TUSKEGEE, Ala. (WSFA) - Tuskegee University participated in a program this summer that aims to bring young African-American students working toward architecture degrees into historic preservation and related career paths.
Touching History: Preservation in Practice is a program developed jointly by the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, the National Park Service and the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s HOPE Crew designed to raise awareness about the importance of historic preservation and conservation while, at the same time, engaging a new generation of preservation professionals and complete urgent preservation work at America’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities campuses.
Six Tuskegee University architecture students, Kayla Heard, Trenton Scott, Rikeya Wallace, Domonique Jiles, Ty’kwon Summerville and Tyler Littles, traveled across the county working on a preservation and conservation project through this partnership with a HOPE (Hands-On Preservation Experience) Crew team.
“I didn’t know so much went into it, so it was interesting. It’s opening up as a career opportunity for me. I didn’t know this was a career opportunity, so this is nice to know we got so many different options,” said Littles.
Now the students are back in Tuskegee doing window restoration work on the Willcox E building.
“One of the biggest concerns of all industry is students having experience. These students are getting experience. Within the history of Tuskegee, it’s all about learning to do by doing," said Tuskegee University Architecture Department Head Kwesi Daniels. "So what we’re doing is really just following the cues that have been left for us. You gave us buildings that needed to be preserved and so now we found partners who thought that was kind of cool and they decided to support us in doing this work. So they sent us all over the country to get the requisite training to be able to do the work that we are now doing on campus.”
The window restoration project will expand the use of Willcox E and the Taylor School of Architecture and Construction Science’s capacity to teach preservation techniques and allow the school to develop and offer students in other disciplines a historic preservation minor.