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Preservation Buffalo Niagara Trains Next Generation of Tradespeople

One of the ways that Preservation Buffalo Niagara (PBN) directly contributes to the preservation of this city’s historic structures is to provide a Traditional Building Trades Program. This program, in conjunction with New York State Division for Historic Preservation (SHPO), is designed to provide people (contractors, students, professionals, etc.) with skill sets that will prepare them for rehabbing buildings correctly and efficiently. 

In 2020, PBN will be holding its second Traditional Building Trades Program. This year’s program starts with a Window Repair and Rehabilitation training course, beginning on March 17. That will be followed by a Preservation Masonry course, scheduled for the fall.

“Western New York is blessed with a treasure trove of historic architecture and as we have expanded interest in preservation, we have found that the supply of trained craftspeople has not caught up with demand,” said PBN Executive Director Jessie Fisher. “We are very excited to continue this training program and incubate the next generation of tradespeople.”

The inaugural training course that launched in 2019 was attended by eight students, all of whom completed the course (window repair and rehabilitation). According to PBN, a number of the graduates are either currently working in the field already, or in the process of developing their own firms.

Now, for the second time, the Window Repair and Rehabilitation training course will be held, which will allow students to gain hands-on practice, learning the ins and outs of repairing wood sashes, glazing, and weights. The students will also be taught the importance of historic fenestration systems (the arrangement of windows and doors on the elevations of a building).

Once the class is underway, students will participate in instructional activities twice a week under the guidance of Steve Swiat of Northwood Historic Restoration.

“When properly rehabbed, retaining historic windows makes much more financial and environmental sense than replacing them,” said Swiat, who is considered an expert in this preservation domain. “I am excited to work with PBN and the New York State Historic Preservation Office to pass this knowledge onto the next generation of craftspeople.”

For further information, please refer to the following details:

Participants should have basic construction skills and be looking to expand their knowledge in specific preservation-related trades and crafts. The cost of the windows course is $750 before February 24 and $775 between February 24 and March 1. All course materials will be included. Because these courses are designed to be extremely hands-on, enrollment is strictly limited and early registration is highly recommended.

Additional information as well as enrollment applications can be found online at If you have questions or would like to learn more about available scholarship assistance, please contact Bridge Rauch at 716-852-3300 or The Traditional Trades Program is made possible by the generous support of the First Niagara Foundation.

Written by queenseyes


Newell Nussbaumer is 'queenseyes' - Eyes of the Queen City and Founder of Buffalo Rising. Co-founder Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts. Co-founder Powder Keg Festival that built the world's largest ice maze (Guinness Book of World Records). Instigator behind Emerald Beach at the Erie Basin Marina. Co-created Flurrious! winter festival. Co-creator of Rusty Chain Beer. Instigator behind Saturday Artisan Market (SAM) at Canalside, Buffalo Porchfest, and Paint vs. Paint. Founder of The Peddler retro and vintage market on Elmwood. Instigator behind Liberty Hound @ Canalside. Throws The Witches Ball at Statler City, the Hertel Alley Street Art Festival, and The Flutterby Festival.

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