Public Speaking

An in-demand speaker and adjunct instructor at Drew University (1997-2014), Gordon Bock travels around the United States teaching courses, seminars, and workshops on a variety of architecture, historic building, and preservation topics, as well as giving popular keynote speeches to groups large and small. Listed below is his current calendar followed by a general summary of his most asked-for subjects. For more information on a specific course or date, or to discuss a customized presentation, contact him at

2016-17Calendar                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Come see and meet Gordon at the following events:

October 5-6, Mount Vernon, VA

Historic Windows: Managing for Preservation, Maintenance, and Energy Conservation; Two-day intensive training seminar presented by National Preservation Institute; for more information or to register, visit

November 4,5,6, Savannah, GA

Historic Window Workshop: Weekend class and walking tour offered by Savannah Technical College; more information contact Historic Preservation program at

November 11,12,13, Savannah, GA

Bungalows and Arts & Crafts Houses: Weekend class and walking tour offered by Savannah Technical College; more information contact Historic Preservation program at


February TBA, Asheville, NC

Grove Park Inn Arts& Crafts Conference;                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Possible attendance at Old-House Journal booth and events.

April TBA, Orlando, FL

 AIA National Convention                                                                                                                                                Lecture, booksigning on The Vintage House ( with Mark Alan Hewitt FAIA.

May 3-4, Montpelier, VT

Historic Windows:Managing for Preservation, Maintenance, and Energy Conservation; Two-day intensive training seminar presented by National Preservation Institute; for more information or to register, visit



Historic Porches — Porches are not only uniquely American features, they are especially characteristic of historic houses. The trouble is they are also inherently prone to deterioration. This one-day or shorter course looks at the history, design, and repair of typical porch styles and construction methods, with particular focus on the problem areas of railings, columns, decking, roofing, and foundations.

The Vintage House: Ideas for Sensitive Additions and Successful Upgrades — Houses inevitably face the need for changes, most often by adapting to the needs of new lifestyles and services or incorporating additional space. This one-hour presentation explores ideas from the book The Vintage House for creating historically sympathetic — and practical changes by looking to traditional addition patterns as a guide, as well as solving some of the common renovation conundrums created by adding modern mechanical systems.

Wood and Resilient Floors — Short course (one day or shorter) on the history and types of wood flooring,  flooring repair techniques; wood-floor finishes, and an overview of linoleum and other historic resilient flooring materials.

Historic Windows — Customized to the needs, window types, and time frames of the audience, as in above examples.

What Time is Your Kitchen? –An informative and entertaining look at the evolution of the modern kitchen from 1830 to 1950 through archival images and photographs. Often presented as a one-hour keynote, this material can also be expanded to a day-long workshop to aid museum stewards, historic building professionals, and homeowners who want to understand what’s in their kitchens, or what they might have looked like in earlier eras.

Historic Bathrooms — The ever-changing  progress of tubs, showers, lavs, and loos from the earliest contraptions in the late 19th century, to the fantasy fixtures deluxe of the mid 20th century, as seen in archival images — ideal for a lighthearted, one-hour keynote to an audience of any level.

Exterior Paint for Historic Buildings — Beginning with a look at What is Paint? and the pre-industrial history of colors and coatings, this one-day workshop comprises an in-depth primer on the subject, from Why Paint Fails to proper paint techniques that last, what to do about removal, historic color research and color ideas for historic houses.

What is an Arts & Crafts House? — Originally presented as a six-evening course at Drew University, this presentation explores the origins of the Arts & Crafts movement that revolutionized house design just after 1900, and is reborn today a century later. Attendees will learn not only about the many social and technological forces that gave rise to this incredibly innovative ethos, but  also be able to identify and understand the (often confused) characteristic features, materials,  and architectural concepts that are the DNA  behind these buildings.

Historic Mouldings and Woodwork — Mouldings, door and window casings, wainscots, and other interior woodwork are the building blocks of interior architecture. This one-day or half-day workshop looks at the design history of mouldings, from their origins in the ancient world through 200 years of American house styles, and how they were made and applied in various eras.

Understanding Old-House Deterioration — An all-day primer in the actions and agents behind how and why historic building materials — wood, brick, metals, paint, etc. — deteriorate with ideas about how to control this process.

Historic Roofing (and Siding) — The essential components of a house’s protective skin, roofing and siding are also major design components with important historic characteristics. This lecture — from one hour to a full day, especially if combined with wood siding — presents an introduction to the history, nature,  and architectural effect of the most common roofing materials, including wood shingles, slate, ceramic tile, sheet metal , asphalt, and fiber cement.

What is the Historic House Market? Who is the Old-House Owner? — General background on the growth of interest in historic houses and buildings as it applies to owners, as well as the media,  and those seeking to understand and engage with them as a market.