Before coming to North Bennet Street School, Charlotte Wampold PC '21 studied Fine Art at Tufts' School of the Museum of Fine Arts, then went to work designing furniture sets for an online retailer. These two experiences became one upon Charlotte's discovery of the Preservation Carpentry program at NBSS. We recently spoke to her about a shared passion for historic structures, the path leading her to NBSS, and the home renovation project she's working on for her neighbor.
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.
- 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, class hours, schedule, and program length.
- 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.
- Preservation Carpentry program brochure: Download at-a-glance details.
Admissions, Financial Aid, and Employment Information
First-year Preservation Carpentry student Tom Eldridge PC '21 shows us around his Weymouth garage home workshop, which he's been building up over several years. Tom's been continuing to work on student projects from home, including his hanging wall cabinet made just with hand tools.
Since moving to their Topsfield, Massachusetts property in 2013, Eric Menzer and his wife had fallen in love with the historic timber frame barn included, constructed sometime in the mid-1800s. But by building standards, it was both terminally ill and dangerous. Time after time, quotes from various contractors for a restoration were more than the Menzers could pay. Sending the barn to its grave seemed like the only option until one contractor suggested NBSS. The Preservation Carpentry program took on the project at an affordable price.
Kyle Bernard PC '16 is the West Coast and Southwest Project Manager at HistoriCorps, a historic preservation organization. After college and service in the Navy, Kyle moved back to Boston and prepared for a legal career. But when he heard actor, comedian, woodworker, and NBSS Board member Nick Offerman describe NBSS at one of his shows, Kyle enrolled in the Preservation Carpentry program shortly after—and never looked back.
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 sheds – there are two available for purchase now! Find out more details here.
In recent years, there has been an uptick in programs encouraging women to change their perception of the trades. These new and expanded strategies are an effort to help women see what was once a male-dominated industry as a viable career option. We explore the changing landscape of the building trades in this series – while also celebrating some of the talented women who began their careers at NBSS and are making an impact in their fields.
"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 '93View More Preservation Carpentry Alumni Profiles