29 years ago this spring I got my first ‘real’ architecture project –not a house addition or reno which I’d been doing since the fall of 1990, while running Dudley’s Young Architects and Planners Project with DSNI. It was North Shore Head Start (day care) and started us on a trajectory of early education design. About the same time, we started a study and 15-year relationship with Kit Clark Senior Services, designing their Codman Square center and other efforts. For Head Start, I hired a friend as a consultant, and then another person. By two years later, Kit Clark was moving forward as a significant project—the consulting friend network wouldn’t work.
On April 1st, 27 years ago, I incorporated Gail Sullivan Associates (a decidedly uncreative name because I hadn’t given any thought to a name) because I had just hired my first full time employee, Camille Victour. I’d enclosed the porch of our triple decker top floor unit – and that was Studio G’s first office. The dining room was the conference room – also the staff break room—and the only place to spread drawings out. The office was tiny but had a great view across the tree canopy of JP and the Fenway to downtown Boston. I met with a woman from SOMWBA at the dining table to get us certified as a woman-owned business. Was it that I was working in my house, or the fact that the company checking account was MY checking account that convinced her I was the legit owner?
Three months later, desperate to have living space back, Camille and I moved into a shared office in Allston with Elton Associates, Henry Joseph, and another architect. We rapidly added another staff member, Karina Young.
And so it has gone, for 27 years….designing interesting, often challenging, and generally fun projects for great clients and making a positive impact on our social and physical environment. We’ve also made an impact on many Studio G alumni. I feel incredibly lucky that each ‘generation’ of Studio G staff have been creative, committed and wonderful to work with.
In that time, we’ve weathered some many storms, like 9/11 and the 2008-2009 great recession. We’ve been spunky, creative, flexible, resilient and definitely tenacious. We’ve learned a lot. That fact and those qualities got us through in the past and will help us get through the Covid19 crisis too.
Thanks to all of Studio G’s employees (present & past), clients, consultants, colleagues and friends for being part of this experiment!