Columns Header
APRIL 2018
The mission of AIA Arkansas is to develop, promote and sustain the practice and practitioners of architecture. We are fortunate to have a Board of Directors made up of volunteers who are passionate about architecture and fulfilling that mission statement. This year’s officers are: Lore Yazwinski Santa-Rite, AIA vice president; Kyle Cook, AIA treasurer; Jonathan Opitz, AIA secretary; Travis Bartlett, AIA past president; and me, as president. We are committed to overseeing the implementation of the strategic plan and further strengthening your Arkansas AIA.

You may have noticed some changes from your Arkansas AIA in the last few months. At the end of 2017, the Board of Directors made the decision to restructure the relationship between the four sections of our state component in order to provide better access to each of the four sections’ events. You now should be getting notifications about events across the state, not just your section. You can also go to the events section of and see what has already been scheduled for the year. These events are open to all members and Allied members regardless of the region that you live and practice. Drop in sometime and see what your colleagues across the state are up to.

This past March, AIA Arkansas sent a delegation to AIA National’s Grassroots Conference. The event emphasizes component leadership and workshops designed to help component officers become more effective chapter and civic leaders.

Grassroots provides opportunities to collaborate with other AIA components across the country and to develop synergies that address common issues such as protecting licensure laws, fortifying qualifications bases selection procedures and AIA members as community developers. Some connections were made and ideas exchanged that ultimately will prove to be a great benefit to AIA Arkansas members.

Save the dates October 18-20 for this year’s AIA Arkansas Convention!

Jonathan Opitz, AIA of AMR Architects is the convention chair this year and has begun planning in earnest with the same precise energetic passion that he has displayed throughout his career, promising to bring you one of the best conventions yet! More info to come as planning continues ...

I am humbled to serve in the role as AIA Arkansas president this year, and honored to be able to work with the distinguished group of individuals that make up the Board of Directors along with the great people at Brent Stevenson Associates. Together, we will build on the foundations of success and continue to mold your AIA Arkansas in to a champion that develops, promotes and sustains the practice and practitioners of architecture.

Randall Palculict, AIA
AIA Arkansas President
Jackson Brown Palculict Architects
Preserve Arkansas Honors Jameson
With Lifetime Achievement Award
The 2017 Arkansas Preservation Awards banquet was held in January at the Scottish Rite Temple in Little Rock where Preserve Arkansas presented the Parker Westbrook Award for Lifetime Achievement to Tommy Jameson, AIA. 

Tommy has spent 38 of his 40 years since college devoting his efforts to historic preservation across the state of Arkansas. Cyrus Sutherland, FAIA, gave Tommy his first interest in historic preservation in college, which continued while working with mentor Charles Witsell, FAIA, for 15 years.

Parker Westbrook (1926-2015) was the founding president of the Historic Preservation Alliance of Arkansas, now called Preserve Arkansas. He was a key personality in historic preservation on the national as well as in Arkansas. 

For the last 21 years, Jameson Architects, PA, has focused on a preservation-related practice. Some of Tommy’s most significant projects include:
  • Restoration of the 1829 Jacob Wolf House in Norfork.
  • Project REACH – Restoration of the 1828 Rice-Upshaw House and 1832 Looney Tavern near Dalton.
  • The Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, Little Rock.
  • Delta Cultural Center, Helena. (The Depot, the Center, the Stage, the Moore-Hornor House, Beth El Heritage Hall)
  • Restoration of the Arkansas Senate Chamber, Little Rock.
  • Rehabilitation of the Fulk Building, Little Rock.
  • Restoration of the 1846 Taylor House at Hollywood Plantation, Drew County.

Tommy has also committed his time to preservation through volunteering with the Quapaw Quarter (receiving their Jimmy Strawn Award in 1996), t he Little Rock Historic District Commission, the Capitol Zoning District Commission, the Arkansas Chapter of the AIA (receiving the Dick Savage Memorial Award in 1992) and Preserve Arkansas, serving as president in 1993. 

Tommy and his wife Christy have made their personal commitment to preservation through rehabilitation of their home in the 1936 Knoop House in Hillcrest and the 1904 Abrams House at 300 Pulaski, where Jameson Architects, PA, is located.
NW Section Preparing for Spring,
3rd Annual Baggo Tournament

The Northwest Section wrapped up 2017 with our annual holiday party with ASID South Central held at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art with almost 100 in attendance, a first-time sponsorship of AIAS officer attendance at Forum in Austin, Texas, and a $3,857donation to the University of Arkansas FJSOA+D Scholarship Fund.

Our most recent student scholarships recipients are Phoebe Norcross, Meagan Leeth and Sarah Peil.

The first quarter of 2018 has had much to offer for our 121 active local members, from monthly Lunch and Learns with Allied partners to our chair attending AIA Grassroots in San Diego in March.

NW Section is glad to welcome Steven Baker as treasurer for 2018. Steven is an emerging professional bringing an energetic approach to continued development and growth of the section. “I want our members to connect with their local communities, fellow design professionals, and Allied professionals in new and exciting ways,” he said. “I am passionate about helping those around me develop personally, professionally and philanthropically and hope to work with the other section officers to provide these opportunities to our members.”
NW Section members attended a Brunch and Learn in Bentonville at Crepe’s Paulette receiving CEU credits on Feb. 16. The NW Section has become a paid sponsor for ASID South Central. The section logo will appear on marketing materials, specifically in support of the Design Symposium to be held at the UA FJSOA+D April 5-7.
Now, the NW Section officers and leadership committee look forward to a full house at JBGB in Fayetteville for the 3rd Annual Baggo Tournament. We are working with the EP Committee in collaboration with section and Allied partnerships. Sponsors are being sought by the EP Committee, and the event is tentatively scheduled for April 18.
Thomas B Merritt, NW Section Chair 2018
Members enjoying the 2017 Holiday Party at Crystal Bridges with ASID South Central.
Photo credit: Ironside Photography
Check presented to Dean Peter MacKeith
for the UA FJSOA+D Scholarship Fund
Below: Check presented to AIAS President for Forum Conference
Members learning with ASID South Central
Chair representing NW Section during the Board Retreat at Big Cedar Lodge
2018 Installation of Officers Dinner at
Big Cedar Lodge
Backstage Grassroots in San Diego w/ Michael Lejong of Ft. Smith, speaker as part of the Leadership Work Group committee within the AIA Small Firm Exchange.
29 th Annual Central Section Golf Tournament
with Putt Putt and Beer Garden
Thursday, May 31, 2018

Maumelle Country Club
Golfers Lunch: 11:00 am
Tee Off: Noon
Beer Garden & Putt Putt : 4:00 pm

$400 per team of 4 for Tournament Golf (includes Putt Putt/Beer Garden)
$20 per person (Putt Putt/Beer Garden ONLY)

There will be awesome door prizes and live music. Lunch will be served at 11 am for tournament golfers; appetizers and drinks will be served for putt putters.

Herron Horton Architects
Receives Giving Award

Herron Horton Architects was recently recognized at the Arkansas Business 30th Annual Business of the Year Awards as a recipient of the Arkansas Community Foundation Smart Corporate Giving Award.

Cromwell Architects Engineers
Moves to The Paint Factory

After over 40 years anchoring the Convention District in downtown Little Rock, Cromwell Architects Engineers has moved to the former Stebbins and Roberts building in the East Village. Dubbed simply The Paint Factory, the complex is also home to 12 Star Flats, Catheads Diner, the Printshop and a community room called the Mixing Room. The firm was officially in its new home at 1300 East 6th on March 26.

Built in 1947, the building is an intact example of a post-war commercial and industrial building and is the only industrial building designed by Burks and Anderson, prominent Arkansas architects. Cromwell purchased the building in the fall of 2015 and worked with developer Moses Tucker to turn the 50,000-SF former factory and office space into a mixed use development while retaining the historic elements of the building. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Paint Factory renovation is the flagship project of a larger revitalization of East Village. It is Cromwell’s hope that this project will reconnect the East Village with the rest of downtown and ignite growth in an area of our city that has been neglected for too long. East Village exists as the oldest remaining industrial complex in Little Rock and perhaps in the entire state. Inspiring change and fostering community growth is in Cromwell's DNA as a company. It is the driving force behind what we do and the legacy of Mr. Cromwell.
To find out more about East Village and The Paint Factory, please check out  and follow Cromwell on Facebook, @thepaintfactoryineastvillage, and on Instagram @paintfactorylr.
WER Announces Hire
Of Architect Ross Piazza
WER Architects is excited to announce the hiring of architect Ross Piazza, AIA. Ross received his Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Arkansas and has been practicing in the state for 38 years. He has been involved in the design of numerous education buildings, recreational facilities, hospitals, historic rehabilitation projects, churches and military projects.

“We are thrilled to welcome Ross to the WER team,” said David Sargent, AIA, WER Architects/Planners CEO. “We know his experience in education and health-care facilities, along with his energy and passion for the industry, will be a wonderful asset to our team and clients.”

Ross’ contribution begins at the initial client meeting and extends to the final construction punch list. Roof design, determining the best solution for the building envelope, is also a specialty Ross enjoys. Above all, he believes the client is always the most important aspect of the design process. The relationships Ross has forged with his clients over the years are as important to him as the architecture itself.
Small Firm Exchange Offering
Seminars at Conference in NY
AIA’s Small Firm Exchange (SFx) is offering two seminars during AIA ’18 Conference on Architecture in New York.  They will be held on Saturday, June 23:

·         9:45-11:15 Focused Leadership (Part A): Unleashing the Talent in Your Firm (SA 211 1.5 LU)

·         1:45-3:15 Focused Leadership (Part B): Implementing Your Strategic Priorities (SA 411 1.5 LU)

Contact  Sheila Leggett, AIA Gulf States Region for more information:
615/254-1233 / 255-3860 / /
2018 AIAAR
October 17-20, 2018
Hot Springs Convention Center
Hot Springs, AR