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The Faith and John Meem
Preservation Trades Internship

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The Historic Santa Fe Foundation currently is accepting applications for the 2016 Faith and John Gaw Meem Preservation Trades Internship. The 10-week program begins June 1, 2016 in Santa Fe, New Mexico. It permits a qualified student working in architecture, planning, design, or a similar field to gain hands-on experience in the theory and practice of preservation by working with foundation board members and staff.

Summer Internship Program Goals

  • To provide preservation trades training
  • To provide exposure to the daily workings of a local preservation organization
  • To provide opportunities to observe local, state and federal preservation agencies as well as other preservation organizations

Internship Qualifications

  • Currently admitted to, enrolled in or recently graduated from a college-level preservation program
  • Expressed desire to gain experience in preservation trades
  • Prior experience in construction
  • Basic skills in carpentry, masonry and related trades
  • Ownership of basic tools

Term of Internship is 10 weeks

Intern Duties

  • Work under direction of HSFF staff performing maintenance, repairs and conservation of HSFF properties
  • Attend monthly meetings of HSFF Board
  • Attend bi-monthly meetings of Santa Fe's Historic Design Review Board
  • Accompany, interview and observe activities of staff of City, State and Federal agencies involved in preservation efforts or other preservation organizations
  • Attend and assist with HSFF events during term of internship
  • Prepare and present an evaluation report on internship experience at the conclusion of the term
  • Reside in housing provided by the Foundation (unless you already have housing in Santa Fe)
  • Available to start on June 1st.


Intern will be compensated for 40 hour week at the rate of $11 per hour plus housing.

Internship Program's Response to Existing Needs

Heritage Preservation of nearly any kind depends ultimately on a team of skilled workers who have learned the ethics and approaches of preservation as well as the disciplines of their own trades. In particular, the knowledge and skills associated with the traditional building trades are at the heart of architectural conservation.

There is a growing awareness in the United States and abroad that contemporary trades education is not providing the learning opportunities needed to prepare individuals for the complex challenges that arise when conserving historic sites. Throughout the world, stakeholders in cultural heritage preservation are working to strengthen existing educational programs and create new models for training the next generation of craftspeople. In countries such as Japan, Germany, and France, customary education practices have been adapted in order to sustain and transfer knowledge of traditional building crafts and to meet current restoration and construction needs. A limited number of schools in the United States now offer traditional building trades training coupled with historic preservation courses.

However, few if any schools in America offer actual hands-on experience in conserving historic earthen architecture. It is this type of historic and prehistoric architecture that gives the southwest its unique regional flavor. Without crafters skilled in working with these materials, property owners are at a loss when seeking human resources to preserve and maintain our unique architectural heritage.

The HSFF summer internship program is conceived as a way of responding to the urgent needs for preservationists trained in the traditional crafts, especially those skills so essential for the appropriate conservation of the Southwest's unique vernacular architecture. These essential skills must be acquired over time, on actual sites, and under the mentorship of experienced craftsmen. The program provides a unique opportunity for preservation students to gain experience in the conservation of earthen architecture without sacrificing the opportunity for summer employment that is so essential for meeting educational expenses during the academic year.

Application Process

To apply, please send a cover letter, resume/curriculum vitae and completed questionnaire (PDF download) to:

Historic Santa Fe Foundation
545 Canyon Road Suite 2
Santa Fe, NM 87501
or email to info@historicsantafe.org

Applications will be accepted through March 15, 2016.


Rarely does reality live up to expectations, yet my experiences this summer as an intern with the Historic Santa Fe Foundation exceeded all expectations.  The Faith and John Gaw Meem Preservation Trades Internship appealed to me on many fronts:  my focus on historic preservation in graduate school;  Santa Fe’s location as the center of preservation activity in New Mexico;  the reputation of the Foundation both as an entity and individual board members being major influences in the preservation community; and the chance to dig into some old buildings and get hands-on experience. 


Martin Davenport

2005 Faith and John Meem Preservation Trades Intern



2015 Intern

Sonia Vinajeras-Gallegos



Past Interns

Martin Davenport 2005

Will Powell 2006

Ian Daitz 2007

Maria Patricia Rojas 2008

Josh Conrad 2009

Holly Strachan 2010

Peter K. Harper 2011

Keri L Stevenson 2012

Brittany W. Walker 2013

Rita Y. Cofield 2014


Mailing Address 545 Canyon Road Suite 2, Santa Fe NM 87501, 505-983-2567 Email