1 Charleston is a city full of beautiful homes with historical information posted for passers-by to read. This is the Casimir Patrick House built c. 1827 by a tanner, Casimir Cornelius Patrick and is noted for its woodwork of the Regency Period.
2 The residents of Charleston foster exceptional craftsmanship and encourage the preservation of landmark homes and buildings.
3 In 1989, Hurricane Hugo caused much structural damage and property owners had to locate master crafters in Europe to repair their historic homes. Concerned preservationists approached the idea of creating an institution to address the national lack of master craftsmen.
4 After many years, the curriculum was developed and in 2009, the college moved to its present location, the old Charleston jail. This debtor’s jail was built in 1802 and was active until the 1930’s.
5 As you walk through the facility, you see reminders of what the building was built and used for. This is an original holding cell.
6 Many of the original, solid doors were preserved throughout. This school is dedicated to educating the next generation of building artisans and to preserving the building arts.
7 The students are trained in one of six areas - architectural stonework, carpentry, forged architectural ironwork, preservation masonry, plaster working, and timber framing. The first class graduated in 2009.
8 We were greeted at the entrance of the college by Kerri Forrest - Director of Institutional Advancement - who kindly gave us a tour of the college.
9 In this hallway, you encounter examples of forged architectural ironwork.
10 These two staircases were built by skilled artisans at the college. Walking through the facility is like walking through a living laboratory.
11 Student Hugh Holburn and Professor Richard Guthrie used these tools to demonstrate blacksmithing techniques at the 2012 Masters of the Building Arts Festival, a fascinating open house at the school.
12 This is the plastering room. Plastering is the trade that has changed the least over the years. The skills required for this trade are time-tested.
13 Plasterers help create a finished look for any room. Students Ben Smiley and Emily Gillett mixed plaster before pouring it into a mold for a fireplace surround.
14 Here are some of the plaster designs the students are taught - ceiling borders and medallions. A skilled plaster worker can transform a space from ordinary to extraordinary.
15 Part of the satisfaction in attending ACBA is the ability to directly impact your college’s campus by working on the building. Here is an example of new plaster being applied to the old jail walls.
16 On display in a newly completed hallway are all the materials used for the project.
17 Student James Hess working on a project for his drawing and drafting course. Each student is required to take three semesters. ACBA finds it important to unite one's ideas with the ability to express it with one's hands. Constructively, the idea is a clearer project to the end customer.
18 The college had just renovated and moved the college library.
19 The college had received a generous donation of 4,000 books and a set of Antiques magazines from the 1930’s.
20 Walking through the facility, it was interesting to see that many old doors from the jail had been preserved.
21 There were many student projects on display, like this stained glass design.
22 The Forged Architectural Ironwork Program trains students to work with various types of metal. Here is a metal design project.
23 This college is a great addition to Charleston and to the preservation of American treasures. It was interesting to see a historical landmark of Charleston used to support the preservation of skilled artisans in the building arts.