American College of the Building Arts Still Accepting Students for the Fall Semester

The American College of the Building Arts was created some years ago in the historic city of Charleston, SC, to address the national lack of master craftsmen. Quality design and craftsmanship training had been steadily declining throughout the nation as technology gradually displaced traditional construction practices. The college is truly one of its kind in the United States, the very first in the US to offer a four-year degree teaching traditional trades through a liberal arts education.

With the new school year approaching, the college is accepting its last students for this upcoming semester.

Acceptance criteria include a completed application, high school/college transcripts, application fee of $50, essay (300-500 words), portfolio that shows the artistic abilities of the applicant, SAT 1050/ACT 22 (if no college experience) and a personal interview with an admissions officer.

With an innovative education model and under the direction of ACBA’s highly experienced faculty, students are trained in the traditional building arts – architectural stone, carpentry, forged architectural ironwork, plaster working, preservation masonry and timber framing. The inspiration for ACBA was a 600 –year-old French training school for artisans, Les Compagnons du Devoir. Presently, the college faculty is working on a new, exciting curriculum for 2010-2011.

“We created our curriculum to teach students skills that practically vanished from our modern world. After graduation, they will use these skills to sustain our America’s historic heritage,” says John Paul Huguley, the college’s founder.

The college is located at the old Charleston City Jail in the heart of the historic downtown Charleston. Its placement in one of the oldest buildings in Charleston and one of the most beautiful historic cities in the United States allows the college’s students to learn trades and the importance of preservation and sustainability. Yet, it also prepares them for a career in modern world.

“Many of our students select our college because they are passionate about historic preservation and are also looking for a different college experience,” continues Huguley. Students spend 18 hours per week in workshops and 12/15 in a class room. This unique education prepares them for the competitive world of the construction industry. Many however fall in-love with the art of historic preservation during their internship (in the US or abroad).

For more information visit our website at

The American College of the Building Arts educates and trains artisans in the traditional building arts to foster exceptional craftsmanship and encourage the preservation, enrichment, and understanding of the world’s architectural heritage through a liberal arts education.


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