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TBCS Salem, MA, July 2017

Hamilton Hall

The Traditional Building Conference bewitched a capacity crowd in historic Salem, July 18-19. Salem, the historic seaport known best for its witch craft, was the perfect location for a conference about traditional building craft, materials and methods. The town has the largest concentration of First Period buildings, and several historic federal-style buildings designed by Samuel McIntire. Attendees learned from experts in the classroom and from charismatic docents in the field, on walking tours of Salem.

Salem city Mayor Kim Driscoll welcomed conference attendees and acknowledged our commitment to preserving historic building fabric, in Salem and elsewhere around the region.

Mayor Kim Driscoll

Mayor Kim Driscoll

In a two-day conference there were four educational sessions and two architectural tours:

Traditional Wooden Windows: Repair, Replace, Detail, and Weatherize; Traditional Building and Contemporary Structural Repair: The House of the Seven Gables; Salem Massachusetts and the First Period (1620-1720): Lecture and Tour; Historic Preservation, Sustainability, and Energy Conservation: Collision and Compatibility; Traditional Lime Mortar: In-Kind or “Like for Like” A Conservation Approach to Masonry Restoration; and Samuel McIntire (1757-1811) Tour.

Tour of the House of the Seven Gables

Tour of the House of the Seven Gables

Speakers included Bill Barlow, FAIA; Fabio Bardini, Mason; Jean Carroon, FAIA; Jason Forney, AIA; Alison Hardy, Window Woman of New England; David Hart, AIA; Richard Jones, AIA; Stephen Mallory, Architectural Conservator; David Martin, CEO, Allied Window; James McAllister, Salem City Historian; David Moffat, Researcher, The House of the Seven Gables; John Sandor, US National Park Service; Scott Stephens, Groundroot Preservation; Kyle Sword, Pilkington North America; Christine Tompson, Decorative Arts Conservator; Gary Tondorf-Dick, AIA; John Wathne, PE and some well-informed guides from The House of the Seven Gables; Historic New England’s Gedney House and the Pickman and Ward Houses at Peabody Essex Museum. The program drew its faculty heavily from the abundance of talent right in Salem and in Greater Boston.

Underwriters for the Traditional Building Conference, “Materials and Methods” provide valuable technical expertise as well. Product and service suppliers which serve historic restoration, renovation, and traditional building include platinum sponsors Allied Window, Crown Point Cabinetry, Marvin Windows and Doors, Historical Arts and Casting, Ludowici, Pilkington North America, Unico, and Wiemann Metalcraft.

Bronze sponsors are: Architectural Components, Ball and Ball, Crittall, Heritage Tile, Indow, New Horizon Shutters, and Thermolite who underwrote the lively cocktail reception at Salem’s hot spot, the Adriatic, on the first evening of the event.

Palladio Awards Reception

Palladio Awards Reception

The third and final stop on the 2017 Traditional Building Conference Series tour is Brooklyn New York, December 5-6. The conference will take place at the Grand Prospect Hall. Visit for more information and registration.

The Traditional Building Conference Series serves professionals who practice new traditional building and historic preservation, rehabilitation, and renovation for residential, commercial, and institutional buildings. The Traditional Building events are produced by the publisher of

Period Homes, Traditional Building, Old-House Journal, New Old House, Early Homes, Arts & Crafts Homes, and the Design Center Sourcebook.

Free web seminars, live and on demand, are available on Most education courses offer AIA Health Safety and Welfare credits for architects seeking continuing education. Both the conference and webinars offer credits for some NAHB certifications and for NARI and AIBD members seeking continuing education credit. The conference series recently became a registered provider for the Massachusetts Construction Supervisor Licensing Continuing Education Program.