This August, Edward Tucker Architects will mark its 25th year of business with a celebration gathering for clients, colleagues, staff, and their families. While celebrating 111 years of continuous practice through ownership transitions, the Huntington, West Virginia, based firm is announcing that it is positioned to continue its growth for years to come through the next generation, with Nathan Randolph and Phoebe Patton Randolph as managing principals, architects J.D. Maynard, Josh Dygert, Eddie Bumpus, Katharine Lea, and Angela Maxwell, interior designer Amber Yost, student interns and co-ops, and office manager Lisa Black.
Huntington native, Edward Tucker began his career in Nashville, Tennessee, building experience in health care architecture and planning. Having worked out a purchase of Dean and Dean Architects, Tucker re-started the Huntington-based business in 1996 with one employee and a part-time secretary.
He recalls that, “there were many nay-sayers at the time who said there wouldn’t be enough work here, that people only hired architects outside of Huntington. But we found that people would rather work with local professionals as long as they could perform at or above the level of out-of-state firms.”
Through the trust and confidence of an increasing list of clientele, the firm’s commissions and staff have steadily grown. Starting in offices in the West Virginia Building and then The Hines Building, the firm has operated from 1401 Sixth Avenue since 2014. Built in the 1950s, the two-story structure was completely renovated to create a modern, open workspace with an emphasis on sustainability and energy-saving goals. With a full array of roof-top solar panels, it uses only a third of the power required for similarly-sized office buildings.
Establishing a world-class architectural practice to serve the Huntington community and surrounding region with captivating designs has been the driving force over the past 25 years. Whether designing new, modern structures or renovations of existing or historic buildings, the confidence of the firm’s many, loyal, repeat clients comes from an appreciation for attentive service and value-driven design.
“We believe that our firm offers superior service and accessibility to our clients, and we have built a reputation for conscientiousness and design excellence that has helped us recruit and retain amazing professionals,” said Phoebe Randolph, Principal. “We are all honored to have the opportunity to provide much-needed services and enhance the region that we call home.”
The firm inherited an architectural legacy beginning with Levi Johnson Dean, who opened his practice in 1910. The nineteenth architect to be licensed in West Virginia, his sons Brooks and Keith Dean continued the family tradition, forming Dean and Dean, Inc., Architects in 1956. Growing to become the premier architectural firm in Huntington, many of the Deans’ designs are still prominent in Huntington, including structures at Marshall University, scores of public schools, libraries, banks, medical facilities, and commercial buildings.
With a focus on education and healthcare, major projects in recent years have been completed for Cabell Huntington Hospital, Marshall University, Marshall Health, Huntington Federal Savings Bank, Cabell County Schools, Raceland-Worthington Schools, West Virginia State University, Bluefield College, the City of Huntington, the Cabell County Commission, Cabell County Public Libraries, the Huntington Museum of Art, and many others.
Among projects receiving Honor Awards, the highest level of recognition from the West Virginia Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, are the Marshall University Forensic Science Center, the renovation of the former Stone and Thomas building into Marshall University’s Visual Arts Center, and the Cox Landing Library for Cabell County Public Library.
“Architecture is a process of blending creative, artistic talent with in-depth, technical know-how,” said Nate Randolph, Principal. “Adding factors like the state’s topography, financial realities, and other complexities can present big challenges, but I enjoy the work of creative puzzles.”
The firm’s culture includes giving back to the community by offering their problem-solving skills as architects to support civic, non-profit, professional, and other volunteer organizations.
Nathan Randolph has served on Huntington’s City Council and chaired the City of Huntington Urban Renewal Authority to oversee the establishment of the city’s land bank.
Phoebe Patton Randolph was the founding president of the community engagement organization Create Huntington and has served on many non-profit and economic development entities in the region, as well as serving as President of AIA West Virginia.
Edward Tucker chaired the Huntington Planning Commission for many years and currently serves on the National Council of Architectural Registration Board’s Licensing Exam Writing Committee, as well as the WV Board of Architects. He is a past president of AIA West Virginia and Regional Director for the AIA Region of the Virginias. In 2018 he was elevated to the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects.
“It’s been great to work in Huntington and see our city grow and transform but, reflecting on the past 25 years, I’d have to say the most rewarding aspect has been nurturing young professionals who have now become the leaders of our firm and community,” Tucker said.
More information on the firm is available at www.etarch.com.