Spring courses at Heritage Trades Academy: Interior plaster, exterior wood

Sign up now to learn valuable skills while developing career

COVINGTON, Ky. – Spring courses at the Covington Academy of Heritage Trades will teach you how to restore interior plaster and rebuild exterior wood trim and porches.

The Academy – which is supported by the City of Covington – is accepting applications for Spring 2024 courses designed to help residents develop careers in restoring historic buildings.

“We’re rapidly developing an exciting complement of courses that not only teach you valuable skills but also could lead to a rewarding career,” said Kaitlin Bryan, Regulatory Services Manager & Historic Preservation Specialist. “This is a great opportunity.”

You can register and learn more information online at Heritage Trades Academy. You can also schedule an appointment with program director Diane McConnell at (859) 640-4294 or

The majority of classes will be held at 1515 Madison Ave. The building – a massive and dilapidated historic building that used to house the Colonial Inn motel – is a sort of “living laboratory” (hands-on classroom) owned by the City and leased to the Enzweiler Building Institute, which is managing the Academy.

Note that before you start either the plaster or exterior woodwork courses, you must also attend an introductory weekend or week.

Spring schedule

  • March 4-7: Introductory Week. M-Th, 4-7pm. (Required for new students to enroll.)
  • March 11-April 25: Interior Plaster Restoration. M-Th, 4-7pm.
  • April 6-7: Introductory Weekend. Sat-Sun, 9am-4pm. (Required for new students to enroll.)
  • May 6-9: Introductory Week. M-Th, 4-7pm. (Required for new students to enroll.)
  • May 13-30: Exterior Carpentry and Porch Rebuild. M-Th, 9am-Noon and 4-7pm. (Sign up for either the morning or the evening classes.)


Meanwhile, details are being worked out for summer courses, which will include:

  • June - Stone Masonry Bootcamp. A one-week, fast-paced “boot camp” class will focus on historic masonry and stone foundation repair.
  • July - Storm Window Weekend. A Saturday-Sunday class will focus on storm window repair and construction.

About the Academy

The Covington Academy of Heritage Trades (CAHT) teaches the skills and knowledge needed to restore older homes and buildings to their former glory. Students learn to preserve the original features and historic significance while simultaneously modernizing and updating the functionality of the properties.

Students work side-by-side with skilled craftspeople who have dedicated their careers to mastering their trade. Through hands-on application in real properties, students gain practical experience that can translate into meaningful careers in the field of historic restoration.

The CAHT uses a historic building on Madison Avenue in Covington as its “living lab,” a primary site for hands-on learning activities. The former Colonial Inn features a veranda-roofed porch, gabled dormers, and exquisite woodwork. It was built in the 1880s as a glorious single-family home but has suffered from neglect over the past decades. CAHT’s goal is to convert the property into an office building while restoring its many historic features.


# # #