We recently connected with David Marshall and have shared our conversation below.
Hi David, thanks for joining us today. One of the things we most admire about small businesses is their ability to diverge from the corporate/industry standard. Is there something that you or your brand do that differs from the industry standard? We’d love to hear about it as well as any stories you might have that illustrate how or why this difference matters.
Preservation architects, like those at my firm Heritage Architecture & Planning, are a unique breed because we are not trying to design buildings that are new and different or that follow the trends and fashions of today. We are given the responsibility of working on buildings that are sometimes over 100 years old which represent the work of other architects who designed very different eras. Our goal is to help restore and celebrate these relics from the past without leaving too many fingerprints from the present day. We want people to see and appreciate the historic buildings that we’ve worked on in the same way they were seen when they were first built — like architectural time capsules.
Awesome – so before we get into the rest of our questions, can you briefly introduce yourself to our readers.
Heritage Architecture & Planning was established in 1978 in the Gaslamp Quarter. This was a time when many of the historic buildings downtown were in dire need of restoration. Wayne Donaldson, who founded our firm, soon became an expert in saving and restoring old buildings and we have specialized in historic preservation and adaptive reuse ever since. I’ve been with the firm since 1990 and have had an opportunity to help restore many of the region’s iconic landmarks. The projects I’m proudest of are the restorations we’ve completed in Balboa Park, the Western Metal Supply building at Petco Park and the recent restoration of the front entry of the world-renowned Hotel del Coronado.
Where do you think you get most of your clients from?
Historic preservation architecture is very specialized and there are not many firms that do it well, if at all. Heritage Architecture & Planning is the largest firm in San Diego Country that works exclusively in rehabilitation and preservation. While we do have to pursue public projects through the standard RFP process, we don’t expend much on marketing our firm, other that maintaining a website. We find that many of our clients are either repeat clients or ones that have been referred to us based on past projects and our strong reputation.
Any stories or insights that might help us understand how you’ve built such a strong reputation?
A firm’s reputation is critical to its success. In preservation architecture, your reputation is based on countless factors, among them: client and user satisfaction, staying on budget, timely completion, quality design, regulatory approval, and public acknowledgement. A good reputation must be earned over time, but can be lost quickly. Having been around since 1978, Heritage Architecture & Planning has a long track record of respected projects and thankful clients. Quality work is your best advertisement.
- Website: http://www.heritagearchitecture.com
- Instagram: @david.sandiego619
- Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/david-marshall-aia-ba57b04/
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/SDpostcards
All photos by Heritage Architecture & Planning except UCSD IGPP by Darren Bradley.