2018 Intern Jay Dickason removing plaster from the courtyard wall at el zaguàn

2018 Intern Jay Dickason removing plaster from the courtyard wall at el zaguàn

2017 Intern Janell Keyser mixing adobe mud mortar at Casita Martina, Plaza del Cerro, Chimayo

2017 Intern Janell Keyser mixing adobe mud mortar at Casita Martina, Plaza del Cerro, Chimayo

Faith and John Gaw Meem Preservation Trades Internship

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

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 related organizations

  • To connect emerging professionals with others in the field

Internship Qualifications

  • Currently admitted to, enrolled in or recently graduated from a college-level preservation or related program

  • Desire to gain experience in preservation trades

  • Prior experience in construction appreciated but not required

  • Basic skills in carpentry, masonry and related trades appreciated but not required

  • Ownership of basic tools appreciated but not required

  • Access to reliable transportation for travel to work sites (mileage will be compensated)

  • Term of internship is 10 weeks

Intern Duties

  • Work under direction of HSFF staff performing maintenance, repairs and conservation of historic properties in northern New Mexico

  • Attend monthly meetings of HSFF Board

  • Attend bi-monthly meetings of Santa Fe’s Historic Districts Review Board

  • 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

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 and building design 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 tradespeople 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

Applications are not currently being accepted, please check back at a later date or or contact mara@historicsantafe.org to enquire about the 2020 program.