We've got exciting news! Learn More

Reflecting Back: Magda Westerhout

April 20th, 2017 by

Marks Thomas 50th Anniversary

Glens at Guilford groundbreaking.

I came to Baltimore in 1982 for a year and fell in love with the city and stayed. In 1987, I decided I needed a job with a future. Times were good and there was a lot of opportunity for young architects.

I was very involved with AIA Baltimore and knew of Marks Thomas because the founder Paul Marks was the AIA Baltimore president in the early 80’s. I interviewed and told them I was looking for a job with people I liked. The office, then at 2300 North Charles Street, was under construction and the day of my first interview, all twelve members of the firm were drinking beer and wearing shorts. Paul invited me back for a second interview to convince me it was a great job, and invited me to go sailing with the office on the next Friday afternoon. How could I say no?

Charlestown gala, mid 90’s.

The sense of camaraderie I glimpsed that first day only deepened as the firm grew. Firm culture supported my volunteer passions, the Neighborhood Design Center and the local chapter of the AIA. On a personal level,Paul was certainly good at hiring people I liked; Mark Mobley, my future husband, was hired at Marks, Thomas in the same month as myself and we got married 14 months later. The first projects I worked on included our first building for Erickson Living Retirement Community, the Frederick House. We worked with Shelter to design affordable senior housing in Easton and Baltimore. The satisfaction of designing housing to improve people’s lives really resonated with me and I looked for more opportunities to do so.

AIA awards exhibition with Mayor Kurt Schmoke.

Over the years I have been incredibly fortunate to work with wonderful organizations such as Catholic Charities, GEDCO, Bon Secours and Telesis, all of which are committed to improving life for and supporting the residents of the many buildings we have designed for them. The long term relationships I built with friends, colleagues, clients and residents (not to mention my husband) at Marks Thomas, has profoundly impacted my personal and professional life.