2021 International Preservation Trades Workshop

2021 International Preservation Trades Workshop


Twenty-four years ago, the first "Gathering of the Trades" demonstrated that sharing, learning, and talking with tools in hand filled a void in the mainstream preservation movement some doubted even existed. Our mission is to empower the traditional building trades through network, good works, community, fellowship and education. Trades education has always been our central focus and the driving force behind the annual International Preservation Trades Workshop. The 2021 IPTW returns to the landmark preservation program at Belmont College, with activities extending to the eastern bank of the Ohio river in historic downtown Wheeling, West Virginia.

Forging New Paths is a tribute to the blacksmiths that helped to build National Road, which connected communities throughout the United States. 2021 marks the 100th anniversary of the Federal Highway Act- the program that commissioned a connected system of interstate highways. US Route 40 was created out of the ashes of the National Road, spurring major cultural and generational shifts. Stage taverns and wagon stands were replaced by hotels and restaurants. Livery stables and blacksmith shops were replaced by service stations.

As technology and transportation continued to advance, blacksmiths were rendered obsolete, relegated to the world of re-enactors and Renaissance Faires. Underestimated by the modern world, blacksmiths represent the perseverance of endangered arts from another age- proof that trades education is a viable choice for future generations.

We stand at the precipice of an unprecedented shift in our cultural history. Like the previous generations who transitioned from rivers to railroads, and then from rustic roads to major interstates, we are once again called upon to forge new paths and find new ways of doing things. We cannot build this future alone, so we forge ahead, building alongside one another. Won’t you join us?


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