Public Programs > Preservation Trades Technology program
Preservation Trades Technology Program

Read the article "A New Way of Learning How to Preserve the Past" by Barry Loveland (PDF, 320 KB) to learn more about this program. This article appeared in the Fall 2009 Hands on History section of Pennsylvania Heritage magazine. 

Preservation Trades IconWhat is this program?

The Preservation Trades Technology curriculum has been developed to train students and incumbent workers in the preservation of historic buildings. It provides a series of short courses in preservation trades technology leading to a certificate of completion for the program. This program is the only one of its kind in Pennsylvania and only one of a few programs nationally that offer this special combination of historic preservation and building trades education. Courses have previously been offered at the Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. PHMC is looking to partner with other organizations that would like to offer this training at their location.

Why is it important?

As more people and communities in Pennsylvania realize the advantage of preservation of historic buildings, the number of preservation projects has increased. This has resulted in a demand for more contractors and craftspeople in the building trades with the knowledge and experience of working on historic buildings. It is often difficult or impossible to find companies or individuals with this type of expertise.

Student using measuring toolsWho is this program for?

  • Incumbent workers already in the building trades who want to supplement their knowledge and skills to work on historic preservation projects
  • Building contractors who want to expand their business into historic preservation work
  • Students enrolled in a building trades program who want to expand their education to work on historic preservation projects
  • Maintenance employees who have responsibilities to maintain and repair older buildings
  • Historic building owners and others with basic building trades skills who want to learn how to preserve and maintain their buildings

Who is involved with this program?

To develop the Preservation Trades Technology Program, the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission has entered into a partnership with:

  • Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology,
  • Lancaster County Planning Commission,
  • Lancaster County Workforce Investment Board and
  • Lancaster County Historic Preservation Trust . 

Student using wood tools.What role does PHMC play?

PHMC has helped serve as an advisor to the development of the overall curriculum for the program, and PHMC staff have developed curricula for several courses and also served as instructors. Courses developed by PHMC include Fundamentals of Historic Preservation, History of Pennsylvania Architecture, Pennsylvania Building Technology, Mortars in Preservation, Masonry Repair and Repointing, and Masonry Cleaning. Other courses available include Wood Repair, Wood Window Repair, Preservation and Repair of Porches, Dealing with Environmental Concerns in Historic Buildings, Painting Historic Buildings and Thermal Retrofitting Historic Buildings.

PHMC is currently exploring other opportunities to partner with other educational institutions, companies, organizations and government agencies to offer these courses in other parts of the state. If you are interested in partnering with us, please contact us at

Visit the Preservation Trades Technology program on Facebook to view pictures and video from previous classes and to network with past students.