Preservation Carpentry

The comprehensive Preservation Carpentry program teaches the time-honored skills and values of fine craftsmanship. Our students share a love of history, materials, quality workmanship, and working with their hands to build, restore, and preserve beautiful structures that last.

The two-year program combines an introduction to contemporary residential construction with a foundation in pre-20th century New England home construction. You’ll learn a broad range of construction methods, including stabilizing endangered buildings, preserving architectural details, and recreating historical design elements. Through lectures, hands-on projects, and collaborative field work, you’ll gain an understanding of how current technology compares to traditional techniques. You’ll graduate with the skills needed to work with contractors and institutions specializing in preservation work, including historical millwork and interior finish carpentry.

The program space includes first and second year bench rooms, where each student is assigned a bench and work space, and a central machine room. New England’s rich historical legacy of pre-20th century buildings provides exceptional field projects. Such site work is often done in collaboration with non-profit museums and historical sites.

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Program Details

  • Curriculum: Investigate what students learn over the course of the two-year program.
  • Facilities: Virtually walk through the program spaces and bench rooms.
  • Faculty: Meet our talented instructors, who are experts in their field.
  • Tuition: Check out tuition, costs, and class hours.
  • Careers: Explore the variety of careers available to Preservation Carpentry graduates and the employment outlook.
  • Profiles: Read about our alumni, including how an education at NBSS opened doors for them.

Additional Info


Contact Rob O'Dwyer, Director of Admissions, at 617-227-0155 x111 or
Brent Hull

"Immediately after graduating, I was able to start my own company in Texas. We have grown into a well-respected contractor and historic millwork provider with clients across the country."

Brent Hull PC '93

View More Preservation Carpentry Alumni Profiles

Preservation Carpentry News

Hand-Built Sheds for Sale

NBSS Preservation Carpentry students craft hand-built sheds each fall as part of their first-year curriculum, to practice basic construction techniques. You can own one of this year's hand-crafted sheds – there are two available for purchase! Find out more details here.

Read more about Hand-Built Sheds for Sale
Hancock Mansion Door Project

The original front door of the long-gone Hancock Mansion on Beacon Hill recently emerged from storage as the Bostonian Society, its steward, seeks to exhibit the historic artifact at the Old State House. Students from our Preservation Carpentry program have been commissioned to build a full-scale reproduction of the fine Georgian home's opulent surrounding entryway, which will go on exhibit in the Old State House in June 2018.

Read more about Hancock Mansion Door Project
Preserving a 100-Year Old Cemetery Door

Two Preservation Carpentry alumni, Steve Brown and Greg Ghazil, were recently featured in an article by Woodworker's Journal, highlighting their preservation work at the Mount Auburn Cemetery. Greg says, "Our jobs at Mount Auburn are a nice balance of hands and brain. I love working with my hands, and the variety of projects here offers a constant challenge. Every project has a different set of issues to resolve."

Read more about Preserving a 100-Year Old Cemetery Door