Master of Architecture, Tulane University; Master of Science in Historic Preservation, Columbia University
Joined studioWTA in 2006
Toni’s design focus at studioWTA includes the adaptive reuse, expansion, and rehabilitation of historic buildings, and her expertise also covers historic tax credit applications and research. As a preservationist, she believes new architecture in historic contexts should respect the context and fabric of a site by being sensitive to the significant historic characteristics, but clearly of its own time. The goal of a preservationist is to “inform progress,” rather than place a moratorium on new, innovative design. Toni strives to create built environments that make people’s day-to-day lives better.
Toni values the collaborative approach found at studioWTA—collaboration with her coworkers, with her contractors and craftspeople, and with her clients—finding it especially valuable when looking for solutions to issues or conditions discovered during construction. Her work requires her to be a voracious researcher, and she has a personal fascination with means of non-linear information gathering as the world turns to web-based resources.
New Orleans offers preservationists like Toni a historically significant and attractive built fabric unlike any other in the United States. In addition to allowing her to pursue her interests in the design field, New Orleans is Toni’s hometown—Toni’s Master’s Degree thesis at Columbia was, in fact, a study involving the preservation of public housing in post-Katrina New Orleans, and earned her the Robert C. Weinberg Award for Excellence in Preservation Planning + Design. She finds it fulfilling to be able to spend her working hours improving the city she loves.
Toni worked on the publication of the book Preservation of Modern Architecture by Theodore H.M. Prudon as a research and editing assistant, illustration drafter and photographer, and serves on the board of the Louisiana Chapter of DOCOMOMO US, the local chapter of a non-profit organization dedicated to the documentation and conservation of buildings, sites, and neighborhoods of the Modern Movement worldwide. She is an aficionado of Midcentury Modern Architecture.
Photo by Zack Smith Photography