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Reflecting Back: Faith Nevins-Hawks

April 5th, 2017 by

Marks Thomas 50th Anniversary

AIA Awards Ceremony, 1995.

Why Marks Thomas?

Twenty Five years ago I was at one of those crossroads in life. Do I move to DC to work for a large architectural firm of separated experts in silos? Do I move to LA to find the boutique design firm that would hire me and pay me enough to live in LA? Or do I stay in Baltimore, my home town, and try to find a suitable opportunity?  I’ve always loved Baltimore, that town that knows it can only get better and where one can be in horse country 20 minutes from downtown.

One day driving north on 83, I noticed an office building of striking proportions. A building that stood out from its un-architectural surroundings. I had to find out who designed it, and since this was before Google, it meant asking architects. I was soon told that it may have been done by Marks Thomas, a firm that had been around for a while but no one seem to know much about the firm. I had to meet them.

Faith at the Northbay Education Center site, 2005.

Paul Marks had such a calm demeanor. He seemed to actually listen to what I had to say and believe in a contextual approach and straightforward style of design. Walking through the studio for the first time, I heard staff working together as well as taking charge. It didn’t take me long to think I could make a career out of such a place.

It was decision I am so glad I made. Marks Thomas gave me the opportunity to develop my design ability, realize my management skills and learn the business of architecture. Now Marks Thomas is a women business enterprise that has won both regional and national design awards, built a reputation for socially conscious work, is known for its adaptive use expertise, yet still maintains that relaxed atmosphere where everyone grows and finds their own path to follow. Today, when I wake in the morning, after walking to the barn to feed the horses and chickens, I head to my office with the Inner Harbor view to work with Marks Thomas Architects designing better communities for Baltimore, my home town.

Faith Nevins-Hawks, AIA, LEED AP