Ken Follett is a founding member and 1st past president of the Preservation Trades Network as well as a longtime member of APTI and APT Northeast. Based in Putnam County, NY, his work is primarily in the NY/CT/NJ region with occasional stints in places such as Washington, DC, and Coloma, CA. His trade background is in masonry with an emphasis on playing with stone. Beyond stone, Ken has several decades of contract experience in project estimating, administration and management. Most notably in terms of education was his two and a half years as clerk-of-the-works on a $20M redevelopment project in Harlem for the NYC Transit Authority.
Currently Ken works in partnership with his son David Follett to provide in-field support services to structural engineers, architects and conservators in their design investigations of existing and historic structures. As a hands-on project consultant, Ken assists project teams in resolution of heritage conservation problems, most recently to resolve a project-killing issue for the award winning Eberhard Pencil Factory buildings at 58 Kent Street in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Ken also gets involved in small projects, such as deconstructing and reconstructing a Stanford White fireplace, designated mason in a Guastavino tile vault workshop, righting a tipped cemetery obelisk, or matching an existing custom stucco recipe. Ken also works with heritage contractors as well as materials suppliers, assisting them in their business development.
For eighteen years Ken was executive vice-president of a specialty historic restoration contracting firm in Brooklyn, NY. In the role of contractor Ken was responsible for the negotiation, planning and project management (for which Christian & Son was a team member) to relocate Thomas Edison’s #11 laboratory building from the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, MI, to its original site in West Orange, NJ. Of similar note was assisting the design investigation team for the Edison Memorial Tower in Menlo Park, NJ (a John Early concrete panel structure). He was also involved in the preconstruction and probe investigation activities for both the New Amsterdam Theater and the Grand Central Retail Redevelopment projects in NYC. Another project of note, involving public art, was the demounting and conservation of the Paul Manship Medallions from the NY Coliseum that were relocated and mounted at the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel Ventilation Building in Manhattan at the north side of Battery Park. Ken was the contractor and project manager for the multiple award winning exterior restoration of the Barnes & Noble corporate headquarters at the north end of Union Square in Manhattan, New York.
As a writer Ken has over the years published in a number of venues including Traditional Building, Building Renovation, CRM, APT Bulletin and APT Communiqué. Otherwise Ken speaks in public rarely, prefers to encourage and enable the more bold and outspoken, and even more rarely will direct a workshop (estimating for heritage conservation work)… though he has organized quite a few workshop and work experiences for others.
Experienced in contract procedure with the following public agencies: NYC Historic House Trust, GSA, U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, US Coast Guard, National Park Service, FDA, HUD, NYCTA, MTA Bridges & Tunnels, NYC DDC, and NYC Parks.