The most important work of the architect is to translate the dreams of the client into a satisfying reality. Our experience with [Donham & Sweeney] is one of great success in that regard. St. Paul’s is all that we dared hope for and more: It is distinctive, it is beautiful, it is comfortable, it works.
The work done by Donham & Sweeney Architects has restored a beautiful, treasured historic structure for the Town of Arlington in order to serve a vital community service... The architect’s superior attention to historical details is evident throughout the exterior and interior of the station... Donham & Sweeney worked with several constituencies, including the Arlington Historical Commission, in order to renovate the nearly uninhabitable and dimly lit Highland Station within the framework of its historic structure. The result is an undeniably vivid example of how historic buildings can retain their beauty and stature while achieving a lifetime of civic usefulness.
I am writing to once again express the sincere appreciate of our school for the recent renovation of St. John’s Chapel. In fact, I think of it almost every time I walk past the Chapel or receive admiring comments from people who worship with us.
My office chose Donham & Sweeney because of their reputation for high quality design coupled with the ability to meet a budget. They achieve this often juxtaposed set of goals by paying close attention to project schedule and having the ability to be flexible in the design and construction process.
Donham & Sweeney Inc. is an outstanding firm. I couldn’t recommend them more highly. They have a unique quality of organizing and designing new facilities that fit in and meld with ‘old facilities’ in a really terrific way.
I know we could not have had this success without [Donham & Sweeney’s] professional help, so thank you. I also felt that [D&S] demonstrated more than a professional service to Belmont, and went the extra distance both in meetings and studies to better our community - and that is the personal touch I like. That did not go unnoticed.
A superb building… among the small gems of recent New England architecture.
[Donham & Sweeney] brought to our discussions and decisions a sense of purpose, insight, humor, dedication, and perhaps most importantly, an understanding of what [building] committees are all about and an ability to work well with a diverse group of individuals.
I cannnot sufficiently express my admiration for the renewal you accomplished under the most challenging circumstances. St. Paul’s [Church] was a masterpiece of mid 19th century architecture. You have preserved all that could be saved and without violation. In addition you have created a most stimulating modern interior. Especially admirable is the elegance of the execution.
Without a doubt, this report is the best we’ve seen from a consultant in recent history. It is well written, concise, accurate, and thorough; suffice to say, we are pleased!
They turned a rather dreary piece of property into the neighborhood jewel. This was achieved, in the rehab portion, by carefully adhering to historic preservation guidelines. They also interpreted these guidelines and provided a new addition, which is truly a testament to their design capacity.
...the one thing that I was impressed with was the determination and initiative Donham & Sweeney took during the project. They hung in there for the long haul. Even after the job was “complete” [Donham & Sweeney] took the time to meet with the Assistant Chief and me to review the project and be critical of their work. I have never seen this done before! They wanted to make sure they served the next customer better. This kind of attitude and work ethic is hard to find in today’s world...
This project did not just involve the staff of the Police and Fire Departments. It also included interacting with neighborhood groups, Town Commissions and eventually building contractors. I always found the people at [D&S] to be very responsive to our many questions, telephone calls, and requests. From the user agency’s perspective, this was a very hands on project. The staff at [D&S] were very patient and supportive of us as we went through the layout and design. We were continuously involved in decision-making and I always came away with the feeling that we were all working towards the same goal - to construct a first-rate facility that would meet our public safety needs for years to come.
We are very happy with the work that [D&S] did. They worked with the Fire Department, Police Department, Town Sites Committee, and Town Administrator to produce a detailed analysis of our needs. Based upon this analysis, they helped the Town to identify a total of 11 possible sites, each with a number of configuration options. They provided us with a comprehensive assessment of the options available, helping us to understand our needs and the pros and cons of the different choices available to the Town. Donham & Sweeney gave us good guidance and recommendations as we selected a preferred site for our future Public Safety Building
From the inception of this project, Donham & Sweeney clearly set itself apart by its inclusionary design process - a process which encouraged the active participation of the building committee and all fire personnel in each step of the design. Beyond its design services however, it was the often-neglected discipline of construction administration that Donham & Sweeney clearly excelled in this project. The project manager... was extremely well organized - conducting weekly meetings throughout the construction, with a clearly typed agenda and a list of action items detailing the outstanding responsibilities of the contractor, architect and owner. This service proved to be essential in keeping the project moving forward.
Your contribution to our new branch, from the planning stages to the present, has been immense. We are forever grateful to you for your hard work and for the beautiful product of your labors, which is our new main branch. We at Asian American Bank & Trust Company are very proud to be able to contribute to the economic growth and beautification of Chinatown through the opening of our Harrison Avenue branch.