Preservation Through Practice

Preservation through Practice© recruits, teaches and trains craftsman and construction novices through hands-on preservation courses to restore historic structures. Preservation Through Practice is geared to recruit and train participants, including military veterans, in a real-life construction site and workshop setting to learn the “tools of the trade” when it comes to doing preservation right!

Preservation through Practice will not only teach students key construction skills sought by preservation contractors, but provide participants with a basic appreciation of Los Angeles’ built heritage, care for and use of historic building materials, pertinent codes and regulations and a basic understanding of current market trends.

Why is this important? Over the last few years, the construction industry in Los Angeles County has shed nearly 35,000 jobs or about 20% of its 2007 workforce.  Finishing contractors were especially hard-hit, experiencing a 27% drop in employment over the same period. The near-term outlook for the industry as a whole remains bleak and likely to lag behind any general recovery in the building market. In opposition to this, the preservation and restoration of Los Angeles’s historic buildings is healthy and expected to grow. Trained with additional skills and knowledge, many displaced craft workers and those currently training to enter the market could become attractive candidates for employment.

Furthermore, there are over 6,000 homeless veterans and veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in Los Angeles, approximately 11% of the Nation’s total homeless veteran population. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, PTSD affects approximately 12-25% of returning troops from Iraq and Afghanistan alone.

Combining forces with LA’s premiere restoration company Preservation Arts and LA based New Directions, Inc. treatment center and transitional housing program for homeless Veterans, the museum’s training program will give veterans the opportunity to learn important and much needed skills for work-force re-entry.

Heritage Square Museum’s hand’s on training, Preservation through Practice, received generous support from funders such as United States Department of Labor, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the Ralph M. Parsons Foundation and the Weingart Foundation.

With this support and partnerships with Preservation Arts, New Directions, and Harvesting Happiness for Heroes, training and therapy for military veterans in the true art and skill of preservation has made positive results. These combined efforst has lead to the formation of the Veterans Preservation Corps.

Only by vigorous funding from corporations, foundations, government entities, and individuals will Preservation Through Practice and the Veterans Preservation Corp continue to meet its mission to provide proper historic preservation training and instruction for free to participants. Help us mold highly skilled, professional laborers needed to save Southern California’s historic landmarks and structures from our local community and veterans.  Please help Heritage Square and our partners continue to make a difference for our veterans. Donate now! Contact Heritage Square at 323-225-2700 ext. 222 to find out how you can make a difference.