The 2011 Decatur Old House Fair


Bill Clark, AIA, LEED AP, Stevens & Wilkinson Inc.

Bill received his masters of architecture from Georgia Tech in 1979. He is a principal with Stevens & Wilkinson in Atlanta and a LEED Accredited Professional. He serves as managing principal on a wide variety of projects in the private, commercial and institutional sectors, with historic rehabilitation and preservation as one area of focus. Bill has been renovating his personal houses for more than 30 years and still learns something from every project.

Richard Cloues, section chief and deputy state historic preservation officer, Georgia Historic Preservation Division, Department of Natural Resources

Since 1978, Richard has worked with Georgia’s survey, National Register, environmental review, and tax incentives programs. He is now the Historic Resources section chief and serves as a deputy state historic preservation officer. Throughout his career, he has helped broaden the state’s perspective on its historic resources. In 1984 he guided the office’s first study of historic African-American buildings. From 1989 through 1991 he directed the Georgia’s Living Places project that identified styles and types of historic houses and their historic landscapes. Between 1996 and 1997 Richard led DNR’s RiverCare 2000 cultural resources assessment team and authored a report on the historic and archaeological resources along the state’s rivers. Currently he is updating Georgia’s Living Places to include ranch houses and split levels. Richard has a Ph.D. in architectural history and historic preservation from Cornell University.

Sandy Crowe, master craftsman, Crowe Development Corporation

Sandy is a master craftsman with almost 40 years of experience in construction and custom home building. His specialty is the restoration of historic windows and doors. He has worked on some of the most significant homes in the Atlanta area, including the Edward Peters Mansion (c.1886), the Lemuel P. Grant Mansion (c. 1856), the Adair Mansion, home of Arthur Blank (c. 1910), and the Donaldson House (pre-Civil War). Sandy has also done many window restoration projects for historic homes located throughout Decatur and metropolitan Atlanta.

Edward Daugherty, Edward L. Daugherty Landscape Architects, Inc.

A lifelong Atlantan, Edward has a native son’s appreciation of and concern for a city’s significant buildings and open spaces and how they can be preserved and enhanced over time to maintain a livable city. A student of architecture for two years at Georgia Tech, he discovered the profession of landscape architecture at the University of Georgia in 1947. Three years at the graduate school of design at Harvard, earning a BLA and MLA, were followed by a year studying and observing town planning in England. He returned to Atlanta and established his practice in 1953, designing landscapes for residences, churches, schools and institutions, including Atlanta Botanical Garden, Atlanta History Center, Wesley Woods, Canterbury Court, the Decatur Cemetery, and the downtown redevelopment plan for Marietta.

Laura Drummond, Atlanta Preservation and Planning Services, LLC

Laura received her master’s degree in heritage preservation from Georgia State University, where she currently serves as adjunct faculty teaching the conservation of historic building materials. She is principal at Atlanta Preservation and Planning Services, where she has developed specialized digital tools for historic resource surveys and GIS applications for preservation. While consulting as well as teaching, Laura has produced and directed numerous historic structure reports and building conditions assessments. She has been the preservation specialist for the City of Stone Mountain since 2004, and a volunteer docent at the Atlanta History Center for more than 10 years.

Melissa Forgey, executive director, DeKalb History Center

Melissa became the executive director of the DeKalb History Center in 2007. Prior to that, she was the executive director at Thomasville Landmarks in South Georgia for 10 years. In the early 1990s, she was employed as assistant curator at the Jekyll Island Museum. Melissa received a master’s in heritage preservation from Georgia State University and a bachelor of arts in history from Emory University. She returned to DeKalb County to be near family and friends, and is delighted to be fully back into the field of public history.

William Hover, program manager and architectural reviewer

Bill has been architectural reviewer with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Historic Preservation Division, since 2000. He reviews projects participating in federal and state tax incentives, HPD-administered grants programs for historic properties, and environmental review projects for their effects on historic properties. Bill also provides architectural technical assistance to property owners, organizations, and government agencies. He has more than 17 years of experience in private sector building construction, holds a bachelor of science in construction technology from Bowling Green State University, and a master of heritage preservation from Georgia State University. He also maintains memberships with the Association for Preservation Technology International, including the Southeast Region chapter; the Preservation Trades Network; the Construction History Society of America; the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation; and the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Aimee Leonard, Renewal Design-Build

Aimee holds an interior design degree from the University of Georgia and has more than 12 years of kitchen and bath design experience. After owning and operating her own design firm for six years, Aimee joined Renewal as a project designer. Aimee’s passion for design stems from the relationships with her clients and her ability to transform a space according to their individual lifestyle and needs.

Albert McDonald, president, Overeducated Painters

In 2001 Albert was laid off from his marketing position in Atlanta. With such high unemployment it was very hard for him to find a job. Then a friend asked him if he knew any painters. “Let me do it, I have always done handy work around the house and I could use the money,” he said. He realized he could do this until the job market got better but knew he needed a catchy name. He started hiring his friends to help him paint houses and Overeducated Painters was born. Nine years later, the company is still going strong, providing high-end detailed work for its clients. Albert has been part of the Decatur Old House Fair since the beginning and has expertise in painting historic homes and making plaster repairs.

Peter Michelson, CEO, Renewal Design-Build

Peter is a fourth-generation contractor and the CEO of Renewal Design-Build, a full-service firm specializing in the renovation of older homes. Award-winning Renewal is ranked as a Top Five Residential Remodeler by the Atlanta Business Chronicle and has been featured on HGTV, the Discovery Network, and in numerous publications. The company is highly committed to green principles and is proud to be a 2005 Earthcraft Renovator of the Year. Renewal is a member of the National Kitchen and Bath Association and is proud to be celebrating its 10th year in business.

Jennifer O’Shields, owner, The Woods Conservation, LLC

Jennifer is a master finisher with more than 15 years of preservation experience and is one of the few remaining craftsmen to be brought up through the apprentice system. She has worked on numerous historic homes and antiques. She specializes in both historic finishes on wooden artifacts and the replication of historic finishes on new woodwork. In 2004 she opened The Woods Conservation and continues to operate locally from Decatur.

Michael Purser, owner, CEO, the Rosebud Company

Michael grew up in Charlotte, N.C., around the wood flooring trade. He has a degree in economics from UNC-C and started the Rosebud Co. in 1973. Almost all of Michael’s 40-plus years of working on wood floors has been in old homes. His knowledge and expertise in preserving old wood floors has been relied upon in some of the most complicated wood floor restoration projects in the country. As a result, Michael brings an enormous amount of wood floor experience to working on your old wood floors so that he leaves the wood underneath your feet, not in a mound of dust in a trash bag by the street. He also tests and evaluates wood floor finishes to make sure he knows what products work best for you. Michael lives in the Decatur area in a 90-year-old house with his wife, two daughters and Libby, the most spoiled dog you will ever meet.

David Ramsey, NCIDQ Certified, Lord, Aeck & Sargent Architecture

David is an interior designer in the historic preservation studio at Lord, Aeck & Sargent and a graduate of the Georgia Institute of Technology. He completed a master’s degree in architecture, which he has parlayed into more than 20 years’ experience in interior design for residential, commercial and institutional buildings. His philosophy on the revitalization of historic interiors is informed by his varied experience in the design of corporate commercial interiors, period restoration of historic house museums, and the practical hands-on renovation of his own ranch house in DeKalb County.

Andrew Rutledge, principal, Rutledge Alcock Architects

Andrew’s experience includes 10 years of design in multi-family housing, adaptive re-use projects, and retail/commercial development at TVS & Associates, Brock Green Architects and Rowhouse Architects. Notable projects include StudioPlex, Arizona Lofts, and the Washington, D.C., Convention Center. He holds a B.S. in architecture from Auburn University. He lives with his wife and daughter in the Old Decatur Historic District and serves on the Decatur Historic Preservation Commission. 

Beth Shorthouse, preservationist and business developer, Lord, Aeck & Sargent Architecture

Beth joined Lord, Aeck & Sargent in 2003 as the coordinator of business development for the historic preservation studio. Her work in preservation began in 1999 at the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation, where she combined her background in urban studies with the role that historic resources play in the successful redevelopment of older neighborhoods. At Lord, Aeck & Sargent, she fosters and maintains client relationships, coordinates proposals and helps set project development goals for the preservation studio. She has participated in national-level preservation discussions and training through the National Trust for Historic Preservation. She has served on the board of directors for the Atlanta Preservation Center and the Georgia African-American Historic Preservation Network, a program of the Georgia State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO). She lives in a Craftsman bungalow in East Atlanta with her husband, son and chocolate Labrador.

Robert Soens, CEO, Pinnacle Custom Builders and Pinnacle Green Services

Robert has more than 20 years of contracting and building experience, and is a nationally recognized speaker and author. After running a successful commercial construction company, he created Pinnacle Custom Builders in 1996. Pinnacle specializes in “green” construction practices. The company builds and renovates homes in both the EarthCraft and LEED for Homes programs, offering extensive experience with building techniques and materials that are durable, energy efficient, and environmentally responsible. Pinnacle has won numerous awards, including Earthcraft Renovator of the Year, and has recently been certified carbon neutral in its business operations.

Richard M. Stevens, architect, Richard M. Stevens Architect, LLC

Richard attended the Georgia Institute of Technology, College of Architecture, and received his bachelor of science with high honor in 1983, a Certificate in Energy Studies in 1983, and a master of architecture degree in 1985. Prior to starting his own business in 2003, Richard worked for 18 years for a large design firm in Decatur, serving as lead architect. Richard’s architectural practice focuses on sustainable, contextually sensitive residential design, primarily in older urban neighborhoods. His projects include new homes, additions, and historic renovations.

Joe Thomas, home performance consultant, Renewal System Solutions

Joe is an “old house” owner, a chronic renovator, and a BPI certified building analyst. He has also completed courses in EarthCraft renovations and is trained in solar system design and installation. A home performance consultant for Renewal System Solutions, Joe specializes in the energy efficiency of older homes. As part of the Home Performance with ENERGY STAR program, he performs whole house assessments – detecting home energy loss and safety hazards – and then improves these homes to meet today’s high standards of energy efficiency, comfort, and health.

Kenneth Thomas Jr., professional historian and genealogist

Kenneth retired in 2006 after 33 years with the Historic Preservation Division of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. During his tenure there he became an expert on researching historic houses and wrote two pamphlets that remain on the HPD website, Documenting a Structure in Georgia, and Documenting a Structure in Atlanta. He has written the genealogy column in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution since 1977. A graduate of Emory University and a Decatur resident, he serves on the board of the DeKalb History Center.