By Kevin Shannahan
Natchitoches National Center for Preservation, Training and Technology, a unit of the National Park Service, partnered with the Preservation Trades Association in presenting the 2019 Preservation Trades Workshop, held April 26-27 at the NCPTT building on the NSU campus.
Natchitoches is well known for its historic district and many historic buildings throughout the parish. Many of us go about our daily lives taking these buildings for granted. We should not, as many of them are irreplaceable due to the materials and construction methods used when they were built. Likewise, repair and maintenance of historic buildings often requires specific tools and techniques.
The workshop featured tradespeople in areas as diverse as masonry, window construction and repair and slate roofing. The workshops were a hands on experience as the instructors demonstrated their crafts and gave the attendees an opportunity for practice with expert help. Local NCPTT Materials Conservator and nationaly recognized expert in cemetery and gravestone restoration, Jason Church, gave a presentation on repairing ornamental cast iron fencing in cemeteries without using lead.
The Preservation Trades Network was formed in 1996 and is a network of men and women working in the traditional building trades. They are the people that do the work that makes historic preservation happen. The Natchitoches Parish Journal is delighted they chose Natchitoches for this year’s workshops.