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June 17, 2024

Institutional Stewardship with Regan Shields Ives & Rebecca Berry

Institutional Stewardship with Regan Shields Ives & Rebecca Berry

In this weeks episode I talk with Regan Shields Ives and Rebecca Berry of Finegold Alexander Architects about some of the interesting institutional projects they’re working on.  It was fun to chat with them to learn more about what got them to the profession and to hear their experiences of working with existing buildings. We talk about helping clients get the biggest Bang for their buck on renovations. We touch on the impact of comfort on how people experience existing buildings and how often that comfort is achieved by things that aren’t flashy - like better insulation and improved accessibility.




Regan Shields Ives AIA, ALEP, LEED AP, MCPPO, NCARB – Principal, Secretary

Regan is a Principal and studio leader for Finegold Alexander’s educational and cultural projects. She is passionate about design for education and creating spaces that are welcoming, safe, and inspiring. She is also an advocate and thought leader in restoring and preserving our historic buildings, including adapting them for new, contemporary uses. Regan is a long-time member of the Boston Preservation Alliance where she serves as President of the Board of Directors. She is actively involved with the New England Chapter of the Association for Learning Environments. Regan serves as a mentor through the Boston Society of Architecture’s Women in Design Mid-Career mentoring program and is a member of the BSA Women’s Principal Group. She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a Master of Architecture and earned a Bachelor of Arts from Lehigh University.


Rebecca Berry AIA, LEED AP – Principal, President, Director of Sustainability

Rebecca leads Finegold Alexander’s higher education, institutional and religious practice areas. She is also Finegold Alexander’s Director of Sustainability, promoting sustainable design practices, conversations and reviews firm wide. Rebecca’s long history of volunteerism and civic engagement attests to her passion for serving people and their greater communities, whether they be mission-driven organizations, schools, or other entities. She earned a BS in Art & Design, a BS in Political Science and Master of Architecture, all from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she received the Alpha Rho Chi medal, a national award in recognition for service. In each of her endeavors, Rebecca focuses on client service and on providing the best possible design solutions that adhere to the budget and schedule concerns of each client. When not in Finegold Alexander’s offices, meeting with clients or on a job site, you might find Rebecca on the ski slopes with her family, either here or out West.

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I've mentioned it to my family, but in terms of telling people like, Oh yeah, we're doing this. I'm looking for projects. You got anything? I'm not there yet because it scares the out of me. Dreaming of launching your own architecture firm? Well, we'll buckle up for a wild ride with Emerging, the podcast that shares what it's really like to start an architecture firm.

Where do we begin? We don't even know what type of business to formalize as. Is it an LLC? Is it an LLP? Like, how are taxes? I mean, the list is astronomical. Season 1 featured founders Jeffrey, Lexi, and Chris. Owners of Level Studio Architecture are your fearless guides on this unfiltered journey from napkin sketches to a thriving studio.

One evening, stumbled into one last dive, we sat at the bar and pondered our postgraduate futures.  Amidst the conversation, a napkin became the canvas for our aspirations, sketching plans and milestones, sealing our heartfelt commitment and shared dreams.  In drawing down dreams on a napkin collectively that  Then, you know in your head you've rooted like, oh, I'm connected to these people like long term, the process of starting an architecture practice brims with excitement and challenges, demanding, meticulous planning, flawless execution, and unyielding resilience.

I kind of hate the term because it's so overly used, but I think everybody knows imposter syndrome.  And I think it's, it's so real to this day. I, I don't know if it's with everybody, but with me, I'm always questioning like us, can we do this? Are we ready to do this? Are we prepared? Can we do it? Did we just decide a name?

We did it guys.  One that came out of nowhere.  It came out of nowhere. I liked it.  Ready to turn your aspirations into reality? Follow the link in the show notes to subscribe to Emerging and chart your own path to architectural success.  I know that I've always found that to be part of the fun in terms of uncovering,  you know, the story of the building, which is something that we all really love.

You know, we often say that the building is our third partner in the project. Sometimes it tells us what it wants to be or what it wants to do or what it doesn't want to do. 

Welcome to Tangible Remnants. I'm Nakita Reed, and this is my show where I explore the interconnectedness of architecture, preservation, sustainability, race, and gender. I'm excited that you're here, so let's get into it.  Welcome back. So the past couple of weeks have been a whirlwind of preparing for speaking engagements and enjoying celebrations and reconnections at the 2024 American Institute of Architects Convention in Washington, D.

C.  It was a fantastic time where I was able to celebrate with my Quinn Evans colleagues. As we received the 2024 firm award, it was a great to reconnect with old friends, meet new friends, as well as hang out with my Noma family and Gable media podcasters.  One of the things that I love about going to conferences and doing this podcast is that I get to meet new people who are doing interesting work in the industry and hear their stories. 

And so as much fun as I have interviewing people that I know well, I also enjoy interviewing people that I'm just starting to know and hearing more about their inspiration and process.  And so this week's episode is a great example of the latter, as I got to talk with Reagan Shields Ives and Rebecca Berry of Feingold Alexander Architects about some of the interesting institutional projects that they're working on. 

It was fun to chat with them and learn more about what got them into the profession and hear about their experiences of working with existing buildings, something that, as you all know, is very near and dear to my heart. We talk about helping clients get the biggest bang for their buck on renovations. 

We touch on the impact of comfort and how people experience existing buildings and how often that comfort is achieved by things that aren't flashy things like better installation and improved accessibility.  Be sure to check out the show notes for links to Instagram to see images of the buildings that we discussed in the episode.

And the podcast Instagram handle is at tangible remnants.  While looking at the show notes, be sure also to sign up for our monthly newsletter to get access to various industry events and resources. And so before we get into the episode, let me share more of their bios with you to give you some more context about who they are. 

Reagan Shields Ives, AIA, ALEP, LEADAP, MCPPO, and CARB is a principal and studio leader for Feingold Alexander's educational and cultural projects.  She is passionate about design for education and creating spaces that are welcoming, safe, and inspiring. Reagan, She is also an advocate and thought leader in restoring and preserving our historic buildings, including adapting them for new contemporary uses. 

Reagan is a longtime member of the Boston Preservation Alliance, where she serves as president of the Board of Directors. She is actively involved with the New England chapter of the Association for Learning Environments. Reagan also serves as a mentor through the Boston Society of Architecture's Women in Design Mid Career Mentoring Program and is a member of the BSA's Women's Principal Group. 

She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a Master of Architecture and earned a Bachelor of Arts from Lehigh University.  Rebecca Berry, AIA, LEAD AP, leads Feingold Architecture's higher education, institutional, and religious practice areas.  She is also Feingold Alexander's Director of Sustainability, promoting sustainable design practices, conversations, and reviews firm-wide.

Rebecca's long history of volunteerism and civic engagement attests to her passion for serving people and their greater communities. Whether they be mission-driven organizations, schools, or other entities,  she earned a BS in art and design and a BS in political science and a master of architecture, all from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology,  where she received the Afro Chi medal and national award and recognition for service. 

And each of her endeavors, Rebecca focuses on client service and on providing the best possible design solutions that adhere to the budget and schedule concerns of each client.  When that and find gold Alexander's offices meeting with clients or on a job site, you might find Rebecca on the ski slopes with her family, either here or out West.

This was a fun episode where we got to dive into some specific projects. I hope you enjoyed this as much as I did. And so without further ado, please enjoy this conversation between me, Reagan Shields Ives, and Rebecca Berry.  I am super excited to be able to talk to both of you today because it's always fun to meet Other architects who understand the value of historic preservation.

So welcome to the show. Thanks.  Thank you.  I would love to begin with, why don't we, I guess, start with preservation, because I know a lot of times there are a lot of different misconceptions about preservation, kind of with the big P or with a little piece. So for both of you, and I guess we'll start with Rebecca, let's talk a little about what got you into preservation or kind of how you see it as a profession.

So I think what interests me about preserving existing buildings is really sort of twofold. I think sometimes in life you don't quite know where your inspirations come from until you have a chance to, you know, like take a, take a big step back, right? And think about that a little bit. But I am actually a military brat and I grew up overseas.

So I spent a lot of time in Europe and did a lot of travel. So at a pretty young age, I was exposed to very old things,  for lack of a more sophisticated way of thinking about it at the time,  traveling around, seeing places that really did vary from castles, you know, literal castles in Europe, to places in North Africa, like Souks in Morocco, and then, you know, returning for various tours in Northern Virginia, which I know is near where you are, And, you know, visiting spaces and places there and living near great monuments.

So I think early on, I had this kind of exposure to our existing built environment and really seeing many different ways that people have made and created spaces. And upon sort of reflection, you know, I think that my interest in preserving the built environment that we have does somewhat stem from that exposure when I was fairly young. 

Nice. Reagan, what about you?  So I was drawn to architecture from a pretty early age considering. And so that was always kind of a guiding light for me. And I found that. It was always the older existing buildings that I found more, more interesting and I was more curious about. I think what has drawn me to historic buildings, existing buildings, both then and now, is that there's a story behind them in a way that.

New buildings, while I also love thinking about design and architecture of the new just doesn't have that same element to it. So certainly the work that Feingold Alexander does really aligned with my interest in preservation and architecture and the, the 2 coming together.  And one of the things that I also really enjoyed and was kind of fascinated by when we started talking was also the recognition that there is still kind of the preservation with the big P and like preservation with the little P.

And even though there are some buildings that aren't high-style architecture, as we're moving forward to towards a more decarbonized future, we still need to make sure that we are working on all buildings, not just the ones that are like the super fancy ones. And so I'd love to hear a little bit more about how.

And I guess, why don't we start with like maybe some project-specific items in terms of any sort of decarbonization efforts that you're working on within historic buildings or campuses?  Sure. So we are actually currently involved with us at several locations, one of which is at Wellesley College. here in Massachusetts.

And as with many colleges and universities, Wellesley has a commitment to reach carbon neutrality. People call these things by different names, right? Zero carbon, carbon neutrality,  you know, where, where are we headed? And for Wellesley, what this is going to mean ultimately is the conversion of their central utility plant.

From being a steam-based system where they distribute steam out for heating, which is very common in the northeast and other parts of the country as well. And they go to what they call a low-temperature hot water loop.  Well, the is in the midst of retrofitting buildings to prep for this work as part of the of their commitment to achieving carbon neutrality by 2040.

so we. initially engaged in a big case study for the 1927 Victorian Gothic residence hall there, Severance Hall, and then ultimately completed the project last fall, phase two, had to be done over two summers. It was a very complicated project. And one of the big. Aspects involves retrofitting insulation at the interior of the walls, putting in interior storm windows and changing out all the radiation terminal units to be sized to take low-temperature hot water.

So now the building is running, you know, converted from the steam. There's a heat exchange right now. It's running on the low-temperature hot water. The main way that this saves energy is that it takes a lot of energy input to take water and turn it into steam.  Then it's generally done. With fossil fuels because of the energy intensity that it requires.

Right. So if you are able to heat with a system that can take water at 120 degrees, it takes a lot less energy to take that water to that temperature. And it particularly takes a lot less energy if like many campuses, you're looking at geo-exchange heat pumps as a way to achieve this right so campuses are doing things like drilling large well fields, creating energy exchange centers and then moving this low-temperature hot water.

through their buildings.  So then you were saying that they were also, or that renovation of the second phase also kind of got to the registers and the insulation. For the insulation, talk a little bit how you did those retrofits.  So as most of us who work on existing Masonry buildings from the early 20th century.

No, you have to treat them very genderly,  right?  Because you cannot mess too much with what we call their hydrothermic properties. We don't want to over-insulate the brick because the brick was originally meant to breathe. So we work. With specialty consultants, for instance, you do things like lab testing of existing bricks and do analyses to determine the amount of insulation we can put at the interior of the walls and not damage the existing structure.

Energy codes, of course, are driving us to ever higher levels of insulation. But frankly, one of the biggest tools we have in our tool kit is air tightness. So when we do things like insulate, even to a level that we can. At an existing building, and we don't disturb the historic fabric, and we look at things like for budgetary reasons, not replacing a whole bunch of existing windows, right?

We both manage to preserve the building and keep its architectural character intact, while at the same time saving on embodied carbon, for instance, by not replacing things that we can actually repurpose and reuse. Right. And one of the things that I often love about reusing existing buildings is also the fact that you're able to do a lot of energy improvements, do a lot of things that will make impact from an energy standpoint.

So the insulation is really the big one. And that's not necessarily slapping solar panels on it, which sometimes people think that's the only way to make something sustainable, but it absolutely isn't. We got to, we got to optimize what we have first before we add some renewables. Absolutely. But that's really great.

So I'm glad to hear that there are, or that Wellesley is, has that commitment. And then for their, their, So you said it's E 2040, their carbon neutral pledge, and is that campus-wide, or is that only for the kind of buildings or just certain aspects of it? This is campus-wide. So the, the projects that we happen to be working on are related to this sort of parallel path set of projects, which involves residence hall renewal.

They have 12 major historic residence halls, and so they all have sort of the same challenges relative to preservation. The need for restoration, you know, the need for a certain amount of renewal, but the challenge is really that, you know, if you have unlimited budget, right, you can really go out these buildings and just sort of have your way with them.

That's not the case here. So we have been very careful about where we spend our dollars and also about aspects of the building that we modify. Again, it's sort of what, what is working. Okay. Right. What has to change for code for accessibility, which is often a challenge that we face in preservation projects, right?

It's accessibility. But then what can we, you know, what, what can we preserve so that we really concentrate. our budgets and our approach in a way that's the most impactful for the building users.  Right. And I think that's a great segue to talk about another project, which I know we talked about on the pre-call.

And so I guess, Regan, tell me a little bit about the project, the First Church of Christ Scientists, because I hear that there's some really interesting ADA challenges and opportunities happening in that project. Definitely, and I think like all historic buildings, you know, accessibility wasn't at the forefront of the design.

So it's something that we deal with on pretty much every single historic project, and it's not always easy to to figure out how to create a solution to achieve accessibility without making major impacts on people. The building and certainly in cities like Boston and other, you know, very historic locations, there's a lot of scrutiny about, you know, impacts that we can make on existing buildings.

So the first church, while they've tried to accommodate. Accessible entrance to the building in, in different ways. There's 1 location where you can enter the building through ramp, but this is a 190,000-square-foot building. So to think about just 1 location where you can enter is a little bit challenging.

So we really appreciate the efforts they've gone through, but. As part of a much, much larger multi--eight-phase project that included many other aspects of preservation and restoration accessibility was, was one of the elements. So we looked at the building and determined there's actually 2 different churches that have been combined and this was a result of.

Christian Science Church really expanding rapidly at the end of the century, turn of the century, and needing to accommodate their growing congregation. So the church has two auditoriums that you would enter for various services. So we looked at the building to determine where the right location was, and we determined that there's an exterior open balustrade area where we could create a new.

Enclosed vestibule to create a completely new entrance to the building. So that required creating inserting a new elevator, historically, sort of threading this elevator into the building without impacting much of the surrounding area that in and of itself was a challenge. But now, essentially, you can enter in from the main Plaza.

And for those that are familiar with. the First Church of Christ, there is a very large, I think it's about 13 acres of a plaza that's, while it's publicly, it's privately owned, it's publicly accessible, and it's a pretty important part of the city of Boston. So to be able to enter in from that plaza into the building, and you either take the elevator up into The main auditorium or elsewhere into the church, and another component to it is that underneath the plaza, which people may not realize is a public parking garage, which, while it sounds a little mundane, it's a parking garage.

I mean, how important is that in terms of city access and just everyday use? So people are now able to enter from the parking garage. into this elevator that we've inserted and either go up to the public plaza and just, you know, go on your way or continue into the church and access parts of the building that you would have had to navigate in a much different way.

So it makes the whole, we refer to it as the congregation experience project, this one particular part, because, you know, After doing this large preservation project, they realized that they wanted to improve the experience of all congregants coming to the building, as well as, you know, some of the public that would use it.

So that was a big part of that project, creating a new accessible entrance to the building.  And what I love about both of the projects that you've talked about is that kind of both of them are the, the interventions are things that almost, they're not the sexy thing. So it's like the accessibility into the building, the installation into the building, but they both make such big impacts on how the building performs and how people experience the space.

Because you're right. As you're talking, I'm imagining someone being in a wheelchair and having to park in the garage and navigate up and through and back without being able to take the elevator, just how much more of a hassle that would have been. Or even, um, for the, the projects that you were talking about, Rebecca, thinking of just how cold and drafty some of those spaces probably were because they weren't air sealed properly or well insulated.

And so it's some of those somewhat invisible things that people aren't always thinking about if they're not in the profession or not working with. Existing buildings. So I'm glad that we were able to touch on those.  One other question that I was coming up as you both were talking was both projects, they, your clients are somewhat like institutional or like they have intention to stay with the buildings long term.

So there's this idea of like institutional stewardship, it sounds like in both of those cases. Uh, can you talk a little bit more about maybe the vision of either of the projects or just the buildings themselves for how they want to, Think or how they're thinking about the projects will be used into the future. 

Sure. I can start with the church, obviously understanding that they have created this, this building, this institution within the city and a large part of the conversations that we had surrounding this massive preservation project was how can we. Add another 100-plus years to this building. So this is not a fly-by-night kind of situation.

They really wanted to make sure that everything we did would help prolong the life of this building that we hope it lasts for much longer than 100 years. But the amount of. Work that we put in and the level of effort and frankly, you know, some of the decisions that the church made were hard decisions financially because it did cost more to, you know, do some work that perhaps wasn't.

Initially part of the scope of work, but when they realized we have this entire team here, we have the construction manager here. Yes, it's going to add X millions of dollars to the project, but it will save us from having to come back do this work, perhaps 1020 years down the road and, you know, take care of that situation now.

So it does take a client with that mindset and that dedication to make some of these difficult decisions, frankly.  It's a little bit different and yet similar at Wellesley.  So Wellesley obviously is a steward, right, of a whole campus of buildings and it's a very kind of a special place too because the entire campus landscape was designed by Frederick Law Olmstead. 

So it has, you know, sort of the heritage campus set of questions, right,  you know, where do we put new buildings? How do we preserve the existing ones that we have? And how do we do it within a context of, you know, limited fiscal resources?  Questions that they're asking at this point are really sort of big and twofold.

One is around energy and how that then impacts, you know, all the buildings moving forward and looking at investing in this move to carbon neutrality. The other is about conversations we have where we're always looking for a solution to a problem that won't solve this one problem. Like we need to solve three or four.

Issues with the building in like one move, right? So we're doing work in the building.  What does it mean if we need to provide accessibility, which we did at severance? How can we do that without reconfiguring the whole building? Well, we use a small edition. We are doing work at the whole building's exterior.

We are trying to create spaces for students that provide for an improved experience, and we're trying to renew, you know, historic spaces. So what does that look like? What's the scope of work in a space that has, you know, beautiful architectural woodwork versus in a student room, right? So it's, it's always a set of questions that lead, like, way out. 

To Reagan's point, like into the future, but also for them, they didn't necessarily have the financial wherewithal to go for the extra, like each time. So where do we go for that extra?  That makes sense. And I think that's one of the projects or one of the things that I know with some of our clients, we're trying to help them.

better understand what financial resources are available. And so whether we're talking about historic tax credits or grants or rebates or kind of any of the other ways to make the numbers kind of, or make the different financial products work together. So I'm intrigued to see how that's going to keep evolving, particularly with all of the funding that's going into like the, or coming out of rather the inflation reduction act and just other funding resources.

Cause it was super exciting to see that there is actual. sustainability money for retrofitting existing buildings. It's like the memo has been received that building reuse is climate action. Finally, the IRA is an absolute game-changer. And for instance, we have Another project in-house that is the addition to and renovation of a historic library in a town here in Massachusetts, and we are getting ready to do a test.

Well, for geothermal system there, we would not be talking about ground source heat pump. Frankly, we're not for the IRA because the rebates that are available  change the equation. On the life cycle cost, right? So now we're, we're going beyond just looking at electrification and looking more at systems that really can drive down the energy use in an existing and historic building, you know, to enable it to continue to serve the community for. 

50 years is what we're talking about in Westford. And so then as both of you have a wealth of knowledge and experience working with existing and historic buildings, are there any, I want to say challenges, but I'm thinking any opportunities that have been super interesting that you've come across in your time working on these types of buildings? 

Well, I think with most existing and especially historic buildings, it's always the unforeseens, the unknowns that we uncover and you have to have the right kind of mindset to go into a project knowing that you don't know everything. And I think that's why I know that's why we love the work that we do, because we'd like that challenge for some.

It might come across as frustrating because, you know, you're, you're cruising along and then all of a sudden you find that unforeseen, whatever it is, fill in the blank. But I know that I've always found that to be part of the fun in terms of uncovering,  you know, the story of the building, which is something that we all really love.

You know, we often say that the building is our third partner in the project. Sometimes it tells us what it wants to be or what it wants to do or what it doesn't want to do. So I'm sure we have loads and loads of, you know, specific stories about, you know, unforeseen conditions, things that we uncovered, but that is one of, I think, Both the challenges and the rewards of working with existing buildings because there's always something that you didn't expect.

And it requires a team to really use all the resources of all the team members to, to gather around and come up with a solution. It's not just someone back at the office, just creating a detail and just handing it off and saying, this is what we need to do. I mean, it's, it's having the meeting where everyone's around the table and you bring.

All the different minds that are required to, you know, figure out how are we going to solve this problem? That's one of the things that I love about the work that we do. Yeah. I also like 1 of the things that I feel like I've gotten an even greater appreciation for over the last number of years is in thinking about what that getting everybody around means, right?

Sometimes it means getting everybody around. Thank you. The thing in the field. So historic architecture has a touch of the human hand, right? That, that I actually think all the best architecture has, frankly, because of the materials and because of the way the buildings were physically constructed, right?

Like, you can see the work of those craftspeople. And so oftentimes, you know, you'll find yourself on-site with. You know, a foreman who is looking at putting the slate back together. And then the mason is there and saying, okay, here's how we're going to figure out how the coursing matches up. And, you know, how does the flashing tie in and how do we work with these existing historic windows and kind of make it all come together?

And that moment, I think, where you realize like how many people it takes to put this structure together and the input and the skills of all these varied sets of people that make the beautiful detail or space really saying right for people to come into it. I find that both rewarding and also it's a it's like a continuation right of the past and how buildings were conceived and created previously. 

Yeah, I love that. I know exactly what you mean in terms of like being on-site and whether it's, you know, you're seeing kind of the actual fingerprints or indents in the material from the craftspeople who made it however long ago. Or sometimes for me when it's, you know, looking at a plaster wall and seeing the horse hair binding in the plaster, it's like, wow, that horse was alive a very long time ago.

So it was always just thinking of like the continuation of time. And then also wondering how. 

So, another aspect that often comes up when I'm thinking about reusing existing and historic buildings, it's just the amount of time that it takes for a project to, um, you know, to be or to come to fruition. New construction sometimes goes up a little bit faster than existing the renovation of existing or historic buildings.

And so Reagan, I know you mentioned that the, uh, the church project was somewhat of a multi-phased one. So I would love to hear about how your project or how you tackled phasing that project. Sure.  The project really started by doing a comprehensive assessment of the entire building and determining we knew aspects of what needed to be done.

But as a project team, we started by looking at the whole project, literally from top to bottom, from the cupola that sits atop the dome, all the way to the wood piles that support the building underneath. And I couldn't tell you off the top of my head, the hundreds of piles that are supporting and creating the foundation for the church.

So we started by Determining, okay, we've got to figure out first how we're going to address the structural foundation issues with this building because the piles essentially were rotting the water table in Boston fluctuates and what would piles don't like is being exposed to air. So, while that was happening, the wood pile started to rot.

So the looking at 1st, addressing the fundamental. You know, structural foundation of the building, which is kind of an interesting way to think about that project that, you know, we had to sort of start with the foundation and once that was established, then we looked at, we knew that we needed to do a complete exterior restoration before we could start addressing some of the interior issues that had resulted from water infiltration over numerous years.

So we worked with. SGH was our envelope consultant for the project and Shamit Design and Construction was our construction manager. So while we had numerous other consultants that were part of the team, that those key players, really, we looked at the building to determine, okay, we have essentially. eight phases of work that need to be accomplished.

And so we looked at each section of the building and determined how we were going to peel off each of those components. So as Rebecca alluded to earlier, we did have these very extensive phasing diagrams where essentially we took the 3d model of the building and color-coded, okay, we're going to do this part Piece 1st, and it was very systematic as we worked our way around the building.

We started with the, the mother church's original edifice, which was the original building, and did the exterior envelope restoration work, and then did the interior work for it for that piece. After that was completed, then we started on the larger, the mother church extension edifice, which, if you see images of the building, it's sort of dwarfs the original.

There, there were so many components to that, and taking off, um, essentially we had to sort of peel many of the layers to get to the base flashing address a lot of, you know when you think about where water infiltrates the building, it's at those intersections of, you know, where walls and roofs come together, where balconies and, and, and just all of these elements, you know when you talk about how craftsmen put these buildings together, I mean, it was amazing.

This building. The extension was built in 13 months. When you think about what it takes for us to build a building these days, it was, it was completed in 13 months. So it was pretty incredible. So they may have missed a few, you know, connection points here and there. We can't fault them for that. So,  I mean, I guess to come back to the, to the overall question, we, we As a team really needed to look at the whole building and understand what the individual, you know, issues were at each of these different components and plan it all out to make matters even a little bit more complicated as a separate but parallel project, they were doing an extensive plaza restoration project at the same time.

We, we didn't completely overlap, but there was. Some parallels, so we would even have what we call logistical harmony meetings with the other team that was working on that project because every week you had to determine sort of where we needed to be where they needed to be and and frankly, how we were going to complete all of the work in the established, you know, 8 phases of this project.

So, it, it definitely was a team effort. And I will say that the client played an enormous role in the entire process. They're very hands-on, extremely dedicated, extremely passionate about their building and, and the church and what it means not only to the. To the organization, but to the city and they, they recognize that they are stewards of this iconic building.

So that was, you know, really the approach that we took and, you know, it was, it was a challenge, especially when you think about all the scaffolding that was involved and the weather that we had to encounter throughout, you know, these seven phases of working on the project,  Yeah. And that also just is really reiterating the point that this really is a team teamwork is crucial.

The idea of kind of like the, the lone rogue architect designing and doing everything by themselves. It's a lie. That's not how these work.  Like even just thinking about like people involved with scheduling and scaffolding and construction and moving things. Like there's so many pieces to making these projects come together. 

Well, I'm super excited to be able to one, to talk to you both. So thank you for your time. And so then I'll make sure to put notes or links in the show notes and also post photos on Instagram so people can take a look at these beautiful buildings that we're talking about. Thank you. So then where is the best place for people to find you on the interwebs? 

People can find us in many different formats that we, of course, as a firm, we have a website www. faainc. com. We promise you this is not the Federal Aviation Administration. This is indeed Feingold Alexander Architects.  We are also on Instagram and LinkedIn. We definitely recommend our Instagram account.

We have a wonderful marketing coordinator who is a total whiz with reels. So go enjoy some good ones.  Thank you so much for listening. Links to amazing resources can be found in the episode's show notes. Special thanks to Sarah Gilberg for allowing me to use snippets of her song Fireflies from her debut album, Other People's Secrets, which by the way is available wherever music is sold.

If you haven't already, be sure to subscribe to the show or  And now that Tangible Remnants is part of the Gable Media Network, you can listen and subscribe to all network partner content at gablemedia. com. That's G A B L media. com.  Until next time, remember that historic preservation is a present conversation with our past about our future.

We don't inherit the earth from our parents, but we borrow it from our children. So let's make sure we're telling our inclusive history.  I saw the first fireflies. 

Right then, I thought of you.  Oh, I could see us catching them and setting them free.  Honey, that's what you do. 

That's what you do to me.