Downtown Washington Inc. will host a Preservation Academy open to area residents.

The program will be offered on three Saturdays in March, April and May. People do not have to attend all three sessions.

Those who do attend a full Saturday session, which will run from 8 a.m. to noon, will receive a refund in the form of downtown gift certificates, along with breakfast and a $10 gift certificate for lunch.

The sessions are being funded by the Missouri Department of Economic Development.

Bridgette Kelch, Downtown Washington Inc. executive director, said her organization agreed to offer educational sessions to the public on its grant application for NAP (Neighborhood Assistance Program) tax credits, which were received. The downtown office still has NAP credits available, she noted.

All of the sessions for the Preservation Academy will be held in the lower level of the Washington Area Chamber of Commerce building at 323 W. Main St.

The first classes, Historic Window Preservation and Appropriate Historic Landscaping, will take place Saturday, March 30.

Greg Lamb, Old Growth Restoration, St. Louis, will share the tricks of the trade to not only restore historic windows, but to keep them looking great for decades.

The second speaker, Russ Volmert, Arcturis, St. Louis, will discuss how proper landscaping can enhance historic properties. Volmert, who lives in Washington, said choosing period correct plants will bring a property to the next level.

On Saturday, April 6, the first session will be on Historic Brick Preservation. Terry Firsick, Quality Masonry, Union, will discuss the ins and outs of historic brick care — from pointing to painting to using historic brick in new construction.

The second session that day will be Painting Historic Surfaces with Dick Watt of Dashco Painting, Union, who will discuss painting wood, metal, walls, ceilings, windows and doors of interiors and exteriors. He also will share tips on preparation and painting techniques.

The final session, Saturday, May 4, will be on Investing in Historic Properties and Financial Incentives for Historic Properties.

Andy Unerstall, a local contractor, Bryan Bogue, who owns historic properties, and Chris Eckelkamp, a local banker, will talk about what to look for in a historic property that you may be interested in investing in, including physical traits, current tenants, utilization of all floors and how to recognize a good business plan.

The three men all have been involved in Downtown Washington Inc.

The second session will be led by Sal Maniaci, community and economic development director, and Kelch, who will talk about local, state and federal incentives and how they can offset some of the cost of renovation of historic properties.

Kelch said the sessions will be of interest to those who own or rent historic properties or are interested in investing in such properties. The academy also is open to anyone outside the community as well.

“We’ve shared this with other Main Street communities so we may have some from out of town attending as well,” Kelch said, adding she hopes to have about 50 people at each session.

For more information, people may call the downtown office, 636-239-1743 or visit the Facebook page for 2019 Preservation Academy.