True Green Cities/Celebrating Ten Years: Running a Business During a Pandemic

Celebrating Ten Years!  It’s been ten years since I launched Barbara A. Campagna/Architecture + Planning, PLLC and while many things have changed, my goal to work on “greening what’s already here” continues to be met, often in places I never expected. And I certainly never expected to celebrate the tenth anniversary of BAC/Architecture + Planning during the second year of a world-wide pandemic.  If it were still the “before-times” I’d be setting up a huge party tonight and inviting all my colleagues, clients and friends to our loft office in a historic factory.  Instead, I will put on my mask, drive to the office and walk up the back stairs so I avoid as many people as possible.  While the world remains uncertain, reviewing the past ten years reminds me that while the projects I am working on now I could never have anticipated ten years ago, I continue to help save America’s important heritage and work with inspired colleagues.  Hopefully, we can celebrate BAC’s 11th anniversary in a fun party on April 19, 2022.

Greening What’s Already Here

Ten years ago, I was living in three places – Washington, DC, Winston-Salem, NC and Buffalo, NY.  Today I have consolidated my life to one place (Buffalo) which is certainly a much greener way to live.  I had projects in San Francisco, Washington, DC and Buffalo when I launched my firm. Today, I have projects in Toledo, OH, New York City, Jamestown, NY and Buffalo.  In the years in between, I have worked on projects in Alaska, Louisiana, South Carolina, Texas and Rhode Island. 

The trademarks for my logo, my tagline (Greening What’s Already Here) and my sustainability management plan (The Greening Plan) have all been recertified.  My company has been recertified many times by federal, state and local agencies as both a WBE and DBE. 

One of the best parts of the past ten years has been the diversity of my projects.  I’ve evaluated the existing conditions of 19th century masonry churches and 20th century train terminals, adapted factories and schools using historic preservation tax credits, researched what is one of the few remaining 19th century documented brothels in America, and become a national voice for saving brutalist heritage.  Ten years ago, I was responsible for some of the most iconic (and yes elitist) houses in the country. Today I’m working on courthouses, public housing and underserved neighborhoods. 

I chaired and organized the APT International 50th Anniversary conference in Buffalo; traveled to conferences in Boston, Philadelphia, Los Angeles and Hawaii and gave keynote lectures in Texas, San Francisco, Charleston, Vancouver, Victoria, St. Louis, Providence and Albany.  I was made a Fellow of APT and received the Henry Hobson Richardson award from AIA NYS.  In between these travels, I started running in races and half marathons and even started training for a marathon before the pandemic paused our lives. 

Today, I leave my downtown residential loft to go to my office which I share in a glorious office loft space in a former Albert Kahn-designed Ford Factory with my sister’s consulting business.  I will be working on a federal courthouse, an early 20th century terra cotta school, an 1894 Medina sandstone church and an 1848 brick boarding house.  And that’s just on Monday.  I am grateful for the confidences that my clients have placed in me and honored to tell America’s stories.