In summer 2012, the Mary & Eliza Freeman Center for History and Community sponsored a training program for Historic Deconstruction. This program gave low-income, unemployed Bridgeport residents an opportunity to learn an upcoming construction specialty, buttressed with course work in occupation safety and hazardous materials mitigation. The Bridgeport Employment Job Training Program was essentially funded through the US Environmental Protection Agency. The WorkPlace, Inc. was lead agency; GBCE/The Green Team were the trainers.
The Freeman Center obtained a grant from the 1772 Foundation to support the apprentices during their hands-on phase of learning, as they assisted the Green Team crew leaders in dismantling sections of the building that had been added over the years, disfiguring the original architectural design. In coordination with Maisa Tisdale, the Center’s President and former City Historian, Charles Brilvitch, apprentices learned the history and importance of the structures as they learned construction, and were taught to recognize what to deconstruct and how to handle deconstructed components.
Historic Deconstruction Apprentices attended an archeological dig and were taught how to recover, research, and catalogue artifacts. The construction trailer became their archeological research and history space. These are just some of the items, recovered whole and with care, by our “Hardhat Docents” – the apprentices and The Green Team. We Thank them.