MARY K. CRITES

AIA
Mary K. Crites,AIA-ARCHITECT

SAY IT LOUD - TEXAS Exhibitor
Texas Based Designer

Who or what inspires you professionally?

I am most inspired when I see a building, old or new, that successfully contributes to its specific surroundings, enhancing the overall community and improving the lives of its occupants and visitors.

MARY K. CRITES

Bio:

Born in Maryland, I completed HS and college in Texas. As a registered architect, I worked for firms of varying sizes including a partnership in a large regional firm, before starting my own firm 9 years ago. Professional work includes healthcare, governmental, and higher education projects, notably Texas Tech’s first LEED building. Preservation of historic structures is my favorite type of project. I am passionate about helping my community solve problems and improving our built environment.

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

Visiting historic places as a teen sparked my interest, but mostly it started with a desire to shock my parents with a non-traditional career choice. Not shocked, they were supportive! After investigating, I realized this was the right choice for me

What do you do?

I am a registered architect with my own firm. I am also an active volunteer with professional, non-profit and civic organizations where I share my time, architectural talents, and problem-solving expertise to benefit the profession and my community.

What excites you in the work you do?

I am most excited about the process of creating architecture, problem solving for wide range of clients/building types. I enjoy learning about the technical issues relevant for each project and providing a client space(s) that best meet their needs.

Who or what inspires you professionally?

I am most inspired when I see a building, old or new, that successfully contributes to its specific surroundings, enhancing the overall community and improving the lives of its occupants and visitors.

 

What is your proudest professional accomplishment or achievement?

I have achieved the major goals I set for myself over the years in my career, from registration as an architect, learning the business, partnership in a large firm, mentoring others, design of several award winning projects and starting my own firm.

Featured Project Name: 

Pullman Train Car Restoration

Featured Project Location: 

Lubbock, TX

Featured Project Completion Date: 

2020

Role in Featured Project: 

For a decade I led preservation efforts of this project for a non-profit heritage organization. Effort included analysis of condition, historical research, selection of appropriate materials and overseeing contractors in move and restoration effort.

Featured Project Description:

Project restored 1925 Pullman sleeper train car, in poor condition having been unused and exposed to West Texas elements since 1960’s. Car retained many original features, a rarity. A decade of restoration work included moving the 80-ton car to a museum, repairing rusted exterior steel, repainting with historic Pullman colors throughout, stripping/restoring original mahogany doors, replicating original mahogany windows, stripping/polishing brass fixtures and exposing concealed 1925 upholstery

Photography Credit:

Cindy Martin