Bob Yapp

Bob Yapp

Bob Yapp, national expert in historic preservation will make a free presentation about the benefits of historic preservation. The talk is titled, “Preservation Doesn’t Cost--It Pays!” and will be held on Wednesday, July 28 at 7:00-9:00 p.m. in the Coyote Twin, Masaba Auditorium in Vermillion. In his talk Bob will walk the attendees through the myths and realities of historic preservation. He will address both the economic and cultural aspects of preservation with real science and data. Bob’s passion about county courthouses will be a part of this talk. There will be time for Q & A.

This event is sponsored by the Vermillion Historic Preservation Commission with partial funding from the National Park Service, Department of the Interior through the South Dakota State Historical Preservation Office.

Bob Yapp has dedicated his entire career to community planning, historic preservation, central city revitalization, teaching and woodworking. In the mid-1970s he was an apprentice to a German furniture designer and cabinetmaker. Soon afterward, he opened a business designing and building custom furniture and also bought his first house--a craftsman bungalow--to renovate. Since that time Bob has been involved in the restoration and rehabilitation of over 160 historic properties, many of them award winning. He usually has multiple ground-up restorations/renovations going on at any given time and has restored & weatherized over 8,000 historic windows.

In the 1980s he continued to restore homes and build furniture for clients from California to Chicago. His efforts in neighborhood revitalization of historic areas in the Midwest are renowned. Bob has been a historic property Realtor, owned a home inspection business and in 1991 was appointed the Housing Director for The Rock Island Economic Growth Corporation in Rock Island, Illinois. At Rock Island High School he started and taught a new voc-tech program to give students hands-on-experience in rehabbing historic homes.

Bob, his wife Pat and their dogs George & Gomer live in Hannibal, Missouri. Their 1859 antebellum home is a brick Italianate located it the Central Park, National Historic District. The home is headquarters for Bob’s school, The Belvedere School for Hands-On Preservation as well as the Belvedere Inn Bed & Breakfast.

Bob’s media career began in 1980s as an architectural feature writer and weekly columnist with the Des Moines Register as The House Doctor. He has written and co-written many woodworking and preservation articles in national magazines including; Meredith Publishing’s Wood Magazine and Renovation Style Magazine. Currently Bob writes and self-syndicates a monthly feature story on historic house restoration.

Soon after the Register column premiered, he began a syndicated radio show also called The House Doctor. In 1996 Bob started production of the national, weekly PBS program, About Your House with Bob Yapp and based out of WTTW in Chicago. Bob was executive producer, writer and host for this National Trust for Historic Preservation sponsored 52 show series. Bob has a blog at his website,

Since leaving PBS in 2001, Bob has dedicated himself to preservation education. In September 2002 Bob partnered with the Kentucky Heritage Council and the Pine Mountain Settlement School to found a hands-on training school to teach practical, cost effective restoration methodology. He has helped establish and taught at numerous preservation trades programs around the country in high schools and colleges. He was a regular instructor at the Campbell Center for Historic Preservation Studies where he teaches National Park Service Maintenance personnel Methods and Materials for the Maintenance and Rehabilitation of Historic Structures. In addition to operating and teaching at The Belvedere School for Hands-On Preservation in Hannibal, he founded and taught The Historic Preservation Trades Program for at-risk students at Hannibal High School.

Bob is the president of Preservation Resources, Inc. (PRI). PRI is a multi-tiered historic preservation consulting firm specializing in social policy; neighborhood revitalization; historic preservation commission training; hands-on field training for contractors and historic building owners; Main Street training; creation of how-to preservation materials for print and web-based training; creation of historic preservation design guidelines and ordinances; development of specifications for historic preservation rehabilitation projects.

Bob travels America giving keynote speeches, conducting seminars and hands-on workshops on just about any subject having to do with historic preservation, housing, and community. Bob is also a regular member of the Design Panel for the National Endowment for the Arts in Washington D.C. as well as a founding member of The National Window Preservation Standards Collaborative. He recently restored all the Cupola, Oxeye & Greenhouse windows at George Washington’s Mount Vernon Home. Bob’s first book, About Your House, was published by Bay Books in December 1997 and he is a co-author & co-editor of The National Window Preservation Standards published in 2013.


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