American College of the Building Arts

The American College of the Building Arts in Charleston, SC was created in 1998. A team inspired by legendary master blacksmith Philip Simmons and led by John Paul Huguley wanted to solve the problem that became evident when Hurricane Hugo severely damaged many of the city’s historic structures. There were only a few local craftsmen trained and qualified to restore these buildings.

ACBA offers programs in Architectural Stone, Carpentry, Forged Architectural Ironwork, Plaster Working, Preservation Masonry and Timber Framing. The college fosters exceptional craftsmanship and encourages the preservation and understanding of the world’s architectural heritage.

The Old Charleston Jail is the heart of the campus and is an official Save America’s Treasures project of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. After sitting vacant for over 60 years, it is being preserved as part of an on-going educational process. Lessons are not only applied in the classroom but to the classroom.