Timber Framers Guild to Build Community Visitor’s Center in Schuylerville

This article is republished from the Madison County Courier

The Timber Framers Guild will conduct a 10-day Community Building Project in Schuylerville, raising the frame for the Champlain Canal Region Gateway Visitors’ Center Sept. 5 through 15 with a hand raising Sept. 14 and 15. The first level walkout will be built Aug. 8 through 12.

This fall, the Timber Framers Guild organizational members and volunteers will raise the new Gateway Community Visitor’s Center in Schuylerville. This site is adjacent to the old Champlain Canal and is being used as a gateway to inform visitors of other historic locations in the area.

The first level will be built by TFG instructors and volunteers Aug. 8 through 12; from Sept. 5 through 15, instructors will work with more than 50 students and volunteers to process approximately 24,000 board feet of locally sourced white pine and red oak timbers to form and raise the structure.

Timber Framers Guild Project Manager Neil Godden, in collaboration with the architects of Saratoga Associates, and TFG member Mike Beganyi, have incorporated characteristics of the Dutch barn frames native to the area into the design.

“The timber frame is a modern take on a traditional Dutch style barn that was common in the Hudson Valley,” Beganyi said. “The traditional design has been adapted to meet program requirements for a visitor center, which will house interpretive displays rotating exhibits and host community events.”

Large anchor beams with thru tenons and celebrated joinery will tie the frame of locally harvested pine and hardwoods together.

A community hand-raising of the Gateway Community Visitor’s Center frame will take place Sept. 14 and 15.

“A hand raising such as the one we’ll conduct to conclude this event is something the community and the participants will remember for the rest of their lives,” said Timber Framers Guild Executive Director Jeff Arvin.

Since 1988, the Timber Framers Guild has collaborated with communities to create more than 75 timber frame structures. Throughout that time, they’ve worked in the U.S., Canada, Suriname and Poland and have built timber frames for bridges, market pavilions, picnic shelters, park structures and house frames for a Habitat for Humanity affiliate.

“Community Building projects are the heart and soul of the Timber Framers Guild: they are where all points of our mission converge,” Arvin said. “Through these projects, we teach the craft, promote the craft and serve the greater community.”

The Guild’s experience with projects and workshops began modestly in 1989, the organization’s third year, with a pair of frame design workshops in Massachusetts. Plans were made to realize a daring project to raise two house frames and, moreover, to cut pieces for the frames at shops all over the world. Once completed, the timbers were brought together in Hannover, Pa., where some 400 timber framers assembled and raised the two frames. The sites were turned over to Habitat for Humanity and completed in collaboration.

The Timber Framers Guild is a nonprofit organized exclusively for educational purposes to provide training programs for timber framers, disseminate information about timber framing to the public, and serve as a general center of timber framing information for the professional and general public alike.

For more information about this project e-mail info@tfguild.org or call 360-746-6571.

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One thought on “Timber Framers Guild to Build Community Visitor’s Center in Schuylerville

  1. Pingback: Champlain Canal Region Gateway Visitors’ Center in Schuylerville, New York | Town of Saratoga Historian's Office

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