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Wrapup: April 2022 Alexandria, VA Traditional Building Conference

Historic, walkable, and fun! Alexandria, Virginia was the setting for the first Traditional Building Conference of 2022.

Alexandria VA.
April 19, 2022
Contact: Carolyn Walsh:

The venue: George Washington National Masonic Memorial

The venue: George Washington National Masonic Memorial

Education sessions kicked-off with a comprehensive look at windows, glass technology, wood, steel and bronze window repair and replication; storm windows, and the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Window Rehabilitation. Ashley Wilson, FAIA, formerly the Graham Gund Architect at the National Trust for Historic Preservation was the moderator for a panel of experts which included David Martin, Allied Window; Tim McFadden, Cold Mountain Custom Window and Door Distributors; Jim Nelson, Mon-Ray; Russ Oliveri, Oliveri Architectural Windows and Doors; Michael Shields, Blackberry Systems; Kyle Sword, Pilkington North America, NSG; Chad Thorell, Historical Arts and Casting; and John Sandor, Architectural Historian, U.S. National Park Service.


Professor Tonya Ohnstad, AIA, The Catholic University of America, described an innovative project-collaboration between her architecture students and timber framers to reconstruct truss number 6 from the Notre Dame Cathedral. This timber truss was part of an exhibit detailing medieval timber framing techniques, on display at the National Building Museum.

Chris Tidwell, Vice President, Aeratis, discussed the use of substitute materials for porch decks. He explained the limitations of current material and new options for high performance, traditional tongue and groove porch floors.

Architectural tour of the Woodlawn Mansion

Architectural tour of the Woodlawn Mansion

Al Cox, FAIA, former director of historic preservation for the City of Alexandria and Christine Roberts, member of the Board of Architectural Review for the City of Alexandria led architectural tours of historic Alexandria VA. Renowned for its row houses, adaptive reuse and preservation standards, the city is a learning laboratory for architectural history and historic preservation. An additional tour led by David Bell, AIA, and John Matteo, PE, focused on commercial rehabilitation projects in downtown Alexandria.

Ashley Wilson, FAIA and Hank Handler, Vice President of Oak Grove Restoration, led a tour at Woodlawn and the Pope-Leighey House, a National Trust for Historic Preservation site. The tour focused on window preservation at Woodlawn, conservation of the cladding at Pope-Leighey, and masonry repairs for an agricultural outbuilding at the site.

An architectural tour of the George Washington Masonic National Memorial

An architectural tour of the George Washington Masonic National Memorial

The George Washington National Masonic Memorial, the Traditional Building Conference venue, was the subject of a tour led by Shawn Eyre, Education and Events Director at the Memorial. The Memorial’s form was inspired by the lighthouse of Alexandria, Egypt, one of the ancient Seven Wonders of the World, and its design reflects the classical architecture of Greece and Rome. The architect was Harvey Wiley Corbett (1873-1954),

Comprehensive lessons about masonry restoration and cleaning were presented by Mary Oehrlein, FAIA, Architect of the Capitol (consultant) and Constance Lai, FAIA, of Grunley Construction. Both speakers addressed new research and technologies for the preservation of historic stone, using the U.S. Capitol and the Supreme Court buildings as case studies.

Naomi Doddington, Consigli Construction with Hank Handler, Oak Grove Restoration presented the preservation program at Menokin, the home of Francis Lightfoot Lee, a signer of the Declaration of Independence. The house is a 300-year-old ruin but retains nearly 80 percent of its historic fabric. The Menokin Foundation has chosen to stabilize the ruin and infill the missing sections of the house with glass which will showcase this historic ruin without recreating missing elements.

Tour of the Pope-Leighey House

Tour of the Pope-Leighey House

Architect Jane Griswold Radocchia presented the “rule of thirds,” the daisy wheel, five ways to draw a square with a compass, straight edge, and pencil. She advised building professionals to use Practical Geometry in their work.

Platinum Sponsors participate in all three 2022 conferences. These material suppliers include Pilkington, NSG; Allied Window; Ludowici; Cold Mountain Custom and the Mix Lengo Group; Historical Arts & Casting; Aeratis; Oliveri Windows and Doors; and Mon-Ray.

Marvin Windows is a Silver sponsor, Rugo Stone and Cathedral Stone Products are Bronze sponsors.


The Traditional Building Conference Series faculty features industry experts and practitioners who present a mix of hands-on construction techniques, methods and materials, classical design, urban planning, and sustainable building practice for updating and preserving traditional and historic buildings of all types.

The next stop in the Traditional Building Conference Series is Newport, Rhode Island at the Newport Art Museum, June 14th and 15th.


The Traditional Building Conference Series is a registered provider of AIA continuing education credits. Credits for NARI, AIBD, and some NAHB certifications are available.