Timber Framing Project Fosters Unique Community
M Baxley
Community Voices

Timber Framing Project Fosters Unique Community

North House Folk School has a major campus building project underway, creating space for a new Welcome Center, school store, and two new classrooms. Tom Healy and Peter Henrikson are long-time timber framers and instructors at North House since its inception in 1997. The pair have been integral parts of guiding the cutting and raising of the timber frame that will become the Welcome Center.

Henrikson designed the frame along with LHB architects, the design company behind North House’s current major building project. He and Healy oversaw the cutting of the frame. According to Healy, the frame consists of 265 pieces, all cut by volunteer crews. 48 volunteers, nearly all former North House students, worked in groups of 16 for a week at a time to cut the frame.

Martha Williams was one of the volunteers. She described it as “a great joy and privilege,” especially since Henrikson and Healy were her first timber framing instructors. That initial class began a love of framing for her.

Though the frame was cut by volunteers, the raising portion of the project was done by professional timber framers and builders. The crew recently completed the raising, including attaching a traditional pine bough at the top.

Henrikson said of the finished frame, “Really, it’s always a shame that the frame has to get covered up on the outside, since you’ll never see it this way again. It’ll be spectacular from the inside, but you won’t see it from the outside.”

M Baxley spoke to Tom Healy, Peter Henrikson, and Matha Williams about the Welcome Center timber frame for WTIP. All photography, audio and video production by M Baxley.