, 2 = marginally adequate, 1 = unsatisfactory

1. ATTENDANCE 5 4 3 2 1

2. PUNCUALITY 5 4 3 2 1

3. APPEARANCE 5 4 3 2 1

Clean, neat; dresses appropriately.


Exhibits a positive attitude toward supervisor, “mentor” and co-workers, comet to work prepared for the day’s activities; listens attentively; takes instruction well; asks questions when necessary; carries out assignments willingly; communicates effectively; follows rules in regard to safety, use of equipment, care of property, and personal conduct; accepts responsibility for his/her actions.


Attempts to complete work accurately, thoroughly and within prescribed timelines; follows instructions; shows initiative and good judgment.


Shows proper respect and consideration for others and their property; offers assistance to others when appropriate; asks for assistance when necessary; works effectively as part of a team.

INTERIM EVALUATION ONLY: Is the participant making satisfactory progress? 􀁆Yes 􀁆No

FINAL EVALUATION ONLY: Did the participant demonstrate satisfactory attempt of learning masonry preservation skills (rating of 3 and above)? 􀁆Yes 􀁆No


Supervisor’s Signature: Date:



Associated Builders and Contractors, Workforce Development Division, 4250 North Fairfax Dr., 9th Floor, Arlington, VA 22203. Internet:

Associated General Contractors of America, Inc., 2300 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 400, Arlington, VA 22201. Internet:

Brick Industry Association, 11490 Commerce Park Dr., Reston, VA 22091-1525. Internet:

International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers, International Masonry Institute, The James Brice House, 42 East St., Annapolis, MD 21401. Internet:

National Association of Home Builders, Home Builders Institute, 1201 15th St. NW., Washington, DC 20005. Internet:

National Center for Construction Education and Research, P.O. Box 141104, Gainesville FL 32614-1104. Internet:

National Concrete Masonry Association, 13750 Sunrise Valley Dr., Herndon, VA 20171-3499. Internet:

National Masonry Instructors Association, P.O. Box 655, Bishopville, SC 29010




Algonquin College Heritage Institute in Perth, Ontario, Canada offers a comprehensive four term masonry preservation program certificate equivalent to a two-year United States diploma. Concurrent with the development of manual skills, students acquire knowledge in related areas such as the principles of architectural conservation, the history of building technology, drafting and recording, construction safety, mathematics and communication skills. Graduates of the program can perform brick, block and stonework on contemporary buildings and renovation projects.

The American College of the Building Arts in Charleston, South Carolina, offers an extensive four year (eight semesters) curriculum to prepare students for a career in preservation masonry. The masonry courses are designed to give a broad overview of the skills required to work in all aspects this trade specializing in using masonry materials and conservation/installation techniques.

Belmont Technical College in Clairsville, Ohio, has a Building Preservation Technology Program that offers an Associate of Applied Science Degree and provides hands-on training in the preservation trades. The masonry training includes analysis of the physical and chemical properties of stone, brick, terra cotta, cementitous materials, mortars and grouts with emphasis on identifying causes of deterioration, proper stabilizing techniques, and appropriate cleaning methods.

Bucks County Community College in Newtown and Perkasie Pennsylvania has a Historic Preservation Certificate program offering masonry courses to restore small buildings to and to develop the skills of masonry restoration. Learning Goals include the research and documentation of historic outbuildings, and learning historic building techniques from qualified demonstrators.

George Brown Toronto City College, Canada offers a two-year, four semester program for a diploma as a “Building Restoration Technician.” as part of their Building Technologies Program. Students learn technical and practical skills required to revitalize existing masonry structures by training in a modern restoration masonry lab where they are taught brick, block and stone-laying techniques, construction and restoration of veneer, solid and composite walls, concrete installation and repair, stucco and historical building restoration methods.

Harford Community College, in Bel Air Maryland offers a Building Preservation and Restoration program that leads to an A.A.S. degree in Technical/Professional Studies. The program prepares students for a career in historic preservation with an emphasis on the use of theory and practice to solve preservation issues and problems. The Historic Masonry course studies conservation, sustainability, technique, and treatment of historic structures with lectures and laboratory work in the field.

The RESTORE Program and Workshops on Architectural Conservation Techniques in New York City offer a certificate for the completion of a two-semester course in Masonry Conservation. RESTORE applies a materials science approach to the preservation maintenance process as students participate in laboratory and field-workshop sessions. RESTORE provides the combination of architectural preservation and restoration technology based on the premise that preservation work requires thinking craft workers who, like the architect or preservation consultant, should be equipped to make sophisticated judgments. Fifty American Institute of Architects continuing education learning units are available through RESTORE.



Ahrens School of Masonry Restoration in Sioux Falls, SD offers a five-day training program providing hands-on experience in the preparation and application of historic lime mortars, with an emphasis on trade practices for masonry conservation. The course combines lecture and laboratory work with hands-on lime slaking, mixing, joint cutting, re-pointing and finishing. The instruction also covers historic brick, terra cotta and stone compatibility in a traditional masonry wall.

The Arkansas Institute for Building Preservation Trades in Little Rock, offers a hands-on program in Brick Restoration and Repointing with discussion of historic bricks and mortars, reasons for their failure and appropriate methods of repair. Participants will mix and apply mortar to brick panels.

The Campbell Center for Historic Preservation Studies, in Chicago offers a four-day workshop in Traditional Historic Masonry Restoration covering multiple facets of historic masonry restoration with slide illustrated discussions, live demonstrations, and hands-on experience. Training includes masonry evaluation, cleaning, re-pointing, laboratory analysis and mortar matching.”

Cathedral Stone Products located in Hanover, Maryland offers a three day training course in masonry restoration, teaching the application of their materials; specifically Jahn Restoration Mortar. Work stations are set up using stone and terra cotta cut to simulate a variety of jobsite conditions. Masons practice repair of limestone, sandstone, terra cotta and brick.”

Edison Products with a regional office in Plainville, CT that services the metropolitan New York City area offers a one day hands-on training course explaining the basic principles of the company’s custom repair materials and the technical guidelines for their application. Attendees participate in hands-on exercises, designed to provide an introduction to the working ‘feel’ of these materials.

Fort Scott Community College in Fort Scott, Kansas offers a two-week Masonry Restoration Training Program that includes classroom and hands-on instruction. Courses conducted by experienced craftsmen as well as manufacturer’s representatives include training in restoration of brick, stone, concrete, and stucco; along with building cleaning, sealant application, repair injection methods, waterproofing, coating, insulation, waterproofing membranes, repellants and safety.

Historic Preservation Specialists in Wilsall, Montana offers training opportunities that include conservation of masonry as well as log, frame and metals. It offers hands-on experience, and an in depth knowledge of preservation work with seminars include all aspects of building conservation from footing to finial and all architectural types serving Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska and Utah.

Historic Windsor, Inc. in Windsor, Vermont is a regional training source offering courses for inhabitants of the Upper Valley Region of Vermont and New Hampshire to assist in local preservation efforts. It is dedicated to a better understanding of and respect for our heritage by teaching preservation skills and promoting traditional craftsmanship. They offer a two-day workshop for “Re-pointing Brick Masonry” that covers traditional brick bonding patterns and joints, historic and modern mortar types, techniques for analyzing mortar composition, and preparation of specifications for pointing.

The Masonry Institute of Washington, in Kirkland, Washington provides technical information to serve as a liaison between the public and mason contractors. They offer a two day symposium discussing preservation topics such as Rumford fireplaces, moisture penetration and pre-blended mortars.

The Traditional Building Institute, in Ephraim, Utah offers a workshop in historic masonry with classroom instruction and hands-on experience for the prognosis, repair and cleaning of aging masonry structures, along with treatment for deteriorating stone.

U.S. Heritage Group in Chicago, manufactures custom blended historic mortars and services that include mortar testing, mortar production, training, working advisor services and architectural design support. They offer a two day hands-on workshop for masons, building owners, architects, consultants and engineers who are involved in selecting, designing, installing, restoring or maintaining historic masonry buildings.

Virginia Lime Works in Madison Heights, Virginia manufactures lime putty, traditional custom pre-made mortars, plasters, and lime washes. They offer training classes utilizing their materials and host the American Lime Conference with a Master Class series featuring European brick and plaster Master craftsmen.



“” ( Provides an extensive listing of information on apprenticeship opportunities along with additional information for networking and resources.

“The National Center for Preservation Technology and Training” ( Provides a search engine with clearinghouse information on training and educational programs including internships.

“The National Council for Preservation Education” ( Provides a listing of education resources related to preservation education offering information pertaining to conferences, secondary education and resources for preservationists.

“University of Mary Washington” Department of Historic Preservation (

Provides permanent and temporary employment opportunities along with paid and unpaid internships and fellowships.

“University of Vermont” Historic Preservation Program Historic Preservation Links ( Provides a listing of web sites includes preservation career and training opportunities.

“U.S. Department of Labor” Employment & Training Administration Registered Apprentice Website. ( Useful for overall information on apprenticeship programs including links to state apprenticeship sites.

“Vocational Information Center” ( Offers an extensive listing of information useful for the exploration of careers in masonry.




The Program Administrator’s responsibilities include but are not limited to:

Development of financial resources and financial management

Budget planning

Development of academic curriculum

Hiring and managing Instructor

Documenting the program’s progress

Acquiring and maintaining the academic training site

Acquiring equipment, books and other academic/training supplies

Development of contacts with masonry and preservation contractors

Acquiring and coordinating half-day work training sites for students

Developing public relations/marketing and promotional information

Developing contacts with high school administrators, counselors and instructors

Selecting students for the program

Cultivating contacts and resources with the preservation community

Developing community outreach

Coordinate partnerships with Union and non-Union resources

Providing and reviewing evaluations

Coordinating insurance issues with umbrella agency

Problem solving students’ work site issues



Master’s Degree in Historic Preservation or Building Conservation from an accredited college or university.

Minimum Experience:

Five years masonry construction

Seven years masonry restoration

Two years as program director, teacher or education/training instructor.

Preferred Experience:

Financial resource development, budget management

Management of an education program or not-for profit organization

Fundraising capabilities

Certificate from IMI masonry apprenticeship program

Certificate from RESTORE restoration training program

Familiarity with New York City construction industry

Experience in the development and start-up business/organization

Membership in preservation organizations such as Preservation Training Network



Apprentice = “from the root word, ’apprehend’ meaning to grasp mentally, understand and anticipate fearfully.” It traditionally referred to one who lacks experience and is legally bound to work for another in return for instruction in a trade, art, education or business.

Foreman = the on site work leader responsible for the rest of the crew and their work.

Journeyman = a skilled craftsman, not an itinerant worker. “Journeyman preserves an older sense of the word journey, and is derived from the Old French journee which meant day, day’s work and day’s travel. A journeyman was originally someone who worked for another for daily wages; he was distinguished from an apprentice, who was learning the trade, and a master artisan who was usually in business for himself.”

Master = a worker qualified to teach apprentices. “An expert…a teacher, or tutor…an artist or performer of great and exemplary skill.”

Mechanic = “a term of honor used from the 17th century to the mid 20th century for a highly skilled, learned person who worked with his hands in any trade. It had evolved to refer to those who repair automobiles.”

Site Supervisor = a representative of the general contractor or masonry sub-contractor who acts as a liaison with the client and architect or engineer.

Technician = an expert in a technique, or one whose occupation requires training a specific technical process, or “one who is noted for skill in an artistic or intellectual technique.”

Tender = a mason’s attendant who builds scaffolding and supplies materials to the mason at the work site.

Tradesman = “a skilled worker” yet the term does not necessarily pertain to one who works in the construction trades. It has evolved to associate to one engaged in the retail trade, especially a shopkeeper.