Margaret Conway, Traditional Plasterer, joins EverGreene this summer as part of her on-site experience “externship” as she pursues her BAS (Bachelor of Applied Sciences) in the Traditional Building Arts from The American College of the Building Arts (ACBA). ACBA provides a unique four-year college experience, training the next generation of artisans by integrating professional training in the building arts with a broad-based liberal arts core curriculum. ACBA trains artisans to foster exceptional craftsmanship and encourage the preservation, enrichment and understanding of the world’s architectural heritage. This combination of education, training, and access to highly experienced faculty is available nowhere else in the United States.
As part of National Intern Day this July, we spoke with Margaret and want to share our excitement for those studying the trades and how EverGreene plays a vital part in hands-on learning for the next generation of plasterers around the country.
So, you like to create, using your hands…tell us about the ACBA program and how you decided to change your career trajectory?
I have always had a love for preservation which I inherited from my Irish-born parents and the summers I spent in Ireland as a child. As soon as I toured ACBA, I knew instantly my life path was changed forever. I was drawn to the creativity and versatility of plaster. ACBA’s rigorous curriculum and faculty are top notch so I’m excited about my future. My ultimate goal is to specialize in preserving historical churches around the world with special emphasis in my hometown of Charleston, SC – aka – “The Holy City.”
What inspired you to apply for an externship at EverGreene?
ACBA requires students get hands-on experience every summer, so I researched companies that specialize in preservation work and leaders in their field. EverGreene was at the top of that list, so I told my professor that is where I wanted to work. I am thrilled they selected me for this amazing opportunity. This summer, I have worked on preservation plaster and stucco projects at the Shubert Theatre on Broadway and The Church of the Ascension on the upper west side. I also got to spend a day at the Palace Theatre watching and learning creative plaster techniques on a massive project in Times Square. EverGreene is headquartered in Brooklyn, where I also spent a week at their Plaster Studio, helping restore beautiful decorative moldings which were removed from an infamous NYC luxury hotel. Overall, my internship experience has been amazing!
I grew up in NYC, graduated from FIT and worked in the advertising industry so I was very comfortable working in NYC and of course working close to Broadway to take in a few shows!
What do you value most about this experience?
Within two months, I have been able to work on iconic and historic buildings which was only possible because of EverGreene and their internship program. From the moment I arrived, they made me a priority and provided me with opportunities to work on multiple projects and be completely hands-on. Every person I interacted with at the company was very knowledgeable, skilled, and passionate about preservation and took the time to teach me. My experience was incredible and one that I will treasure!
Thank you Margaret for sharing your experience and helping our team celebrate National Intern Day!