A decade or so ago, I lamented to my sweet wife that I had begun to feel there would eventually come a time when no more exciting projects would come across my desk. She gave me a sardonic smile and said, “If that’s what you think, then that’s what will happen.” She had given my angst no breathing room and so this dark fear never came to be. In fact, each new year appears to be a progression in a crescendo of compelling and challenging projects and this past year again gives that assumption weight.
Tim Diener and I started our second book, HEAVY TIMBERS IN PUBLIC SPACES, almost a year ago. We plan to have it published by the end of 2016. If this deadline isn’t met, I’m pretty sure it will be Tim’s fault.
We are now in our twentieth year as a company and as of this past August we are mortgage free.
Some noteworthy commercial timber frames this year have included: Potomac Shores VA (just a few miles outside of DC) which involved multiple buildings, King of Prussia Town Center (just outside of Philadelphia) which involves nine structures, more than half of which will be raised in 2016 and three covered bridges- all in Chester County, PA. One of them is within Valley Forge National Park. Two of the bridges are major repairs while the third is a complete rebuild. There are animated renderings for both the Potomac Shore and King of Prussia Town Center projects on Lancaster County Timber Frames, Facebook.
We were asked to return to the BVLGARI CAR PARK to do additional work. Of course, it is more of a thrill than it is a task-more fun than work.
We are starting our sixth timber frames homes with Anthony Brand of Joybeck Builders (Pocono Mountain area, PA). It is our most ambitious one with them thus far. We have started conceptual work for what may be our fifth and sixth residential projects with Jim Gately of Distinctive Designs in Maryland. Eight of our projects this year were with either repeat clients, repeat builders or repeat architects.
Lauren McCarthy, daughter of Joe and Joanne, received her PhD in biology this Spring. Their son, Specialist John McCarthy, U.S. Army, was honored as the Hometown Hero at a Philadelphia Phillies game this Summer. John worked for LCTF, off and on, for close to half his young life.
Hayden Diener, younger son of Tim and Rauthild, returned from Germany and is enrolled at Penn State. He is majoring in Physics. Their older son, Nick of Diemo Video Productions had one of his documentaries picked up by “The Atlantic.” Nick became engaged to Leslie Drinkwater in the Spring.
Josh and Kate Coleman had a son, he is number five and his name is Samuel. Michael and Jayme Eenigenburg had a son, he is number four and his name is Hadley.
Ken Paules, who has been with us forever, was diagnosed last year with lung cancer. Ken, a Vietnam combat veteran, has the beast in remission.
I gave three presentations at the 30th Anniversary TFG National Conference in Coeur D’Alene, Idaho in October: Heavy Timber Work in Public Spaces, Veteran Voices, and Company Succession Planning. Joe McCarthy presented two of our projects from 2015 at the Friday evening slide show.
Amy and Tim Good’s daughter, Courtney, is in her last year of high school and her husband, Tim, will soon be in his last year at Drexel University. He is studying architecture.
When we contemplate working with any builder or architect for the first time, I usually check out their work on-line. Over the years I’ve been impressed a fair number of times. Nothing prepared me for what I saw when I went to the website of Mary Barensfeld, a California based Architect with whom we were discussing a project in Pittsburgh, PA. Check out the Hilgard Garden on her web site (barensfeld.com) and see if it takes your breath away as it did mine. We did end up doing the Pittsburgh project with Mary and her associate, Yvonne Riggie and we can’t wait to see the completed project.
– Tony Zaya