Michael Kelley, president of J.M. Kelley Ltd., was raised in upstate New York. Prior to being a full-time historic preservation contractor and consultant, he had been in the corporate world and had spent five years as a flight officer in the U.S. Marine Corps.
From the age of 16 however, after helping a family friend restore an 18th century farmhouse, he has pursued the study of period buildings and styles without a break. Taking courses and seminars relating to various aspects of restoration, buying and restoring houses, amassing a significant reference library, and traveling to England and Holland to study the roots of our architectural traditions, Mr. Kelley pursued his avocation with fervor. In 1988 he began restoration projects on a full-time basis.
Aside from his construction projects and consulting, Mr. Kelley has appeared on HGTV, Old Homes Restored, and has presented papers at the restoration forums at Eastfield Village, School of Historic Preservation, Traditional Building Conferences in Washington DC and Boston and at numerous historical societies.
In 2003, Mr. Kelley began a consultant and contractor relationship with the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. These included numerous projects and were completed in 2008.
"Mike Kelley is one part contractor, one part historian. We hired him for the re-model of our early Federal home because we knew that he would be the guardian of the original builder's intent.
We got that and more. The construction process was a living history lesson - from late-18th century nail-making techniques to early truss systems.
Mike's thoughtful and high-quality work will help our house live through the next 230 years of its history."
Helen and David Herrick