Category Archives: News

Ayars Awarded ACHA Fellowship Status

William “Bill” Ayars, AIA, FACHA, MBA, Managing Principal and Co-Founder of Perspectus has attained Fellowship status from the American College of Healthcare Architects. Fellowship is granted to ACHA Board-certified architects specializing in healthcare who have shown distinction in fulfilling an area of expertise as determined by the College’s Council of Fellows. Ayars was honored for advancing the standards of practice in healthcare architecture. The 2020 Fellows class will be formally inducted November 17, 2020, during the ACHA’s virtual Annual Meeting.

“During his 20 years of building an award-winning practice at Perspectus, Bill has mentored, motivated and provided the leadership to our firm to study and deliver design centered around the human experience,” said Salvatore Rini, AIA, Managing Principal of Perspectus. “All of us believe Bill earned this well-deserved recognition through sharing his personal insight into the care model and working so diligently to ensure we all help our clients use this for patient betterment.”

His knowledge and passion is to ensure students are ready to support the profession. Ayars served on the ACHA Jobs Analysis Study Committee in support of the Healthcare Architects Certification Examination Program. He also identified the need to develop the next generation of healthcare design architects. Working with the Kent State University College of Architecture & Environmental Design, he supported the development of the Elliott Program for Master of Healthcare Design (MHD) and Graduate Certificate in Healthcare Systems and Facility Design.

As part of Perspectus, Bill leads the design and planning of community-based healthcare projects of all sizes and scope including the Cleveland Clinic Robert J. Tomsich Pathology & Laboratory Medicine Institute in Cleveland, Ohio and the Louis Stokes Cleveland Veterans Administration Medical Center Wade Park Campus Basement and First Floor Consolidation.

He has spent 20 years overseeing the growth and strategic direction of Perspectus, and was principal in charge for the Cleveland Clinic, Department of Veterans Affairs, The General Services Administration, and Centers for Dialysis Care projects. Perspectus Architecture is currently the sixth largest architectural firm in northeast Ohio with 30 licensed architects and 47 total employees.

Ayars joins the ranks of 77 distinguished Fellows of the ACHA.

Introducing Two New Team Members

Please join us in welcoming Olivia Zepp, Associate AIA and Jenna Grushetskiy to the Perspectus team!

Olivia joined the Perspectus Historic Studio architectural team with a focus in historic preservation. She has a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the University of Cincinnati and interned with our historic team last year while she was completing her Master of Architecture with a Certificate in Historic Preservation at Ball State University. Through her studies, she has worked with preservation foundations and other community groups to document historic buildings. She is excited to be a full-time employee of Perspectus and looks forward to gaining further experience while bringing her skills and ideas to the studio. Olivia is currently testing for her architectural license and is a member of AIA Akron. Olivia lives in Jackson Township where she grew up and enjoys being outdoors kayaking, hiking or laying in her hammock. She also likes to quilt.

Jenna joined the front office as our new Accounting Manager. A graduate of The University of Akron, she holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and has several years of experience in the AEC industry and corporate environments. She lives with her husband in Bratenahl, Ohio, and enjoys traveling, exploring new restaurants and outdoor activities like tennis, biking and kayaking. Jenna is also trilingual; she is fluent in English, Russian and Ukrainian.

Perspectus Welcomes New Talent

Please join us in welcoming Polly Lynam Bloom, MBA, MA and Patrick J. Hyland, Jr., AIA, LEED AP to the Perspectus Architecture team.

Polly joined our Historic Studio and will be working on strategy development and historic preservation. Most recently, she was employed with ERICO in Solon (now nVent), holding various positions in senior leadership, communications, and marketing. ERICO manufactured metal products used in commercial construction applications sold worldwide. Polly holds an MA in Historic Preservation from Ursuline College, an MBA from University of Chicago, and a BA in Journalism, Fine Arts from Creighton University. She lives in Silver Lake with her husband, Paul, and their two college-age sons, Zachary and Matthew. Her interests include the fine arts with passions for life drawing and metalsmithing, skiing, and traveling with her family for hiking at National Parks.

Patrick brings extensive experience programming, planning and designing for campuses, museums, the arts, and interpretive environments to the Perspectus portfolio. His design excellence is matched by his talent for collaboration with fellow design professionals, consultants, builders, and clients to develop and maintain long-term and meaningful relationships. Previously, Patrick served as an Architect and Senior Associate for DLR Group (formerly Westlake Reed Leskosky). He is a registered architect and holds a Master of Architecture from Yale University and Bachelor of Architecture with Distinction from Pennsylvania State University. He has served on the graduate faculty of Kent State University’s College of Architecture & Environmental Design and Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative and has taught undergraduate and graduate architectural + urban design studios at Kent State University and Penn State University. Patrick lives in Parma with his wife Jennifer and their two children. He is heavily involved in the built environment of the greater Parma community and volunteers his time coaching various sports for the North Royalton YMCA and Saint Bridget School CYO.

Bill Ayars Awarded 2020 AIA Ohio Public Service Award

August 2020 – Perspectus Architecture is thrilled to announce Managing Principal and Co-Founder Bill Ayars, AIA, ACHA, MBA has been awarded the 2020 AIA Ohio Public Service Award. This award is granted annually to an individual who has made a significant impact in his/her community, as well as to the profession, through public service.

“The AIA Ohio Board of Directors was impressed by Bill’s clear commitment and devotion to his community,” said AIA Ohio President, Mary Glowacki, AIA.

Recognizing a critical gap in access to support resources, Bill established The Emerald Jenny Foundation in 2016 with a mission to support people struggling with substance abuse disorders. Channeling his proven process for solving problems beyond design projects, he worked to launch a life-saving recovery tool that transcends the boundaries of his design portfolio. He understands from firsthand experience how overwhelming it can be to navigate resources and find treatment for a loved one in need. Ayars applied his design thinking to analyze and find a way to diminish the challenge that families face when afflicted by addiction. Originally expecting to just serve Clevelanders, the foundation’s success prompted the team to expand the website to Cuyahoga County, neighboring counties, and EJF soon became the official site referral for the State of Ohio with over 1,200 participating treatment centers. In just three years, The Emerald Jenny Foundation made a measurable impact on the nation’s fight against addiction.

We are grateful for the leadership that Bill brings to Perspectus – and our greater community – as he uses his passion and design thinking to solve difficult challenges. Congratulations, Bill!

Perspectus Architecture Wins Three Awards at 2019 AIA Akron Design Awards

Perspectus Architecture was honored with three awards at the AIA Akron Design Awards held on September 12th at the Trailhead at Cascade Lofts. Two of our projects won awards in the following categories:

Honor Award: Summa Health – West Tower (Designed in collaboration with Hasenstab Architects)

Merit Award: The Woda Group – 43 Town Square (Lima Trust Company Building)

People’s Choice Award: Summa Health – West Tower

Summa Health West Tower
Photography by Brad Feinknopf

See photos and learn more about the Summa Health West Tower project here.

43 Town Square at the historic Lima Trust Company Building

Exterior of 43 Town Square
Photography Credit: Scott Pease

The historic 1926 First National Bank and Lima Trust building, renamed as 43 Town Square, is located at the corner of West Market Street and North Main Street at 43 Town Square in Lima, Ohio. The 102,000-square-foot building was previously used as a bank, retail space, and offices, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Designed by Weary & Alford of Chillicothe, Illinois, the building is characterized by its Commercial Style elements and features a limestone façade with limestone details typical of the Renaissance Revival. 

The goal was to convert the magnificent 12-story building into mixed-income family housing and commercial retail space.

Rehabilitation inside the building included maintenance and conservation of many historic design features including: plaster walls and ceilings; wood doors and trim; stone walls, wainscoting, and flooring; original leaded-glass windows; and numerous ornamental stairs and railings.

The historic Director’s Room’s original features were restored. The space is now a community space for residents of 43 Town Square.
Photography Credit: Scott Pease

The grand lobby especially, retained many original attributes including the bronze bank teller windows and marble partitions; decorative and coffered plaster ceiling; wrought iron chandeliers; and a magnificent two-story stained-glass window.

Restored bronze bank teller window located in the grand lobby of 43 Town Square.
Photography Credit: Scott Pease

In addition to the extensive rehabilitation and adaptive reuse of the interior, the exterior of the building was also restored. Exterior work included:

  • Introduction of a covered pedestrian walkway connecting to the adjacent parking garage.
  • Isolated masonry repairs including repointing, replacement of cracked brick, and stone patching.
  • Full restoration of cast iron and bronze windows.

Our 2019 Summer Intern Reflects on Experience at Perspectus Architecture

Perspectus Architecture’s 2019 Summer Intern, Robbie

August 2019 – Summer is drawing to a close and so is Robbie’s time as our summer intern. But before he returns to Kent State University, we asked him a few questions on his experience he had as an intern here at Perspectus.

What were your responsibilities?

I was responsible for the graphical plans used in various AIA and related submissions, including AIA Ohio Design Awards, AIA Akron Design Awards, SHPO Preservation Awards, and the EFA Remodel and Renovation Award.

I worked with our marketing team to deliver graphics for a marketing booklet associated to our Mansfield Art Center project.

I completed construction documents for two of our GSA projects.

I got to be part of the design team for the new Southwest General Health Center Endoscopy Renovation and Expansion project by attending meetings with the user groups and contractor and working on the design itself.

I was responsible for the existing field measurements for our Summa Health Geriatric Impatient Floor Renovation project.

I have also been able to help develop physical models for the Summa parking garage façade and another VA project.

What was your day-to-day like?

My day-to-day consisted of working with one or multiple design teams on various projects (the ones I listed in the previous question). I would come in and check for emails or instructions from within or outside the office. I would then work on my tasked assignments which could include working independently or with a group. I generally would work with our marketing team, design director, or government projects team. However, I did get the chance to work with a couple other teams as well. My day consisted of asking a lot of questions and being as collaborative as I could, asking for guidance, advice, or opinions.  

What was your favorite part of the experience?

My favorite part of the experience was getting the opportunity to work with our South West Endoscopy Renovation team as I got a chance to provide input on the design direction of a project, as well as the opportunity to get a thorough understanding of the design process. Specifically attending meetings and understanding the relationship between the “Architect” and the client and contractor. Also including evaluating existing conditions and working with a team to make design decisions.

What did you value most in your experience?

I learned a lot about this profession in my experience here, and all the little details and key points will be appreciated now and in the future. But the best thing I got out of this experience was being able to confidently know I am going to love being an architect in the future. The scariest thing about choosing your career is knowing whether you are going to be happy doing it for a long time. This experience has shown me how right I was in picking this career path. I have had a great opportunity to understand how working in an architecture firm is and I couldn’t be more grateful to know that I made the right choice for myself.  

What was the funniest moment you experienced here?

The funniest moment was staging photos for the CDC East Project. It was a great time of enjoying the new space and joking around with the acting. Specifically, Bernard role playing as a patient.

Describe your summer experience in 3 words or short phrases.

Exciting. Tea. Confidence.

Perspectus Welcomes Two Team Members: Meet Vandana Sambangi and Andrew Swansiger

Perspectus Architecture is proud to welcome two new team members this summer, Vandana Sambangi and Andrew Swansiger. Vandana joins us as our new accounting manager overseeing the daily operations of the accounting department. Andrew joins us as an intern architect working towards his architecture license and is a recent graduate of Kent State University.

We thought we would introduce them both with a short Q & A!

Vandana Sambangi

What aspect of your role do you enjoy the most?

I enjoy seeing the financial aspect of things, so I like knowing how well the company is doing financially – providing feedback, offering insights to process improvements.

What are you most looking forward to at Perspectus?

I’m looking for a new challenge that can help me broaden my experience in accounting and finance. I believe this change of industry will do just that. With my skill set and experience, this would give me an opportunity to build new working relationships and learn new things.

Where is your hometown?

Cleveland, Ohio

What is your favorite way to spend your free time? What do you enjoy about it?

I love to cook. I wouldn’t call myself a master, but I can put some drool-worthy food on plate for my family every evening! I’m always looking for new recipes and new techniques to try out, which is so easy to do these days thanks to the Internet. I really like keeping my family guessing what’s the next masterpiece—or disaster—will be.

What is your personal philosophy?

My philosophy of life is: “Don’t make anything complex. Keep it simple and make it memorable.” Most importantly, live it each day. Our lives are filled with a constant stream of choices, so let’s make the best ones possible.

Andrew Swansiger

What aspect of your role do you enjoy the most?

I really enjoy being able to work with a team to come up with exciting and creative design solutions.

What are you most looking forward to at Perspectus?

I am really looking forward to the studio culture and being able to become an active member within the firm.

Where is your hometown?

New Middletown, Ohio.

What is your favorite way to spend your free time?

During my free time I enjoy sketching and playing hockey.

What is your personal philosophy?

If you aim high and miss that is okay…the fear should be if you aim too low and hit.


Perspectus Architecture’s Scott Sturm Becomes Fully Licensed Architect

July 2019 We are proud to announce that Scott Sturm, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, NCARB has accomplished all requirements to become a fully licensed architect! Throughout his journey, Scott has succeeded in each stage of qualification, including passing all divisions of the Architect Registration Exam.

Congratulations, Scott! You earned it!

5 Minutes with Perspectus Architecture’s Historic Studio

May is National Preservation Month! To celebrate, team members from our historic studio share their insights to questions like: What is the purpose of historic preservation? Why should developers prioritize the reuse of old buildings? What are the biggest challenges facing historic preservation today?

Continue reading to learn answers to those questions and more, including a paranormal experience.

Elizabeth Corbin Murphy, FAIA

What role does technology play in preservation?

Alice Sloan, Associate AIA
Historic Preservation Specialist

How did you end up specializing in historic preservation?

My parents instilled a love of history in me from a very young age. I grew up vacationing in the southern United States touring historic sites and battlefields and developed an appreciation of historic homes in particular.

What is your historic place to visit?

What do you think is the purpose of historic preservation?

What can we learn from tragic burning of the Cathedral Notre Dame Paris?

Thorough documentation in the form of photographs and measured drawings is essential for our most significant buildings. 3-D laser scanning and photogrammetry should be utilized.

Brian Broadus, AIA, LEED AP BD+C
Senior Project Director

How did you pick up the practice of architecture in historic preservation?

What is the project you’re most proud of?

What role does technology play in preservation?

What’s the most interesting story you uncovered about a project that you worked on?

An infirmary from 1858 led me into scientific literature surrounding the miasma theory of disease and taught me about Florence Nightingale and the origins of professional nursing.

I also bumped into the last known photograph of Edgar Allen Poe and the man who took it.

Last known photograph of Edgar Allen Poe photograph
Image courtesy of Brian Broadus, AIA

What are the biggest challenges in preservation today?

Sean Stewart
Interior Design, Preservation

What is the project you are most proud of and why?

What is your favorite historic place to visit?

What do you think is the purpose of historic preservation?

The purpose of Historical Preservation is to preserve sites, structures, or districts that had an impact on history. To me, it is the practice of preserving and rehabilitating old historic structures so that they are economically stable in today’s world.

Why should developers prioritize the reuse of old buildings?

Dalton Kline
Interior Design, Preservation

How did you end up specializing in historic preservation?

What is your favorite historic place to visit?

It’s a tie between New Orleans and the basement of any historic building. I love New Orleans because it is a true blending of dissimilar and potent cultures.

I love basements because they are often the last thing altered in a historic building. So, that means that they are often the closest thing to original left in a building. Basements are dirty, cold, damp and dark. It’s the absolute best place to go.

Have you ever had a paranormal experience working on a project?

What do you think is the purpose of historic preservation?

To preserve history to ensure the survival and growth of our heritage.

What is your vision for the future of the historic preservation movement?

Why should developers prioritize reuse of old buildings?

Because age is an asset, not a hindrance. Viewing age as a hindrance makes for terrible design and a disappointing life.

What can we learn from tragic burning of the Cathedral Notre Dame Paris?

Martha Ross, RA
Senior Project Director

What is your favorite historic place to visit?

Copenhagen as the city has maintained most of its historic fabric by re-purposing the interiors and by doing so has maintained the character of the city from the past but promoted the usefulness of the city for the present.

What is something new you learned this week?

A Johnson Glass House + a Wright Overhang + a 1960’s Fleischman school entrance does not = a compatible addition to a 1889-1922 building!

Why should developers prioritize the reuse of old buildings?

What can we learn from the tragic burning of the Cathedral Notre Dame Paris?

Prospect Yard: Paying Homage to Cleveland’s Automotive History

Prospect Yard Rendering
Rendering of Prospect Yard, coming soon

Once upon a time, Cleveland was known as the epicenter of the automotive industry. By the early 20th century, Cleveland was home to seven major car manufacturers and added many industry innovations, including the spark ignition, flexible steering column, and various engine types. This formative period in Cleveland’s automotive manufacturing heyday was also when Frank E. Stuyvesant established the Stuyvesant Motor Co. and later became the primary Cleveland distributor for the merged Hudson-Stuyvesant Motor Car Company. Such an enterprise required a facility that could sell and service these high-end vehicles, which is where our story begins. 

Located on Prospect Avenue within Downtown Cleveland’s current “Campus District” stands the historic former Stuyvesant Motor Company building. Constructed in 1917, the building was originally built as a sales showroom, service center, garage, and storage facility for the manufacturer’s cars. Prior to the eventual dominance of the “big three” (Ford, Chrysler, General Motors), the Stuyvesant Motor Co. embodies the shift from small, local automotive manufacturer to the larger assembly-line based corporations whose legacy remains in today’s brands. Within a local framework, the building significantly contributed to the manufacturing, service, and support of automobiles, and represents the rise and decline of small, independent auto manufacturers in Cleveland. Expansion of the four-story building to its existing five stories in 1919 underscores the significance of this company as other local manufacturers failed. 

After the Great Depression, the Stuyvesant Motor Company Building became home to various other businesses associated with the automobile industry and service functions until the late 1930s. The building was then occupied by the Coast Guard, the U.S. Government and even a print shop until it sat vacant for decades.

Stuyvesant Motor Company building circa 1964

Today, the historic property is undergoing a substantial rehabilitation to begin its new life as Prospect Yard, scheduled to be completed early this summer. The adaptive reuse project started out as a conversion to “market rate” housing. The developer recognized that many Cleveland residents were being displaced by the volumes of new work downtown and lack of affordable housing options in the area. The project then became “income eligible” housing to offer affordable options to those in the service industries who are essential to the life of Cleveland’s retail, hospitality, and even health care industries.

The open, industrial layout of the Stuyvesant Motor Co. building lends itself well to its rebirth as housing. It also serves as a prime example of how historic preservation and adaptive reuse can address the housing affordability crisis occurring in cities nationwide. Additionally, the original and restored features of the building give the apartments a high-end, industrial loft feel not often accessible to residents in modern affordable housing developments.

Among the restored features are the original car lift elevator, covered underground parking once used for car storage, exposed interior concrete columns, and joist and slab ceilings. Throughout the building, original exterior masonry materials, including window sills, brick pilasters, and stone ornament remain intact.

Under construction: The original giant steel sash windows flood the new apartment units with natural light and views of Downtown Cleveland.

Arguably, the most striking feature of the entire project is the giant steel sash windows framing views of the Cleveland skyline and flooding the apartments with natural light.

The original features and structure of Prospect Yard make it a unique property steeped in local history. In its new role, The Stuyvesant Motor Company building retains the rich history and memorable characteristics of Cleveland’s automobile industry. 

Stay tuned for more details and updates on the completion of Prospect Yard. In the meantime, check out our other historic preservation work

Have a historic fixer-upper begging for a new life? Get in touch, we’d love to help.