Mary Cerrone, AIA

An architect with a thirst for the outdoors...

By Posted on June 17, 2013

w-dossier-cerrone-bathName: Mary Cerrone, AIA
Firm: MCAI
Family: Kevin (husband), Anna and Peter (kids)
Years in practice: almost 20
Education: University of Virginia (UVA), Yale University
Your first job: Concession stand at Wheeling Country Club; first architectural job: Historic American Building Survey (HABS)
Building you would like to tear down: Any Sheetz service station…they are way too bright; also several buildings at Pitt.
What is the best part of your job: Working with great clients and excellent builders.
What would you change about your job: Less sitting.
What have you always wanted to tell your clients: Similar to advice for travelers: pack what you think you need, then put back half.
What is the most annoying thing that architects do: Think that everyone needs an architect.
Code/zoning requirement I would change if given the chance: Pittsburgh amendment to IRC R312.2 “Guards shall not have an ornamental pattern that would provide a ladder effect”. Considering one can climb on almost any configuration, that phrase eliminates nearly all ornamental railing design.
Favorite tool (can be digital, drafting, physical, etc): Knitting needles.
Favorite outdoor space: The Lawn at UVA
Architect you would like to have a drink with: Thomas Jefferson
Favorite architecture book: How Buildings Learn: What Happens After They’re Built, by Stewart Brand
Favorite Pittsburgh neighborhood: West Shadyside
Where you live in Pittsburgh and why you think it is great: Squirrel Hill – close to many things, walkable, attractive, has many amenities.
Wish list for downtown Pittsburgh: So simple and yet so difficult: no highways alongside the rivers.
If you could live anywhere in the world, where: On the road with hiking, biking, skiing, and swimming gear.
Someday I would like to: Hike the Appalachian Trail in total; swim the Strait of Gibraltar.
I want to be remembered for: Being a creative problem solver who is fun to be around.
People would be surprised to know that: I am first generation American.
What’s on your iPod/Pandora/Spotify: Beck, Gillian Welch, Ryan Adams, Wilco, chants, plus lots of stuff that will surely date me as “old”.
I belong to the AIA because: It offers many avenues to network and learn, at the national and local level through the various Knowledge Communities. I am involved in the Custom Residential Architects’ Network (CRAN) Knowledge Community and hope to expand participation at the local level.

Photo credit Craig Thompson

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