LAURA FITZMAURICE

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Born and raised in the suburbs of New York, NY, Laura graduated from Cornell University, College of Architecture, Art & Planning, in 1994 with a Bachelor of Architecture. While there, she received the James A. Martis Jr. Memorial Scholarship 1993-94.

As a long-time old-house-enthusiast, she is excited about joining the team at Design Associates, and looks forward to furthering her understanding of historic structures.

Since 2009, Laura has been researching woman architects of the Victorian age. In 2009, she applied for and was awarded a 2010 BSA research grant to record the life and work of Ann Margaretta Cobb, (1830-1911), architect-builder of Newton Highlands, MA. She has given lectures on Cobb at the Newton Free Library and at Harvard University’s Schlesinger Library. An exhibit based on this research, for which she wrote the script, opened on October 3, 2012 at the Historic Newton’s Jackson Homestead. In April of 2016, through the Society of Architectural Historians, New England Chapter, she gave a walking tour of Cobb’s houses. Laura has recently completed a book on architect Clotilde Kate Brewster (1874-1937), an expatriate American who was raised in Italy and later settled in England. Both Cobb and Brewster, along with a very small number of American women architects, exhibited together at the Chicago’s World Fair in 1893. An article Laura wrote on Brewster was featured in 19th Century Magazine, a publication of the Victorian Society in America, in the fall of 2014.

From 1998 until recently, while raising her two sons, Laura took on residential design projects on historic houses. Previously she has worked on large budget projects while employed at RTKL Ltd (London office), and other firms.  Specifically, while at RTKL, she worked on the Trocadero Atrium project at Piccadilly Circus, where she coordinated site activities for the renovation of a multi-building complex into a high-tech leisure center. She was Job Captain for Warner Village Multiplex Cinemas at Bolton, Bristol and Leeds (UK). As Job Captain, Laura modified design and construction documents that RTKL developed for Warner Bros. flagship cinema in Germany to fit differing site requirements and conditions for subsequent cinemas.  Laura coordinated meetings with clients and contractors and made site visits to oversee construction. She then became a Site Architect for Warner Bros. Multiplex Cinema at Dagenham (UK).

While working at RTKL’s London office, she won their Leonard Kagan Travel and Design Fellowship for 1997, for her proposed research project Lessons from Temple Bar.  The Leonard Kagan Design Fellowship is RTKL’s in-house innovation grant, giving employees a chance to pursue design related research opportunities outside the office.  This gave her invaluable experience in putting together research, documentation, and analysis and presenting it in a cohesive package. Laura received funding and time off to pursue her project on the culturally motivated urban renewal plan for Temple Bar, Dublin, Ireland.   

Besides her volunteer activities related to historic architecture and preservation,Laura has volunteered with Understanding Our Differences in Newton throughout her children’s elementary school education. Understanding Our Differences is an interactive disability awareness curriculum.