How many times have you heard the lament, "They sure don't build 'em like that anymore"? Well, at the Traditional Building Skills Institute they do. The Traditional Building Skills Institute, or TBSI, at Snow College teaches the use of skills, such as woodcarving, plastering, decorative painting, and millwork, in both preserving historic buildings and new construction.
Established by the Utah State Historical Society, the University of Utah Graduate School of Architecture, and Snow College, TBSI offers three-day workshops taught by master craftspeople to homeowners, contractors, architects, and college students. Workshop participants learn construction practices, the philosophy of historic preservation, the use of tools and materials, and gain hands-on experience.
TBSI students also benefit local heritage by using their skills to preserve historic buildings in Sanpete County. For example, several Log and Timber Restoration workshops facilitated the move and restoration of the historic C.C.A. Christensen Cabin. Restoration work included chinking, daubing, roofing, water sealing, and building a new door. At the Moroni Opera House, students practiced cleaning and repointing masonry as well as repairing historic woodwork.
TBSI provides a vital service to Utah's preservation community. By training people in what are often perceived as dying crafts, TBSI helps insure there will be skilled professionals to meet Utah's preservation needs.