EVERY MEMBER of the Historical Concepts team is dedicated to perpetuating the ideals of classical and traditional design, yet each brings a unique set of experiences, inspirations, and talents to the firm. These diverse perspectives, along with a collaborative and supportive atmosphere, provide for a high level of synergy and teamwork. This philosophy fosters a family-like environment, with experienced team members who enjoy the camaraderie of working together to provide the highest levels of design and service.
CONNOR M. BINGHAM arrived at Historical Concepts as a summer intern in 2015 and started full-time in 2016 equipped with a diverse range of architectural education. Prior to graduating with a Bachelor of Architectural Studies from The Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture, Connor developed an appreciation for ornament and structure as architecture. These affinities quickly led him to the study of vernacular, traditional, and then classical architecture. As a graduate student at the University of Colorado-Denver, Connor was honored to be the recipient of the Institute of Classical Architecture and Art’s Robert and Judi Newman Student Award, distinguished himself as a two-time Clinton Scholar, and served as the President of the Students for Classical Architecture-Denver Chapter. Collaborating with the University and related professional organizations, he also developed two courses which assist students navigate their path to licensure. Connor notes that an architect must convey in drawings that which is not yet real. He loves the transition from idea to image, and from image to building. Connor has been fortunate to be witness to such beautiful buildings around the world, from much of Oceania, the Americas, Scandinavia, Western and Eastern Europe, Eastern Asia, and Northern Africa.
Mary Elizabeth Bland’s path to architecture can be traced to her upbringing. Her father and grandfather were both civil engineers; she credits them with her early interest in buildings. Her deep appreciation for Classical and Southern vernacular architecture, however, springs from her childhood domain: she grew up in an 1840s Greek Revival home in western Tennessee. At Centre College, a small liberal arts school, Mary Elizabeth was able to study both math and studio art, a subject that first awakened her attraction to classical proportions. While studying abroad, she began to see architecture as perhaps a truer expression of culture than the fine arts; buildings were “living art that people could become part of.” This epiphany led Mary Elizabeth to enroll in the Master of Architecture program at the University of Notre Dame. Here, the graduate student’s purpose and past began to converge; she studied classical architecture throughout Europe, but also explored the comparatively contemporary classicism in her own back yard, the American South. Upon graduation in 2015, Mary Elizabeth eagerly joined Historical Concepts based on the familiarity of the firm’s work. In the firm’s portfolio she sees her own history and a strong sense of place, something she intrinsically values and strives to create for others.
The New England environment in which he was raised inspired DAVID C. BRYANT’s interest in traditional architecture and building techniques. Dave spent a lot of time around vernacular farms with wonderful houses and outbuilding such as barns, corn cribs, well heads, and privies. Ultimately, his exposure to some of the finest examples of Georgian and Federal architecture in the country led Dave to pursue an education that combines engineering and architectural design with practical experience in the field of traditional timber frame construction. Dave has been with Historical Concepts since 1995. Dave is a Design Specialist who supports each studio, applying his extensive studies of the patterns and massing of small buildings, as well as his passion for historic, vernacular residential architecture, detailing, and construction methods to the firm’s projects, from initial schematic design through the construction phase. Dave possess a unique ability to detail interior spaces and he creates hand sketches of these details in support of many design development efforts. He has been an integral member of several Historical Concepts teams to receive residential accolades, including a Shutze Award in 2008. Dave is an active member of the Institute for Classical Architecture & Art. In his spare time Dave enjoys sailing a 25’ sloop and perfecting his home brew.
Newcomer ALLISON BUKER’s inclination towards her chosen career stems from growing up in Boston and Wilmington, Delaware, places that fueled an early fascination with history. Allison particularly recalls being enthralled by the opulent, classical estates and gardens of the Du Pont family, such as Winterthur and Longwood. She equally relished designing and building a treehouse with her father, a project that instilled an appreciation for vernacular ideals and the building arts. These influences remained a prominent theme throughout her education and eventually led Allison to a degree in historic preservation from the Savannah College of Art and Design, and then dual graduate degrees in architecture and city and regional planning from the Georgia Institute of Technology. Although Allison left traditional schooling behind to join Historical Concepts in 2016, she continues to immerse herself in a variety of design related pursuits outside of work. In addition to membership in an array of professional organizations, Allison is a passionate globetrotter. Travel enables her to tie interests in architecture, historic preservation, and city planning together. This past year Allison visited St. Petersburg, Russia; Tobermory, Scotland; Savannah, Georgia; Charleston, South Carolina; and Bridgton, Maine; quite an eclectic but inspiring mix of cities and towns in various stages of growth and revitalization.
From an early age CHRISTOPHER CARRIGAN had an affinity for drawing and math, but it was not until high school that he was introduced to architecture and became “hooked on the balance of design and technical drawing.” He has been with Historical Concepts for over ten years. Chris first joined the firm after graduating from the University of Notre Dame in 2002. In 2005, he decided to take a leave of absence to pursue graduate studies in suburban and town design, eventually returning to Historical Concepts with a Master of Architecture from the University of Miami in 2006. Chris has a deep passion for traditional architecture, mixed-use master planning, and campus planning, which he explores both at work and in his free time. He has been active in numerous civic and professional organizations such as the American Planning Association and the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art, and he served as President of the Atlanta Chapter of the Congress for the New Urbanism. His traditional architecture and master planning contributions are well-recognized within the firm and by his peers. Chris has managed custom residential, civic, and urban design projects, a number of which received Shutze Awards. Chris also serves as an Adjunct Faculty member at the University of Miami and an avid soccer player with a local recreation league. Despite being raised in the North, Chris makes a “mean batch of greens.”
LESLIE DAILY joined Historical Concepts in 2005. Her educational background includes a Bachelor of Science from Kansas State University in Apparel and Textile Marketing, but she calls upon her Master’s degree in Human Resources most frequently in her role as Human Resources Manager at Historical Concepts. In that capacity, Leslie is responsible for the company wellness program, the maintenance of multiple employee benefits programs, and ensuring that Historical Concepts employees understand each of those plans. Leslie is also an accomplished events planner, organizing company parties and celebrations. Leslie says the summer picnic is the event she most enjoys putting together because it features a number of traditional “picnic games” which bring out the sillier side of people, such as the egg toss and sack races. When not involved with projects for the firm, Leslie’s free time is focused on the three T’s; her twins, tennis, and travel.
CHRISTY S. DODSON joined Historical Concepts in 2013. She became familiar with the firm’s work while an architecture student at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Christy honed her skills on residential details, interior finishes, and on-site processes while working for a builder after graduation. Her particular knowledge of interior finish products, fixtures, and their installation details helps Historical Concepts plan for and incorporate these items seamlessly into the architectural design of a residence at the beginning of a project. Time spent in Paris, while a student at the École Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture de Paris La Villette, and other travels in Europe helped Christy develop her understanding of classical architecture and traditional town planning. She hopes to evolve a resulting interest in urban design and planning into a future area of expertise. Christy recently became Congress for the New Urbanism-Accredited and is involved in the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art. Outside of the office, you are likely to find Christy engaged in photography, travel, running, antiquing, or at the park with her dog.
CHRIS EILAND became interested in architecture for the way it combines so many of the seemingly unrelated traditional disciplines such as history, geography, philosophy, the arts, physics, engineering, and even business into a “built product.” Chris first came to Historical Concepts as a summer intern in 2004. He completed not one, but two internships at Historical Concepts before joining the firm full-time in 2006. Chris has a degree in architecture from the University of Notre Dame and considers himself a true “generalist” with a genuine interest in each phase of a project from schematic design and conceptualization to the construction phase. He appreciates that being a generalist means there will “always be something new to learn and apply to the next design problem.” Chris has contributed to a wide range of commercial, planning, and residential project types and was a member of the Historical Concepts team responsible for a Shutze Award in 2012 for the design of a classical pool pavilion. Outside of the office, Chris enjoys woodworking, hiking, and spending time with his family, especially his two young sons.
In 2001, DAWN FRITZ answered a classified ad to help Historical Concepts prepare some professional award entries, a job that was supposed to last a few weeks: she has been with the firm ever since. As the firm’s Marketing Manager, she enjoys speaking with prospective clients and sharing news about the firm with members of the media, bloggers, and via social media. In college, Dawn was an early adopter of “desktop publishing”, taking loans to buy a Macintosh SE (with a whopping 20 MB hard drive), and is amazed that she now gets paid for what was once an “expensive hobby.” She studied public relations and English at the University of Miami, and later earned a Master of Public Administration from the university’s School of Business. To date, her proudest Historical Concepts achievement was managing the production of the firm’s book, “Coming Home”, seeing it on bookstore shelves, and tracking its immense popularity on Amazon. Dawn’s responsibilities include scouting the firm’s finished projects and working with professional photographers to capture the true essence of each one. She particularly enjoys the fact that her position enables her to “read magazines on the job”, a perk that has resulted in a lengthy list of interior designers she’d love to see the firm collaborate with. Dawn says that her job as brand manager has many parallels to the work of Historical Concepts’ design team members; she’s given a project with a program and parameters, and has to create a vision and plan to bring it to life. When Dawn is not representing the firm, she and her husband are busy raising teenage boys, “just looking” at the Scott Antique Market, or indulging in serial watching of home design and improvement programs.
PAUL HAISLMAIER first came to Historical Concepts in 2013 as a summer intern and returned as a full-time member of the team in 2014 after graduating magna cum laude from the University of Miami. Paul became aware of the profession of architecture as a teenager, working residential construction with his father, doing rough framing and finish carpentry. After “putting a few walls in the wrong place” and having to redo the work, Paul began to figure out why things were “drawn the way they were” on plans. This led to an interest in the design of houses and a particular fascination with how construction details come together in the final product. A class on the history of architecture, which examined the work of the ancient Greeks and Romans, at the local community college solidified a burgeoning interest in traditional architecture. Paul’s education at the University of Miami, and his internship with Duany Plater-Zyberk, where he delved into the principles of urbanism and classicism as well as their practical applications, gave him an appreciation for the macro aspects of architecture too. When not working on residential designs or developer related projects, Paul enjoys the great outdoors, playing classical violin, or rooting enthusiastically for his favorite hockey team, the Washington Capitals.
PAUL KNIGHT found his way to Historical Concepts in 2006, yet the path was anything but straight. He studied astrophysics and civil engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology before a classmate opened his eyes to architecture, a field that would draw upon the many classical disciplines he had grown to love. This epiphany, along with a budding interest in the effects of history on town planning, led Paul to dual Masters degrees in Architecture and City Planning. Meanwhile, the J. Neel Reid Prize, a travel fellowship from the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation, saw Paul to Rome, Tivoli and California, following in the footsteps of Neel Reid and Philip Trammel Shutze. His refined drawings of the work of these renowned classical architects earned him the distinction of Emerging Classicist from the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art in 2010. Paul joined Historical Concepts full time in 2011 and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners. His research on the link between legal codes and the built environment has been presented at several national conferences. Additionally, Paul is a founding board member and President of the Douglas C. Allen Institute for the Study of Cities, a non-profit organization that advances knowledge in the fields of urban design, landscape architecture, and architecture.
KELLEN KRAUSE attributes his interest in architecture and urban design to experiences in high school and college. In Cleveland, Ohio, his high school was “a perfect study in urbanism and included a variety of building typologies” in a traditional campus setting. Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood, where Kellen attended college, opened his eyes to the freedoms that walkable environments with a mix of building types and uses can offer. Kellen came to Historical Concepts in 2014 after receiving his Master of Architecture from the University of Notre Dame. Prior to that, he earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Scene Design from DePaul University. With the Institute of Classical Architecture and Art, Kellen is active as an instructor, serves on the national Communications Committee and was appointed a charter member of its Young Members’ Task Force. His educational background, former life in Chicago, and personal experience traveling at home and abroad impressed upon Kellen that a mix of classical and traditional architecture, along with good urbanism, are conducive to a satisfying quality of life, as well as being the impetus of cultural resurgence. Kellen brings a unique understanding of the history, theory, and design of urban, classical, and traditional architecture to Historical Concepts. When not holding a pencil, he can be found playing piano, reading, or enjoying life under the wild blue yonder rather than a roof.
LINDSAY LABUDDE believes her love of architecture is rooted in a gift from her grandfather, an engineer. Despite his advice on putting together Barbie’s Hawaiian Hut, Lindsay, who was unable to read at the time, recalls perfect results based solely on “looking at the picture on the box.” As she got older, her interest in toys faded, but not her interest in housing and construction. She says, “I think I’ve always had an interest in how people use space, and how spaces work together.” Lindsay joined Historical Concepts in 2004 after completing her degree in architecture at the University of Arizona. Lindsay’s role as a project manager allows her to focus on her passion; interior finishes and design, where “everything has its place.” Her understanding of iconic architectural forms and details was a contributing factor in Historical Concepts’ Shutze Award in 2012 for the design of a classical pool pavilion. When not involved in schematic design or providing construction phase related services, Lindsay can be found with her family or engaging in various athletic pursuits. Her bucket list includes travel along the Mediterranean coast.
It is not often that someone changes the course of their education as dramatically as did JACQUES LEVET, JR.; however, when his background, personal interests, and various extracurricular activities are taken into consideration, the outcome seems inevitable. Jacques grew up outside New Orleans on a former 1820s plantation “in an environment that truly had a sense of place.” Although he exceled in the sciences, his biology notebooks were filled with sketches of houses, a clear indication that his heart belonged to architecture! While Jacques was pursuing a degree in biomedical engineering at Tulane University, and gaining an appreciation for “form-function relationships,” he became involved in the architecture and preservation community in New Orleans. He founded a youth-oriented organization, Louisiana, Home aimed at safeguarding the state’s cultural heritage via the engagement of youth and young professionals in preservation efforts and traditional trades. After two years of medical school, and becoming increasingly more passionate about architecture, Jacques learned of the concentration in Classical Architecture at Notre Dame. He took a leap of faith, applied, and was accepted. While at Notre Dame, Jacques received the Acanthus Award for classical and vernacular design and a Travel Fellowship to study American Greek Revival architecture. He joined Historical Concepts in 2015 after completing his Master of Architecture degree. In 2016, Jacques was awarded the J. Neel Reid Prize by the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation, a travel fellowship that will allow him to examine Thomas Jefferson’s time in Paris and how Jefferson’s application of the ideas he saw in France advanced the built environment at Monticello and the University of Virginia.
CAMDEN MCCLELLAND was hooked on architecture the first time he heard it described as “a profession in which science and art come together.” His fascination with traditional architecture was solidified during college while studying the drawings of ancient buildings. Camden came to Atlanta and joined Historical Concepts in 2012. He graduated cum laude from the University of Notre Dame in 2009, then spent several years working for firms in Washington State, Utah, and Washington, D.C. Camden is a LEED Accredited Professional. He particularly enjoys the personal interaction he has with clients and contractors, but Camden’s favorite parts of any project are “working out the symmetries of the plan” and specific trim details. He also appreciates the fact that the several of the most impactful design decisions you can make early in the process, for instance those relating to massing or program, can influence the smallest details such as the curve on a molding or the shape of a handrail, and vice versa. Camden claims fall, with its perfect weather for sketching, as his favorite time of year. It is also the best time to have his beverage of choice, a cup of coffee: Camden always has one within arm’s reach, as he hails from the Pacific Northwest, where it is quite popular.
COLLEEN O’KEEFFE graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 2006 and promptly joined Historical Concepts. Colleen’s primary area of practice is residential architecture, where her appreciation for the finer details are a strong asset. She enjoys studying the nuances that make a project unique and finds creative satisfaction in designing interiors. Colleen was an instrumental member of the team that developed a design for Meeting Street Station, a proposed transportation hub in historic Charleston, South Carolina. Despite being a theoretical design, the project was recognized with a Shutze Award in 2011. Colleen is fortunate to live and work in Glenwood Park, an award winning new urbanist community and home to the Historical Concepts office. She has served on two of the community’s architectural review committees, is engaged in the activities of her parish, and has volunteered with the Saint Vincent de Paul Society.
REBECCA PENDLEY interned with Historical Concepts in 2007 and joined the firm in 2008, after receiving her degree in architecture from the Georgia Institute of Technology. Rebecca’s focus at the firm has been on custom residential design and the renovation of historic properties, where her membership in the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art has been invaluable. She typically joins a project at the beginning of the design process and follows it all the way through construction phase services, which Rebecca finds to be informative and rewarding. She particularly enjoys applying her skills in SketchUp and Photoshop to these designs. Rebecca credits her parents; her mother is an artist and her father is a civil engineer who “loves working with his hands,” for her interest in architecture; she believes the two professions are brought together in creating buildings and great places.
LAURIE PENNYWITT joined Historical Concepts in 2000 as a general office assistant. Over the years she has advanced into her current position as the firm’s Financial Coordinator. Laurie now handles all of the firm’s day-to-day bookkeeping activities and related special projects. This past year, she was instrumental in implementing a new integrated project management and accounting package and is responsible for ongoing employee training and support. Laurie is also charged with information technology logistics and management for both the Peachtree City and Atlanta offices. This includes the purchase, installation, maintenance, and licensing of all technology related equipment. Laurie also helped establish the IT basics for staff prior to the opening of the Historical Concepts office in New York. When Laurie is not occupied putting her considerable skills to work at Historical Concepts, she is likely to be found doing one of three things; knitting scarves and other accessories, enjoying the company of her family and dogs at the lake beside her house, or walking. Laurie is a dedicated power walker and averages at least 25 miles a week.
ASHLEY RINKS attributes her early passion for architecture to an elementary school exploration of the Lockerbie Square Historic District in Indianapolis; its narrow cobblestone streets and eclectic 19th century homes were her first exposure to a “place with soul.” An appreciation for craftsmanship followed: Her college participation with The Prince’s Foundation for Building Community furthered her understanding of traditional building, offering her practical experience in techniques such as joinery, pargetting, plastering, stone carving, and thatching. After graduating summa cum laude from the School of Architecture at the University of Notre Dame in 2017, Ashley joined Historical Concepts where she is immersed in an interest she discovered during her summer internship with the firm: architectural interiors. Ashley is keen to work on the parts of a home most intimately experienced, and has contributed to the design of the interiors for several homes in a variety of locations from the Northeastern coast to the Carolina Lowcountry. She is a new member of the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art, the Congress for the New Urbanism, and the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation. When not immersed in architecture, Ashley states she is an “aspiring and very non-professional chef.”
CLAY ROKICKI first shared his artistic and architectural talents with Historical Concepts in 2005 as a participant in the firm’s summer internship program. After graduating summa cum laude from the University of Notre Dame with a degree in architecture and a concentration in furniture design, he passed up offers from prestigious classical practices in New York and Florida to rejoin Historical Concepts’ team of traditionalists in Atlanta. In 2010, Clay was awarded the J. Neel Reid Fellowship from the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation, enabling him to sketch his way through southern England, a field study experience he credits for refining his understanding of composition, materials, and the harmonious arrangement of buildings to landscape. He serves on the Education Committee of the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art’s Southeast Chapter and was instrumental in founding Young ICAA, a networking group for up-and-comers in the field. Beyond architecture, Clay’s passions include playing guitar, rock climbing, reading, and brewing beer.
JESSI ROKICKI’s architectural origins lie in her family’s annual gingerbread house decoration party. At these get-togethers, a young Jessi was encouraged to think beyond the ornamentation, to consider structural additions or outbuildings which could be added to the scene. When Jessi traveled in Europe during college she saw “gingerbread houses” again, in the traditional architecture of Ireland, Belgium, and Holland, and remembered the “passion and joy” she had for design as a child. Jessi joined Historical Concepts in 2007, after receiving her undergraduate degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology. She returned to Georgia Tech to pursue a Master of Architecture in Urban Design and Facilities Management while working for the firm. Since completing that program, Jessi has enjoyed coupling her interest in urban design with traditional architecture in an effort to make more satisfying and whole places. Jessi is an integral part of Historical Concept’s leadership team focused on production standards and applications, and her involvement with this area of practice allows her to participate in the mentoring and training of new staff. Jessi is an avid tennis player and was recently runner up for the city champion title in a local league.
RENE SALAS returned to Historical Concepts in 2016 after serving as an Intern the previous summer. Rene grew up in a tightly knit Texas town, in a small neighborhood where great value was placed on a sense of belonging and the shared experience. These qualities helped shape Rene’s perception of architecture, community, and urbanism as he grew and began working in architectural firms after graduating from high school. While pursuing a degree in architecture at the University of Texas, Rene explored the more academic side of culture, identity, and place as expressed in the built environment. There Rene recognized “our lives are molded by the physical form of our communities.” This realization, in combination with a burgeoning interest in classical architecture, ultimately lead Rene to obtain a Master in Architecture and a Master in Architectural Design and Urbanism from the University of Notre Dame. At Historical Concepts Rene has found kindred spirits; people who are dedicated, enthusiastic, and share a desire to create places and spaces that will connect across generations. Rene enjoys camping, photography, and star gazing, and until quite recently has “lived strategically, in walkable neighborhoods near work” without a car.
MATT SCHAEFER joined Historical Concepts in 2017 after obtaining his Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Notre Dame. Raised in a suburb of Toledo, Ohio, he cared deeply for the environment at a young age and spent a great deal of time playing outside and drawing. While at Notre Dame, Matt explored the juncture of sustainability and traditional architecture. He studied time-honored methods of construction, historic patterns of city development, and the public health benefits associated with community planning approaches such as the New Urbanism. Now, Matt is pleased to work on projects at a variety of scales, from a small home addition in upstate New York to the master plan of a community in South Georgia. Matt is a National Parks enthusiast and has enjoyed his newfound proximity to the Great Smoky Mountains. He is also a devoted student of the father of landscape architecture, Frederick Law Olmsted. It’s not surprising then that Matt spent his first day in Atlanta biking through the Olmsted-planned Druid Hills neighborhood and Piedmont Park, a design from the firm founded by Olmsted’s sons. When the weather permits, Matt continues to bike through the park on his way to and from the Historical Concepts office.
LORA SHEA’s “12-year-old self” determined the only logical way to combine her love of art and creativity (fostered by her mother) with her love of math and its practical applications (attributed to her grandfather, a former Bell Lab’s engineer) was to pursue architecture. She spent several summers while in college working in the construction field with her contractor father in order to “learn to build before she could design.” After completing her junior year of college, Lora worked at Historical Concepts as part of the firm’s 2013 summer internship program. A year later, after graduating from the University of Miami with a Bachelor of Architecture and a minor in architectural engineering, she joined Historical Concepts full-time. The transition from student to the working world has been easy for Lora, who shares a passion for design rooted in place, time, and culture with others in the firm. Beyond architecture, Lora’s passions include gardening, crafts such as quilting and pottery, and exploring nature.
Raised in Upstate New York, in an old farmhouse built in the 1860’s, FOREST Q. SICKLES enjoyed seeing the elegance of the details that rural America was built upon. He was drawn to the historic architecture and vernacular styles that populate the small towns of upstate New York for the sense of comfort and tradition they provide. Forest joined Historical Concepts in 2008. He received both his undergraduate and graduate degrees in architecture from Andrews University. Forest’s graduate work focused on traditional urban design and the breadth of his educational foundation enables him to participate in both architectural and planning endeavors. Forest believes that a background rich in traditional architecture, vernacular design, and traditional urban design allows the architects at Historical Concepts to “create spaces that are loved for their scale, proportion, and walkability, emulating and building upon the places people love and are drawn to” when looking for a home and community. His project experience includes a plantation style estate, campus planning, architectural guidelines for mixed-use developments, and guidelines for a historic downtown district. Prior to joining Historical Concepts, Forest worked on a master plan and pattern book for the Michigan City, Indiana Governors’ Office, which included a calibrated SmartCode for the city’s downtown revitalization efforts and was recognized with a Charter Award from the Congress for the New Urbanism. He is a LEED Accredited Professional. When not at work, Forest enjoys spending time with his wife and four little girls, building wood furniture, and fly fishing.
A grade school art teacher, who encouraged her students to make something from nothing, presented Becky Sigman her first chance to tap into her creative self. But it was a Resident Advisor at the University of Notre Dame who exposed her to architecture; Becky distinctly recalls seeing her RA’s thesis work and immediately being intrigued. Conversations followed that led Becky, originally a chemistry major, to a summer internship with Historical Concepts in 2008 and a Bachelor of Architecture with a concentration in furniture design in 2009. Six years later, she returned to the firm with experience in the design and construction of large scale, higher education projects. Now, Becky is particularly enjoying the more intimate realm of residential architecture, to which she takes a master craftsman approach: imparting cohesive character into a project through a layered and collaborative approach to the development of its details. Becky is a LEED Accredited Professional and appreciates the fact that her scientific and technical skills come to play in creating homes that “fit the client like a glove”. Outside of the office, Becky makes time to volunteer with a youth water polo club, tour historic buildings, and add to her collection of books on furniture and architecture.
For MEGAN SOMMERS, the path to Historical Concepts was via the fashion and textile industries. Having obsessed over the pages of magazines focused on the latest styles and trends throughout middle school and high school, Megan chose to pursue a dream career in fashion and studied textile and apparel management at North Carolina State University. After graduating in 2007 she followed that dream to Los Angeles, New York City, and finally Atlanta. In 2013, Megan joined the Historical Concepts staff. Megan applies a variety of different operational skills learned during her previous professional experience to her position as an administrator at Historical Concepts Atlanta office, where she handles everything from managing the office calendar to making travel arrangements and coordinating vendor presentations. Since joining Historical Concepts, she has found that what is beautiful and appealing in textiles clearly translates elsewhere; in houses, their interiors, and their gardens. Megan spends her free time cheering on the Wolfpack, refinishing furniture, and honing her culinary skills.
LAURA STRICKLAND has been an important part of the Historical Concepts team since 2005. Laura’s degrees in public relations and business administration come into play as she provides marketing support to the firm. She handles day to day requests and special projects for the principals at Historical Concepts, as well as tackling any unusual tasks and generally filling whatever role is needed by the company with grace and good humor. Laura says “Just call me putty!” When not ensuring that things run smoothly and efficiently for the Historical Concepts staff, she confesses to secretly watching the locally filmed television series “The Walking Dead” and is an active member of the Parent-Teacher Organization.
LINDA STRICKLAND has been dedicated to Historical Concepts from day one. A graduate of the University of Georgia, Linda taught school for eight years and was a junior high school, elementary school, and special education teacher before going into business with her husband, Jim, Historical Concepts’ founder. Linda first served as his right hand in his custom home building company and then as business manager when Jim founded Historical Concepts in 1982. Jim credits Linda’s keen intellect, practical insight, and business sense for much of his success. Today, Linda is the upbeat receptionist and greeter at our Peachtree City office. Part office mom, part First Lady, Linda is devoted to family, friends, and fitness, and also brings her warmth and compassion to her role as a volunteer at the local hospital. Linda says her role in the business now is “extremely rewarding because of the interaction with our intelligent, creative, and clever staff members; as well as our interesting and enjoyable clients.”
Family trips touring American cities were AMY TRUM’s first introduction to historic architecture. Visiting places like Washington, D.C. and Boston as a child, she was intrigued by the echoes of the past and the stories of the people who occupied some of our most notable buildings and homes. Amy’s early exposure to architecture initially led her to seek a degree in the field, but when she realized that she enjoyed “thinking about the best processes and environments” in which to create more than the act of designing itself, she chose to pursue business administration at the Georgia Institute of Technology instead. Amy’s arrival at Historical Concepts in 2016 was not by happenstance; she had come to the firm’s attention years earlier as an architecture student. Fast forward a few years and Amy emerged as the perfect candidate for a newly created position that would call upon her passion for architecture and her background in business. Amy says that, in her role as Strategic Projects Manager, there is truly not a “typical” day. One day she might be considering a business development strategy, the next planning the summer intern program or evaluating software tools. Amy fills her free time with running, entertaining family and friends, and enjoying the many great restaurants in Atlanta.
When it comes to architecture, DAVID VANGRONINGEN appreciates “doing a little bit of everything,” something he discovered as an intern at Historical Concepts in the summer of 2006. The culture of collaboration and mentorship he experienced that summer is a big reason why he chose to join Historical Concepts in 2007 after earning his undergraduate degree in architecture from the University of Miami. When he was a small boy, David spent “hours, days even” using Legos to create little towns. He would design the front façades, lining imaginary streets to build “real places.” In hindsight, he believes this was a clear foreshadowing of what he likes to do now. David relishes knowing how things work, which makes his participation in the planning of communities, from initial visions and concepts to the design of the individual buildings which form the fabric of a community, to carrying these project types through structural drawings and construction phase observation, very satisfying. David believes it is important for architecture to positively influence society and create great places to live and work for generations to come. To this end, he has continued to forge relationships with the students and faculty at his alma mater through his annual participation in the School of Architecture career fair and his leadership in the planning and architecture studio that Historical Concepts sponsors each year. David is an ardent sports enthusiast and is likely to be found playing basketball, softball, or tennis when not with his family.
ALLYSON VINCENT made good on a promise to herself by joining Historical Concepts in 2013. Allyson is originally from a small town in southeast Georgia that has a charismatic main street defined by a classical post office, a town hall, a Carnegie Library, and stately antebellum homes. There she was raised to respect history and tradition. As a child, she spent a lot of time with her older brother creating “a whole haphazard Lego town complete with neighborhoods, a main street, and, of course, a few spaceships” and realized that towns and spaces can be designed. These experiences led her to Georgia Tech where she began working on a degree in architecture. She took part in a traditional architecture studio sponsored by Historical Concepts and determined she would work for the firm one day. Later, Allyson attended the University of Notre Dame and obtained a Master in Architecture with a Classical Architecture Concentration. After graduating she stayed in Chicago, working on historic renovations and rehabilitation projects for several years. Eventually, she returned to Georgia and fulfilled her aspiration to become a member of the Historical Concepts team. Allyson appreciates a variety of project types and is especially passionate about exploring the impact of architecture and the built environment on our quality of life. Outside of the office, Allyson enjoys spending time with her husband, twin boys, and two dogs, as well as running half marathons and doing renovation projects on her 1920s home.
RYAN YURCABA was born to an artistic, industrious family and can vividly recall his first exposure to architecture at age 4, when his father and grandfather, “armed with little more than determination”, designed and built a house. He credits observing this process with awakening his desire to create. With a passion for traditional design rooted in his upbringing in Beaufort, South Carolina, Ryan enthusiastically joined Historical Concepts in 1999 after receiving a Bachelor of Design from Clemson University. Spurred on by his work at Historical Concepts, he decided to return to school for more specific study of classical architecture. Ryan earned his Master in Architecture from the University of Notre Dame in 2004. Following graduation, he choose to explore a new-found interest in traditional planning and civic architecture at Urban Design Associates in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In 2013, Ryan returned to Historical Concepts, bringing with him new perspective and knowledge, as well as understanding of how “tradition” can evolve places, rather than being just a part of their history. He is a Certified Planner, a member of the American Planning Association, and is an involved member of the Atlanta Chapter of the Congress for the New Urbanism. Outside of his professional endeavors, Ryan can be found bicycling, kayaking, or tinkering in his workshop.