As we close out 2021, the Pascal Architects team is grateful for many things. In the short term, we are thankful that all of our team members were safe from Hurricane Ida which struck the New Orleans area and left considerable damage for most of our neighbors in August. In the long term, we are thankful for our 30 years in business which we reached in October of this year.
Our 30 years have been marked by many ups and downs just like the past year. From our founding in 1991, we have been in the problem solving business whether restoring a historic building with roof line issues or helping our neighbors rebuild after a natural disaster. The depth of our experience has allowed us to lead the industry in historic restoration of landmarks…which as you guessed, is is one big problem-solving project.
Through a special process called forensic architecture, our team has been able to restore many historic buildings including The Lower Pontalba Building in Jackson Square, The Ritz Carlton New Orleans and The Old President’s House on Louisiana State University’s campus.
Perhaps one of the biggest challenges we faced as a team was during Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Principal Mark Culotta has vivid memories of walking down Bourbon Street during the days shortly after the hurricane hit, surveying the damage and offering his services to help rebuild the beloved city of New Orleans.
It was during this challenging time that Mark met his now CFO, Danielle Upshaw, who was working at a bar on Bourbon Street while she was attending school. After much convincing, including a meeting with her parents, Danielle agreed to come work for Mark and has since grown with the company and spent 16 years of her life, and counting, dedicated to the firm. When asked, Danielle attributes her longevity to the family culture of the firm. From bringing her young daughter to work when she is sick, to enjoying time with coworkers on Fridays over cocktails and appetizers, Danielle, and the rest of the team, is truly a family.
As a teaching firm, some of our biggest highlights through the years have been investing in the next generation of architects. Both Principal Mark Culotta and Senior Architect and Project Manager Knox Tumlin serve as mentors to interns from both LSU and Tulane helping them gain a comprehensive understanding of the industry and the importance of their craft.
Knox always says “Architecture is one of the fields that, whether people realize it or not, affects their lives and how they live, their emotions and how they feel–and we take that job very seriously.” We are always blown away by how our interns use the foundational skills that they learn during their time with us to create successful careers. To us, it’s not about competing with other firms when it comes to our interns…it’s about instilling a sense of respect and responsibility for the future of architecture.
So, what does the future for Pascal look like? Our hope is that we are able to restore more historic buildings, preserve more American history and grow our Pascal Architects family in the Fort Worth area. Thank you to all of the clients who have turned into friends and partners who have made our first 30 years a success. Here’s to the next 30!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!