Meet Our Architects for the “New” Wachenheim Center

In 2007, Carl Elefante wrote an article in National Trust’s Forum Journal “The greenest building is … one that is already built.” This idea advocates for investment in existing buildings that possess valuable “embodied energy” rather than tearing them down. Several of our own structures at the Jay Estate were created with old growth wood and irreplaceable hand crafted details including mahogany interiors and terracotta brick floors – in choosing a sustainable plan for rehabilitation and enhancement, we can accommodate modern and public use while also preserving the craftsmanship of the original artisans.

We have been fortunate to work with the award-winning firm of Beyer Blinder Belle (BBB) in the past guided by the outstanding counsel of Frederick Bland beginning in 1994. (See Fred’s bio below.) Thirty years later, we are thrilled to be working with BBB again. Our architects and their team will help guide our transformation of the sunny yellow 1907 Van Norden/Talcott Carriage House into the new Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III Performance and Exhibit Center. Our Property Committee, composed of Nicholas Cassin, Lindsay Bello Martin,  Jorge Otero-Pailos, and Olney Reynolds will be working with Elizabeth Leber and Nathan Rogers of Beyer Blinder Belle. Read more about Liz and Nate below.

Elizabeth R. Lieber, AIA, LEED AP, Managing Partner.

Liz Lieber is dedicated to advancing mission-based institutions through forward-looking architecture and planning projects. Guided by her astute and inquisitive nature, Liz excels at extracting the core objectives of her clients and their stakeholders and translating the collective needs and mission of institutions into creative architectural solutions. She is skilled at facilitating consensus around a cohesive vision, from internal governing boards to outside agencies. Both within and outside the firm, she is recognized for her ability to approach every challenge with a balance of creativity, pragmatism, and unfailing optimism. Liz applies these same skills and energy to her role as Managing Partner of Beyer Blinder Belle. Her position affirms the firm’s successful transition to a third generation of leadership and ensures BBB’s future-looking strategic vision and sustainability. Liz’s clients include leading universities such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard University, the University of Pennsylvania, as well as not-for-profit institutions including the New York Public Library and the 92nd Street Y, New York, which honored her in their Extraordinary Women Awards in 2021. Liz is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania (B.A., Art History) and Columbia University (M.Arch.) She is a board member of the Urban Green Council. She is a registered architect in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Rhode Island, and is NCARB certified. Liz has been at BBB since 2001.

Nathaniel Rogers, AIA, Senior Associate, Architect. 

Nate Rogers is a Project Designer with a career focus on renovation and expansion projects for cultural, higher education, and public-sector clients. Trained in both architecture and historic preservation, he specializes in the challenge of discovering opportunities in existing buildings and integrating transformational design into historic settings with creativity and sensitivity. Clients value Nate’s commitment to understanding their cultural context and the clarity with which he communicates planning and design concepts. Nate is an adjunct faculty member at the University of Pennsylvania’s Weitzman School of Design and serves on the Vestry of Trinity Church Wall Street. He received his undergraduate degree from Harvard University and dual Masters degrees in Architecture and Historic Preservation from the University of Pennsylvania. Nate has been at BBB since 2011.

Frederick A. Bland, FAIA, AICP, Partner Emeritus.

“Architecture and planning are subsets of our larger goal: engaged urbanism. Whether working on a cultural landmark in need of conservation, a new building, a downtown, or a campus plan, we consider it our highest responsibility to serve the larger community, in both physical and social form.”

For 50 years, Frederick Bland has provided design leadership on a wide range of projects both in the United States and abroad. Fred joined Beyer Blinder Belle in 1972, and in 1978 became the first partner to join the founders. Over the course of his career with the firm, he has fostered a culture of respect, collegiality, and enthusiasm, equally nurturing of individual creativity and collaboration. Fred became Managing Partner in 2004, a role he held until 2021.

Fred’s interest in how the built environment shapes society has guided his focus on civic, cultural, and residential commissions that capture the spirit of the city and who we are as a people. While demonstrating an innate respect for a project’s context and sense of place, his designs are notably contemporary. Whether a downtown redevelopment plan, a campus framework plan, or a new home for a cultural institution, Fred’s designs look toward long-term growth and evolution.

In addition to his work on restoration of the 1838 Jay Mansion and stabilization of the 1907 Van Norden/Talcott Carriage House, Fred has directed nearly a hundred residential, cultural, and education projects, including many projects for the Episcopal church; a master plan for the University at Buffalo; the renovation of the Union Depot and a new multi-nodal transportation center in St. Paul, Minnesota; and new buildings for the Mark Morris Dance Center in Brooklyn, the Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville, and the Shanghai Cultural Center in China.

Earning Fellowship in the American Institute of Architects in 1993, he was one of seven national jurors charged with selecting new Fellows in 1995, ’96, and ’97. He has also served in Executive Committee roles on the national AIA Committee on Design.

Fred’s belief in civic engagement has led him to be active outside the office, as well. Since 2008 he has been a commissioner of the New York City Historic Preservation Commission, serving as Vice Chairman since 2017, and was Interim Chair during 2018, thereby playing an active role in shaping the future of America’s largest city. He is the longest-serving Chair of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden (2007-2017), a former member of the Vestry of Trinity Church Wall Street (2004-2018), and the current Chair of the historic Evergreens Cemetery in Brooklyn. He is a member of the board of the Mark Morris Dance Group, Gracie Mansion Advisory Committee, a former member of the board of the Brooklyn Historical Society, and past President of the Brooklyn Heights Association. He has served on the Dean’s Council at Yale’s School of Architecture since its inception in 2004. He currently chairs the Fitch Foundation and is on the Executive Committee of the British Architectural Library Trust. For 30 years he was Adjunct Professor in NYU’s Department of Art History, Urban Design and Architecture Studies. Fred earned his Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees in architecture at Yale University.