Musings: Preservation Maintenance

Mount Vernon

Last week, I attended a National Preservation Institute (NPI) training session on Preservation Maintenance. The session was taught by Alfonso Narvaez, who owns his own preservation conservation firm Aeon Preservation Services. I was fortunate to receive a scholarship from NPI to attend the training, which was held at Mount Vernon in Virginia.

In short, the training was extremely helpful in furthering my understanding of historic structures and how best to maintain them for continued use. I highly recommend the training for those involved in CRM work because it gives a good foundation of things to keep in mind during structures projects – especially as it relates to best practices in maintaining or rehabilitating a historic building. The training also gave me a lot to think about in just my general understanding of preservation, too. In listening to Alfonso speak and the comments of other attendees, it really affirmed for me that too often we look to the easy way of maintaining or rehabbing a historic building. Putting both the time and money into exploring the options, including testing different products or designs, only means you’ll get a better end product versus something that may fail. Maintaining historic buildings is not going to be easy, so we should stop trying the easy way!

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