Thursday, May 6, 2021

Preservation Training in Action

The Columbia County Historical Society (CCHS) has entered into a partnership with the new Preservation Carpentry Certification course at Columbia-Greene Community College (C-GCC) to complete a restoration project at the James Vanderpoel House in Kinderhook.

Photo: Columbia County Historical Society
Under the direction of Associate Professor John Lombardi of the Construction Technology Center, Preservation Carpentry coursework emphasizes historic restoration techniques and a range of construction methods, including stabilizing endangered buildings and preserving and recovering architectural details. For the project, students are learning about the methods and materials used to preserve sixteen wooden shutters from the Federal-era house.

“With access to the antique shutters from the James Vanderpoel 'House of History,' the preservation carpentry students have a rare opportunity to enhance their hands-on preservation training while directly helping CCHS maintain and care for an historic landmark structure,” said CCHS Executive Director Lori Yarotsky.

The shutter restoration is part of a multistage exterior weatherization project at the Vanderpoel House. The first phase, which focused on replacing the roof, was completed in the fall of 2019. Because of the pandemic, the start of phase two was delayed until late 2020. Currently underway, the repairs will reinforce the historic integrity of the building's windows and provide improved weatherproofing.


  1. Great idea. So glad students have the opportunity for hands-on training.

  2. I'm curious how much specialized labor is part of the cost for historic preservation and restoration, and whether additional hands in the labor pool might bring down some of the costs.

    One of the consistent gripes about historic preservation is the high cost of restoring and maintaining properties, which make ownership of historic residences inaccessible to locals who spend their lives participating the local workforce, which has limited opportunities. Seems like programs like this might flank the problem from two angles, though I'm not sure how much the problem would be solved simply by increasing worker supply.

    Could anyone who regularly deals with Historic Preservation project management provide some insight?