Historic Ithaca today announced that it has hired (actually, rehired!) Alphonse Pieper, Historic Ithaca’s Preservation Director in the late 1990s before moving on to start his own architectural salvage business in Homer, New York. Alphonse has an M.A. in Historic Preservation Planning from Cornell University, as does current Preservation Director, Jessica Evans. “In rejoining the organization,” says CEO Jim Tantillo, “Alphonse brings 30 years of experience in historic preservation construction and services, which, along with Jessica’s expertise, will be a great benefit to our members and community in helping to restore and maintain their historic and older homes.”

The preservation services program at Historic Ithaca is undergoing some major transformations that will further shape the organization’s mission of preserving “the future of the past.” Pieper will be running Significant Elements, and he will also be working closely with Evans to integrate Historic Ithaca’s preservation services program offerings into the day-to-day operation of Significant Elements.

“Preservation staff will now be available for consultations with customers at the Significant Elements building on Center Street during peak business hours,” says Pieper. “This means that when home owners or contractors come to buy historic doors, wood sashes, claw foot tubs, or ceiling tin, in addition to highly trained sales staff, a trained preservationist will be there as well-to work with customers more directly to provide technical assistance necessary to complete their projects.”

Historic Ithaca will also launch a “Conservation Lab,” a preservation program unlike any other in the entire Central New York region. Later this fall, Conservation Lab staff and volunteers will begin offering classes to people who are interested in preservation and who wants to learn more hands-on skills when it comes to renovating, repairing, or restoring historic buildings. Planned workshop themes include plaster repairs, energy efficiency techniques, re-pointing historic masonry, period interior design, and more.

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