Architectural firm moves toward future, learns about its past

An East Greenbush architectural firm’s search for a new name did not take too long, but it ended up
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An East Greenbush architectural firm’s search for a new name did not take too long, but it ended up aging 60 years in the process.

Dodge Chamberlin Webber Associates Architects, which has worked on blueprints for hundreds of upstate schools, announced a new brand and mission for the firm. Looking to broaden its reach beyond public school projects and wanting to operate under a name that reflects more than only one of its partners, the firm announced that its new name is Mosaic Associates Architects.

“We thought we could give it a name that lasts beyond us,” said Nicholas Waer, one of Mosaic’s four partners.

The firm, which employs 40 at its offices in East Greenbush, Plattsburgh and Rhode Island, has not changed its name since 1988, after Martin Webber became a partner. Prior to that, it had operated as Dodge Chamberlin Luzine Associates since 1974.

“We believe the image of a mosaic fits so well with who we are and what we do,” partner Michael Fanning said.

As Mosaic, the partners — Webber, Waer, Fanning and Hana Panek — plan to diversify their design work by pursuing more commercial, cultural and higher education institution projects. Its handiwork includes an indoor pool at Ballston Spa High School, the entrance of Guilderland Senior High School and a cafeteria building for GE Power Systems in Schenectady.

Mosaic made its rebranding announcement at Washington Park’s Lakehouse, which firm partner J. Russell White designed in 1929.

Mosaic’s current roster of partners initially believed that their firm dated back to the 1920s, to White and partner Edward Loft, who actually established Loft & White in 1915.

However, as Mosaic prepared for the rebranding announcement, senior project manager Kersten Larcher combed through old business directories in the Albany County Hall of Records and discovered that the firm’s roots go back to the 1860s. Larcher found that Loft was the son of Charles Loft, an architect who moved from Connecticut to Troy around 1863. It was the senior Loft who designed the original Public High School No. 12 in Troy and St. John the Evangelist Church in Schenectady.

“We never knew there was this connection with the Loft in Troy,” Panek said.

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