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Engineering for Historic Timber Framing Workshop
Building techniques and issues arising in preservation

Building techniques and issues arising in preservation

February 9 - February 12, 2015

Natchitoches, LA

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Rudy explains to Andy Ferrell what the cut marks show in a rubbing of a timber.

Rudy explains to Andy Ferrell what the cut marks show in a rubbing of a timber.

The National Center for Preservation Technology and Training is partnering with the Preservation Trades Network, the Association for the Preservation Historic Natchitoches, and the Friends of NCPTT to hold a workshop investigating the engineering issues facing historic timber structures. This workshop will bring in preservation engineers, timber framers, site managers, historic building owners, and other parties to discuss best practices for planning and implementing these multi-faceted projects. The focus of these workshops will be African House, which a 200 year low fired brick and timber framed building, located at Melrose Plantation outside of Natchitoches.

Classroom sessions will be held at Lee H. Nelson hall with site visits to Melrose Plantation and Magnolia Plantation. Africa House, so named because local lore attributes it’s unusual umbrella-like roof to African building traditions, is a 200 year old structure built using both heavy timber and low-fired brick. Among the issues facing African House is a lack of understanding of the structural capabilities of traditional heavy timber joinery. During the engineering workshop, instructors experienced with historic timber framed structures will discuss this building technique and issues that arise during preservation, focusing on the example of African House. Participants will learn what is acceptable for these structures and what they need to look for when evaluating these buildings on their own.

Cost of the Workshop

$399 Regular Registration
$349 NPS Employee
$199 Student Registration (limited student seats are available. Student must provide photocopy of current student ID and a letter of interest. Student applications should be emailed to sarah_m_jackson@nps.gov before February 1, 2015).


Lisa Sasser has worked in preservation since 1972, beginning as a Museum Technician at the Ranching Heritage Center in Lubbock, Texas. In 1977, she received a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Texas Tech University, completing as a thesis project, a Historic Structures Report and restoration plan for a post-1680 houserow at Tesuque Pueblo, New Mexico. From 1979-1984 she was employed as a Historical Architect on the Northeast Team of the Denver Service Center, the centralized planning and design office of the National Park Service. She currently provides consulting, teaching and technical services for documentation, conservation, repair and maintenance of historic structures. Lisa is a founding member and past President of the Preservation Trades Network, and past President of the Timber Framers Guild.

Rudy R. Christian is a founding member and past president of the Timber Framers Guild, founding member and past president of Friends of Ohio Barns, founding member and past Executive Director of the Preservation Trades Network and is a founding member of the Traditional Timberframe Research and Advisory Group and the International Trades Education Initiative. His experience includes participation in the Quingue Forum, numerous speaking engagements and instructing educational workshops as well as publication of various articles about historic conservation.

Patrick Sparks, president of Sparks Engineering, Inc. in Round Rock, Texas, is a consultant specializing in the investigation, analysis, and rehabilitation of existing structures. He is a graduate of Texas A&M University and Georgia Tech. He is a long-time member and former director of the Association for Preservation Technology and is a professional fellow of the Center for Heritage Conservation at Texas A&M. He is also an expert member of ISCARSAH, an international committee for structural conservation.

For more information contact Sarah Marie Jackson at sarah_m_jackson@nps.gov or 318-356-7444.


Cost: Regular: $399, NPS Employees: $349, $199 for students

Date: February 9-12, 2015

AIA CES: More information available shortly

Location: Melrose Plantation, 3533 Highway 119, Melrose, LA 71452 — (318)-379-0055 http://www.melroseplantation.org/



321 2nd Street
Natchitoches, LA
Ask for John or Tod. Best time to reach them is early morning. Guests should mention NCPTT to get the discount of $86.00 per night (this does not include breakfast). You may also want to tell your registrants that Porterhouse owns 3 other B&B’s and may end up in one of them if the Porterhouse is full.
240 Bayou Pierre Cutoff Road
Natchitoches, LA
(318) 352-2920
There are limited number of cabins sleep 4+. Special rate of $125/night is available for the week of the workshop.
151 Hayes Ave
Natchitoches, LA 71457
(318) 228-8816
Discounted rate of $95/night if you mention the “Historic Timber Framing rate”.

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645 University Parkway, Natchitoches, LA 71457 United States
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National Center for Preservation Technology and Training
645 University Parkway
Natchitoches, LA 71457

Email: ncptt[at]nps.gov
Phone: (318) 356-7444
Fax: (318) 356-9119