Meet a Volunteer

Francis Mill restoration volunteer

Jerry Donahoe
Jerry's adventure in preservation resulted in strong connections within his adopted community and beyond.
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Past Adventures

Volunteer Heritage Conservation Projects

Adventures in Preservation helps make preservation happen; our volunteers have worked at more than thirty projects in seven countries. Browse through the list below for an idea of the types of volunteer heritage conservation projects we have been involved with, and get inspired to join us where we’re working next.

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Gyumri, Armenia – May 2018

Five women successfully completed conservation of original balcony posts, demonstrating to the local community the power of pitching in and volunteering. AiP jammers and community members will take on the next phase in May 2019.

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Kulla Conservation in KosovoKULLA CONSERVATION IN KOSOVO

Drenoc, Kosovo – May 2016

Jammers plastered, hammered and hewed at the historic kulla Isuf Mazrekahf as they helped complete restoration of an increasingly rare form of tower house in Kosovo.

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Volunteer Heritage Conservation in GjirokastraHERITAGE CONSERVATION IN GJIROKASTRA

Gjirokastra, Albania – May 2015

In just two weeks a truly international team of volunteers documented decorative paintings at one of Gjirokastra’s famed tower houses, did a condition assessment at a second, and completed photo and video documentation of hard-to-reach sites.

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Gloucester, Virginia, USA – August 2013, August 2014

Jammers found artifacts and a ton of fun, among other things, as they excavated, explored, stabilized the foundation of an 1694 manor house in Virginia’s Middle Peninsula.

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Volunteer heritage conservation in VirginiaPLASTERING AT THE PUMPS

Gloucester, Virginia USA – August 2012

A mix of equal parts fun and hard work was the perfect formula for success at this week-long plastering project with The Fairfield Foundation at the Edge Hill Service Station.

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Volunteer Heritage Conservation in DelawareRESTORING A PIECE OF AVIATION HISTORY

New Castle, Delaware, USA – August 2011

A hard-working team of AiP volunteers completely restored 32 windows at the massive Bellanca Air Hangar and still had plenty of time to experience all that historic New Castle has to offer.

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Volunteer Heritage Conservation in the BronxSHUTTER SHOP ON SHORE ROAD

Bronx, New York, USA – August 2011, August 2012, August 2013

AiP volunteers returned to the Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum to take on a new challenge, this time restoring the mansion’s interior wood shutters.

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Volunteer Heritage Conservation in VirginiaGLAZING AT THE GAS STATION

Gloucester, Virginia USA – May 2011

Many hands made light work as volunteers restored the windows of a 1930 Texaco station. They were able to save the original frames and increase the building’s energy efficiency by using their new glazing skills to install energy efficient panes.

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Volunteer Heritage Conservation in Lamu, KenyaCORAL RAG CONSERVATION IN KENYA

Lamu, Kenya – October 2010

Twelve young people learned to understand, appreciate and restore the traditional building type of the region in a joint project with Museums Kenya..

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Volunteer Heritage Conservation in AlbaniaSAVING THE BABAMETO HOUSE

Gjirokastra, Albania – September 2010

AiP volunteers tackled interior conservation issues at a massive stone tower house in old town Gjirokastra, a World Heritage site. A partnership with Cultural Heritage without Borders, the goal of the project is to provide conservation jobs skills training for local residents and encourage preservation of more of the city’s distinctive architectural heritage.

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Volunteer Heritage Conservation in SloveniaCONSERVING A 17TH CENTURY COUNTRY COTTAGE

Brecljevo, Slovenia – August 2010

The focus of our project in Brecljevo, Slovenia, was masonry conservation and correcting mistakes made during past repair work. AiP volunteers discovered secrets of the past both in the cottage and while touring historic sites and towns in this beautiful land.

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Volunteer Heritage Conservation in Bronx New York Adventures in PreservationGALLETING IN THE GARDEN

Bronx, New York, USA – August 2008, August 2009, August 2010

AiP volunteers learned the traditional art of galleting while repairing masonry walkways at the Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum. The three-year project to restore the terrace garden to its original 1914 Delano & Aldrich design was completed a year ahead of schedule.

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Volunteer Heritage Conservation in Cairo, Illinois CREATING AFFORDABLE HOUSING FROM SHOTGUNS

Cairo, Illinois, USA – June 2009

AiP volunteers joined a coalition of community organizations and began restoration of historic shotgun-style houses for use as affordable housing. After 3 months, students and community volunteers had largely completed one house; work on the second shotgun house began in 2010.

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Volunteer Heritage Conservation in masonry


Trappe, Pennsylvania, USA – May 2009

Four low-income youth interested in masonry conservation as a career worked and learned under the tutelage of Andy deGruchy to repoint the masonry façade of The Speaker’s House. One trainee was hired immediately following the workshop!

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Volunteer Heritage Conservation in Gjirokastra, Albania World Heritage CityRECORDING INSCRIPTIONS ON TOWER HOUSES

Gjirokastra, Albania – October 2008

Volunteers from five countries scoured Gjirokastra’s twisting streets and paths to document an intriguing blend of Ottoman, Orthodox, and secular inscriptions on the houses and shops of the city’s historic neighborhoods. This type of historic detailing is being lost as buildings are remodeled; the city now has critical documentation of its historic past.

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Volunteer Heritage Conservation in New Paltz, New YorkRE-PLASTERING THE JEAN [JACOB] HASBROUCK HOUSE

New Paltz, New York, USA – August 2007

Volunteers jumped into this project with both feet – literally – as they used traditional building materials and techniques in restoration work at one of the earliest houses in the French Huguenot settlement of New Paltz.

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Volunteer Heritage Conservation in Virginia City Montana historic preservation vacations Adventures in PreservationHISTORIC FINISHES AT THE DR. DAEMS-CORBETT HOUSE

Virginia City, Montana, USA – July 2007

This historic mining town has some outstanding examples of high-style finishes rarely seen on the hastily built structures of the Old West. Volunteers prepared and restored historic interior and exterior finish materials, including lime-based coatings, paints, varnishes and decorative treatments, providing a valuable boost to preservation efforts in the National Historic Landmark District

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Volunteer Heritage Conservation in Italy historic building conservation volunteer vacationsWORKING WITH WALL PAINTINGS AT THE MONASTERY OF SAN GIOVANNI BATTISTA

Serravalle, VT Italy – July 2007

Alma Ortolan, a leading Italian art and fresco conservator, welcomed AiP participants to her hometown to initiate a scientifically-based assessment of the cloister’s 17th century wall paintings and columns. One participant claimed that Alma was both an expert and a natural Italian wonder; and her mom’s Italian cooking was the best.

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Volunteer Heritage Conservation in Virginia City, Montana historic preservation volunteer vacation workshop Adventures in PreservationDOCUMENTING THE GILBERT BREWERY HOUSE

Virginia City, Montana, USA – July 2006

AiP joined forces with the Virginia City Institute of Preservation Research and Technology to help advance their preservation education program. Little did we know when we selected the Gilbert Brewery House for the project that a descendent of the brewery founders would join our team for the week of documentation work.

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Masonry Volunteer Heritage Conservation in Pennsylvania RESTORATION OF THE WEISEL BRIDGE

Quakertown, Pennsylvania, USA – September 2006

Andy deGruchy led an inspired group of AiP volunteers in fully restoring a masonry bridge in just two weeks. Work involved diverting the stream, digging out large tree roots, stabilizing and repointing. Volunteers called the experience “empowering” and credited Andy’s “can do” approach.

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Volunteer Heritage Conservation in North Carolina historic preservation volunteer vacations Adventures in PreservationRESTORATION OF THE FRANCIS MILL

Waynesville, North Carolina, USA – July 2004, July 2005, June 2006

AiP volunteers and community members brought the Francis Mill from a state of near-collapse back to a working mill over a three-year period. The mill now provides an education experience for local students and visitors from around the U.S.

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