Steve Fitzpatrick had a chance to design an orthodontist clinic in 1986 and took the risk of opening his own firm, Fitzpatrick Architects. His first office was an easy commute. With three daughters, he moved one into a room with her sister and turned it into the corporate headquarters.
Thursday night in front of friends, family and businesses from Tyler, Fitzpatrick, his five other partners and the now 23-employee firm was honored as the 2019 American Institute of Architects Dallas Firm of the Year. Fitzpatrick Architects of Tyler was chosen from among 2,300 firms, as the 18-county region of Northeast Texas is the fifth-largest in the nation behind chapters in New York, Boston, Chicago and Los Angeles.
“For us to get this award with over 2,300 firms up there, it’s like a ‘who’s who’ of nationally recognized firms and for us to get this is hard to believe and we are really excited about it,” Fitzpatrick said. “We think it’s because we are making a difference in our community and we can see it and they can see it. We are also working with the downtown master plan. AIA sees us helping and pitching in with our community as well as designing for companies.”
“For a town the size of Tyler to have an architecture firm of 23 is pretty unusual and doesn’t happen very often. Not many cities have that, it means there’s something special going on here,” Fitzpatrick added.
Fitzpatrick Architects designed Fresh by Brookshire’s on Old Jacksonville Highway, several projects for Green Acres Baptist Church, the Southside Bank branches, Raquet & Jog, the former Tyler Morning Telegraph building and several other businesses and restaurants, as well as public buildings for the city. They have also designed buildings all over East Texas.
Fitzpatrick is proud of the Energy Center at Tyler Junior College and to be designing part of the renovation and new addition to Tyler High School. The former Robert E. Lee and Texas A&M and Rice University graduate said he wants each project to be “a fun place to be in” and an experience.
“We carry that into everything, no matter what we are doing. We try to be involved in local education. There are no architect schools in the area, so we might be the only exposure they get. We let them job shadow in case they want to get into this field,” Fitzpatrick said.
When asked how a local firm can be one of the best in the country yet still affordable, he said, “What we always say is, ‘The good design does not cost extra money.’ No matter what the project is, we are trying to bring good design in an economic fashion. Saying something has to not look good because it’s low-cost should not be an excuse.”
Fitzpatrick worked for Charles Tapley and Associates in Houston while attending graduate school and then Sinclair & Wright before opening his own firm. They moved from his house to Dobbs Street, Vine Street and now on the second floor of the Times Square Center. He has served as a board member on the City of Tyler Board of Adjustments, The American Red Cross Smith County Chapter, Parent Services, The Robert E. Lee High School Booster Club, and Tyler Community Homes. Fitzpatrick is also a deacon at Green Acres Baptist Church, the Northeast Texas Representative on the Dallas AIA Board of Directors, the Northeast Texas Executive Director for the Texas Architects Committee, and serves, by appointment of the Governor of Texas, on the State of Texas Industrialized Building Code Council.
When asked what his favorite project has been, he smiles and says, “The thing I am most proud of is building this firm and having a collection of people here in Tyler who are really talented and committed to good design and want to do architecture and make a difference. We’ve been fortunate to do a lot of great buildings all over town and Northeast Texas. It’s been incredible how we’ve grown and grown. We have really talented, great people who want to move to Tyler and work. It’s been an amazing ride.”
And it’s not just designs. He felt Fresh by Brookshire’s was not just a store.
“That was a new concept design and game-changer for them. It’s a brand, it’s a grocery company, it changed that whole area,” he said. “TJC Energy Center on the West Campus, it shows what kind of high-tech training is going on.”
Michael Malone of Malone Maxwell Borson Architects presented the award Thursday at the People’s Petroleum Building.
“You all know what an exemplary organization this is. As architects, our goal is to always be better than we are individually as a team. And this is a group that represents strength and power in a community working together. I can say on behalf of every architect in Dallas, I am glad you are here in Tyler and I do not have to compete with you!” Malone said. “We sometimes take for granted the things we have. You go to work or college in a building and on all occasions it was designed by someone up here. If it was a good building, it changed your life. It’s a nice thing to be able to recognize a group of people and the work this group has.”
Malone won the award seven years ago and said, “That tag is on every email that goes out from our firm and will stay with us forever.”
Fitzpatrick added, “It’s humbling to receive this. We still can’t believe it happened. It’s amazing it’s on the list and will be the biggest accomplishment we achieved.”
Fitzpatrick and his wife, Marta, have three daughters and five grandchildren. The other partners in the firm are Brian Phillips, Brandy Ziegler, Chad Humphries, Trey Greer and Chuck Goldsmith.
Here are the partners in the firm courtesy of the fitzpatrickarchitects.com website.
STEVE FITZPATRICK: Steve graduated from Texas A & M University in 1978 with a degree in Environmental Design. He received his Masters Degree from Rice University in 1981. Steve worked with the firm of Charles Tapley and Associates in Houston while attending graduate school. He was licensed to practice Architecture by the State of Texas in 1983. After working for another firm in Tyler, Steve opened his own Architectural practice in 1986 which has grown to its current size as one of the largest firms in East Texas. In 2010 Steve invited five of his staff Architects to become partners and formed the current firm of Fitzpatrick Architects.
Steve has completed a wide variety of projects including multiple projects for Green Acres Baptist Church in Tyler, Mobberly Baptist Church in Longview, The Wellborn Houston Law Office in Henderson, The Tyler Civic Theater Complex, The City of Tyler Glass Recreation Center, The Tyler Salvation Army Center of Hope, Dermatology Associates of Tyler, The Genecov Group Office, Posados Corporate Offices, and many facilities throughout the region for East Texas Medical Center.
Steve has served as a Board Member on the City of Tyler Board of Adjustments, The American Red Cross Smith County Chapter, Parent Services, The Robert E. Lee High School Booster Club, and Tyler Community Homes. He served as Chairman for several of these organizations.
Steve currently serves as a deacon at Green Acres Baptist Church, the Northeast Texas Representative on the Dallas AIA Board of Directors, the Northeast Texas Executive Director for the Texas Architects Committee (TAC), and serves, by appointment of the Governor of Texas, on the State of Texas Industrialized Building Code Council.
Steve and his wife Marta have three daughters and five grandchildren.
Chuck is an Architect and Partner at Fitzpatrick Architects, and a member of the Northeast Texas section of the AIA. He has worked on a variety of projects, including residential, churches, commercial, municipal, and industrial, and currently focuses primarily on medical facilities.
Chuck received his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Texas, and after stints as a builder/remodeler, cabinetmaker, and as a missionary builder with Youth with a Mission, he earned his Master of Architecture from Texas Tech University. He has worked in Tyler since 1996, and has worked with Steve Fitzpatrick since 2000.
His recent project involvement has included an addition and remodel of Racquet & Jog in Tyler, several ambulatory surgery centers in Texas, Louisiana, and Arizona, a new clinic space for the Veteran’s Administration in Tyler, and various addition and remodel projects in hospitals, retail stores and restaurants, car dealerships, offices, and residences.
Past projects have included the adaptive reuse of Tyler’s historic Cotton Belt Depot, industrial facilities for Aramark Uniform, and Tyler Beverage, a remodel of First Baptist Church Mineola, the ETMC “CyberKnife” robotic surgical vault, the ETMC Data Center, ETMC Fairfield Hospital, and the ETMC Jacksonville Olympic Center. He has also been the Project Architect for a variety of adaptive reuse and remodel projects for the ETMC Regional Healthcare System including the ETMC 5th Street Medical Offices, the Frankston Medical Clinic, and on new clinics in Canton, Mt. Vernon, and Trinity, Texas.
Hobbies are woodworking, remodeling, welding and fabrication, shade tree vehicle repair, guitar, sailing, and traveling with Nancy, his wife of 36 years. They have four children, and six grandchildren.
Trey Greer is an Architect and Partner at Fitzpatrick Architects in Tyler, Texas. He works on a variety of projects, from religious and educational to commercial, with a wide range of clients around East Texas.
Trey received his Bachelor of Architecture from Louisiana Tech University in 1998, and worked with Michael L Walpole, Architect in Ruston, Louisiana and Tobin & Associates in Cheyenne, Wyoming before joining Fitzpatrick.Butler Architects in 2004. In 2010, Steve Fitzpatrick of Fitzpatrick.Butler formed Fitzpatrick Architects, where Trey is now a partner. Trey currently holds licenses to practice Architecture in the States of Texas and New Mexico. Trey is also NCARB certified and has been previously licensed in the States of Louisiana and Wyoming.
Trey’s recent projects include offices for Vascular Specialists of East Texas, renovation of the People’s Petroleum Building in downtown Tyler, a new Boulter Middle School for Tyler Independent School district, and interior renovations for First Baptist Church of West Monroe, Louisiana.
Trey is married with three children and is part of a mission construction team with Southern Oaks Baptist Church. Trey is also a member of the Board of Directors for Lone Tree Camps in New Mexico, a Christian based, high adventure camp for young people.
Chad Humphries is an Architect and Partner at Fitzpatrick Architects in Tyler, Texas.
Chad received his Bachelor of Environmental Design Degree from Texas A&M in 1998 and his Master of Architecture in 2001 from the University of Idaho. Chad joined Fitzpatrick.Butler Architects in 1999, and returned shortly after completing his graduate degree. He is NCARB certified and is a licensed Architect in the State of Texas.
In 2010, Steve Fitzpatrick began Fitzpatrick Architects, and Chad became a partner of the firm. Projects in his resume include Posados Corporate Office, Mobberly Baptist Church Elevation Youth Building, Green Acres Baptist Church Student Center Addition, Mobberly Baptist Church Children’s Building Renovation, Green Acres Baptist Church Lighthouse Education Building and Crosswalk Conference Center, The Bridge Education Building at Mobberly Baptist Church, The Foundry Coffee Shop, and Bethel Bible Church (South and Downtown campuses).
Chad has a passion for Interior Design, and leads our talented Interior Design staff. He recently led the design and renovation of our current office, using the opportunity to be innovative while meeting a tight budget.
Brian Phillips is an Architect and Partner at Fitzpatrick Architects in Tyler, Texas. He works on a variety of projects, from medical to commercial, with a wide range of clients around East Texas.
Brian received his Bachelor of Architecture from Louisiana Tech University in 1998, and worked with RTKL Associates in Dallas and Morgan, Hill, Sutton & Mitchell Architects in Shreveport before joining Fitzpatrick Butler Architects in 2004. In 2010, Steve Fitzpatrick of Fitzpatrick.Butler formed Fitzpatrick Architects where Brian is now a partner. Brian is NCARB certified and a licensed Architect in the State of Texas. He is also a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Accredited Professional.
Brian's past projects include the Southgate Office Building for The Genecov Group, the JoAnn Medlock Murphy Tennis Complex at Tyler Junior College, Rockhill Baptist Church in Brownsboro, Texas, the Phirst Building for the Genesis Group, Corporate Green Office Development, Cardiovascular Associates of East Texas (CAET), STEMCO in Longview, Ear Nose & Throat (ENT) Associates of East Texas, the All Saints Episcopal Chapel, Christ Church’s South Campus Chapel, and a new medical office for Sleep Medicine Institute of Texas. He is currently the Project Architect for a new office building for Jasper Ventures, and working on the design of numerous other projects.
Brian served on the City of Tyler's Construction Board of Adjustments and Appeals from 2005 to 2009. He has also been active in the Northeast Texas Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, serving as the Chapter President in 2009, and as a Director from 2010-2012. He is currently serving on the Board of Directors of the Discovery Science Museum in Tyler.
Brian is married to Dr. Michal Phillips of Tyler, a family practice physician with ETMC in Whitehouse, TX. Brian is the very proud father of Jonathan Phillips, who was born in 2008. Brian is also an active cyclist, and races both mountain and road bikes competitively. He is currently a Race Team director with FRESH Racing, a local cycling club.
Brandy Ziegler is an Architect and Partner at Fitzpatrick Architects in Tyler, Texas.
Brandy received her Master of Architecture from Texas Tech University in 1999. She worked with Beeler, Guest, Owens Architects in Dallas upon graduating. There she worked on Mutli-family and Mixed-use projects for the Dallas and Austin Texas areas. In 2001, Brandy and her husband Bryan moved to Denver to work with Mountain Design Group, an architecture and engineering firm.
Brandy joined Fitzpatrick.Butler Architects in 2003. She is NCARB certified and is a licensed Architect in the State of Texas and Oklahoma. In 2009, Brandy took the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design accreditation exam, and is now a LEED Accredited Professional.
In 2010, Steve Fitzpatrick began Fitzpatrick Architects, and Brandy became a partner of the firm. Projects in her resume include the re-envisioned offices of Tyler Morning Telegraph, Tyler Tennis and Swim Club, The Energy Center at Tyler Junior College, Brookshire’s FRESH Grocery Store (LEED Certified), Wood County Electrical Cooperative (Quitman), First Christian Church Renovations and Additions, Ecoland Early Learning Center (Kilgore), Region 7 Education Service Center Renovations and Additions (Kilgore), The University of Texas at Tyler’s Baseball and Softball Complex, Texas Arthritis and Rheumatology Medical Office, South Tyler Dermatology Medical Office, The Genecov Office Expansion, and Prothro – Wilhelmi Accounting Office.
Brandy is married to Bryan who is a civil engineer and the principal at Aqueous Engineering in Tyler, TX. Bryan also received his Master’s in Architecture along with his civil engineering degree at Texas Tech where they met. They have been blessed with two girls Sophie (2005) and Maya (2008). Brandy is an active member of the Education/Human Resources Committee for the Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce, and she is on the Board of Directors for the Andy Woods Elementary Parent Teacher Association. Bryan and Brandy are members at Green Acres Baptist Church where they are active in volunteering and serving.