Here at AIA Pittsburgh we are ringing in the new year with a new editor at Columns (you may have read that Becky Spevack signed off to devote herself full-time to her bacon-making business). I’m Maya Henry and I worked here from 2001-2006 when I left to pursue my degree in Historic Preservation Planning.
It was working at AIA Pittsburgh and meeting so many passionate architects and designers that got me excited about historic preservation, and I was proud to have the support and mentorship of many of you as I made the decision to attend Cornell.
While pursuing my degree I had many opportunities, including leading a trip to Pittsburgh for the whole Department of City and Regional Planning at Cornell, and visiting cities such as Boston, New York and Washington, D.C. to learn about urban design and preservation.
My graduate thesis at Cornell traced the history of ACTION-Housing, Inc. the early residential rehab they did on Cora Street in Homewood as a response to the large-scale urban renewal projects taking place in the city.
I served as president of the Preservation Studies Student Organization and was selected as the 2008 fellow in Urban Design and Preservation for the American Planning Association.
I returned to Pittsburgh after graduation and became the Business District (Main Street) Manager for the nonprofit Lawrenceville Corporation where I had the pleasure of working with old and new businesses along Butler Street and Penn Avenue for six years.
Most recently I served as the City Design Editor for NEXTpittsburgh before stepping down to take this position.
I’m so excited to be returning in this capacity to AIA Pittsburgh. The Communications Committee (Com Com) has got some great things planned for 2017, starting with our first quarter theme of ‘affordability.’ If you’d like to pitch a story idea or get involved with the Communications Committee you can email me right here.
In the meantime, enjoy this modified dossier to get reacquainted with me!
Name: Maya Henry, LCCE*
Family: Married, 2 kids
Education: Cornell University Master of Arts, Historic Preservation Planning, 2008
Your first job: Hostess at a restaurant.
What’s the best part of your job? It allows the flexibility to spend time with my sons and I like getting to do a variety of things with my time — I am definitely “multi-passionate.”
Project you’re proudest of: While living in Ithaca I developed a passion for biking and I completed a historic structure report on an awesome old brick pump house which was being used by RIBs (Recycle Ithaca’s Bicycles) much like Free Ride here in Pittsburgh.
Favorite tool (can be digital, drafting, physical,…): My KitchenAid Mixer.
Architect you’d like to have a drink with: I’m looking forward to catching up with AIA Pittsburgh members (new and old!) at events over the next year!
Someday I’d like to: Write a screenplay.
The secret to my success: Figuring out what I really want and consciously crafting a lifestyle to support it.
*I am also a Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator (like I said, the classic definition of multi-passionate).