Photo courtesy CITYLAB
Photo courtesy CITYLAB

In 1989, Hurricane Hugo ripped through Charleston, S.C., destroying many buildings. During the rebuilding process, Mayor Joe Riley noticed a lack of skilled craftsmen and wanted to prevent these traditional building arts from passing away.

Finally in 2009, he and a group of preservationists were able to found the American College of Building Arts (ABCA), the only school in the country that offers a degree in these arts. The college currently has 43 students with an average age of 23:

"Every student in the college majors in building arts, but can choose one of six specializations: architectural stone, carpentry, forged architectural iron, masonry, plasterwork, or timber framing. The college seeks to combine a traditional liberal arts curriculum with intensive crafts training"

Go over to CITYLAB to learn more about ACBA and its impact: 

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