The Timber Framers Guild is committed to connecting with communities and people, sharing the story of timber framing, and learning and teaching through doing.
To that end, we work with localities, non-profit organizations, and coalitions of organizations on educatonal programs that lead to beautiful timber frame structures that will benefit and strengthen the people and places where we work and live - as well as those far from our own homes. These structures enrich not only the lives of the people we serve - offering new gathering places in the form of farmers' market pavilions, amphitheaters, bridges, and community centers - the structures also enrich the lives of our members as we build skills and knowledge, meet new people, and rally behind a worthy project, working together to bring it to life.
Since 1988, the Timber Framers Guild has organized programs that led to over 100 timber frames for communities across North America and beyond. Most structures are for public or non-profit entities, such as towns, local, state, or federal agencies, land trusts, and community organizations. The participants include new members as well as old ones, and the local partners and projects fall into one of five categories: local agriculture; recreation, including bridges and pavilions; worship and contemplation; educational institutions and non-profit programs; and historic preservation and restoration.
Community Builds are collaborative efforts involving the Guild, the partner, other entities in the local area (such as donors or sponsors), and passionate people. Projects may take 4-9 months from initiation to execution, with the training and raising requiring a week or so and involving 20-50 people, including members of the Guild and an array of interested locals.
The Gateway Visitors' Center in Schuylerville, New York, was completed in partnership with the Historic Hudson-Hoosic Partnership. Culminating with a raising and celebration in June 2017, the project expanded the skills of more than 50 timber framers from across North America, who traveled to the region to learn from a team of instructors led by project manager Neil Godden, who is now executive director at the Heartwood School.