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HELEN ROSS STALEY

Helen Ross Staley, Architect

SAY IT LOUD - MARYLAND Exhibitor
Maryland Based Designer

Who or what inspires you professionally?
 
My mother, who with 5-young children, still managed to conduct and enjoy a small Landscape Architecture practice to her satisfaction.

HELEN ROSS STALEY

Bio:

The great designer, Helen staley studied Interior Design at Stephens College in Missouri & transferred to Univ of Penn in 1940 for a Bachelors of Architecture degree. I won 1st place in a national Beaux Arts Institute of Design competition and was offered my 1st job working in NYC by one of the judges. Eventually I moved to Maryland to be with my high school sweetheart who returned from the war. We raised 4 beautiful children while I had my own practice, mostly residential work, with some commercial & institutional.

How did you first learn about architecture and when did you decide that built environment profession was an area of interest for you?

As a child, was fascinated by a neighborhood house under construction & soon Lincoln Logs was all I wanted for Christmas. Took a high school mech engineering course & loved it. After acing 4-day licensing exam, set up home office to be near my kids.

What do you do?

I live in North Carolina and spend time with my family. Even though I am months away from my 100th birthday, I still jump at the chance to solve a design problem and love to dabble when given the opportunity

What excites you in the work you do?

Solving simple and complicated design and construction challenges to the client and my satisfaction. The most exciting part was seeing the structural frame go up and the honesty of those forms.

Who or what inspires you professionally?

My mother, who with 5-young children, still managed to conduct and enjoy a small Landscape Architecture practice to her satisfaction.

 

What is your proudest professional accomplishment or achievement?

The well resolved fine classical design of the Harundale Church. coupled with the longevity of the appreciation from the owner and users even to this day.

Featured Project Name: 

Harundale Community Church (now Harundale Presbyterian Church)

Featured Project Location: 

1020 Eastway Glen Burnie, MD 21060

 

Featured Project Completion Date: 

1949 (Phase I Community Bldg) & 1957 (Phase IV Sanctuary)

Role in Featured Project: 

Project Architect; Principal-in-Charge

 

Featured Project Description:

The congregation approached me to design their 1st community building before I was licensed, so I began the project under a registered architect. By the time sufficient funds were raised to build a main Sanctuary, I had my own practice so drew & designed everything, including the pews, altar, cross, color glazing, unique hymnal signage, and tall graceful laminated wood arches extending up to a high-peaked wood ceiling. It achieved my aim - a light-filled space with fantastic acoustics!

Photography Credit:

#1 Landmarks Photography, 2013; #2 Ann Bruder, 2015; #3 Jillian Storms, 2015; #4 Helen Ross Staley, 1957; #5 The Sun Papers, 1949