- About Me
Bob Yapp planted the seed that began his involvement in historic preservation when he was a youngster working side by side with his dad in his woodworking shop. Then, as a teenager, progressed to helping his Dad with the many renovations of their family’s Craftsman Era home in Des Moines, Iowa.
From the beginning, Bob has dedicated his career to community planning, historic preservation, central city revitalization and woodworking. In the mid-1970s he spent several years as an apprentice to a German furniture 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 150 historic properties, many of them award winning. He usually has multiple ground-up restorations/renovations going on at any given time.
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 renovating historic homes. Bob, his wife Pat and their dog Betty live in Hannibal, Missouri. Their 1859 home is a brick Italianate located it the Central Park, National Historic District and is the headquarters for Bob’s new school, The Belvedere School for Practical Preservation.
Bob’s media career began in 1980s with a weekly column in 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 a monthly feature story on historic house restoration for the News-Gazette in Champaign, Illinois.
Soon after the Register column premiered he began a syndicated radio show also called The House Doctor. In 1996 Bob began writing, producing and hosting a national PBS television series called, About Your House with Bob Yapp. The 52 program series was partially underwritten by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
Since leaving PBS 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. In addition to teaching at The Belvedere School in Hannibal, he teaches and helped found the Preservation Trades Program for at-risk students at Hannibal High School.
Bob is the president of Preservation Resources, Inc. and travels America as a historic preservation and planning consultant. He gives keynote speeches, conducts seminars and hands-on workshops on just about any subject having to do with preservation, housing and community. In 2005 Bob was a Design Panel Judge for the National Endowment for the Arts in Washington D.C.
Bob’s first book, About Your House, was published by Bay Books in December 1997. He is finishing up his second book comparing new housing developments to turn-around central city historic neighborhoods. Bob hopes it will be in the bookstores by the end of 2010.
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