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Welcome to Baltimore-based Trace Architects' Web Site / Architecture/Consulting/Neighborhood Visioning
338 East 25th Street, Suite 100 Baltimore, MD 21218  443.838.0379  410.563.9386 fx info@tracearchitects.com

Our Philosophy Good architecture values the client's needs and financial realities, the community, the environment and architectural theory. It is our professional responsibility to design creative and efficient spaces that make the most of the client's resources. Our experience tells us that good design is less susceptible to market fluctuations and therefore, a vital component of profitability. We are mindful of the environment's finite resources and gravitate towards inherently sustainable renovation and urban infill projects. By converting a building to meet current lifestyles, we take advantage of our existing built environment and reveal the potential of our everyday surroundings. Contemporary architecture inserted into an historical context creates visual variety and enhances the existing urban fabric. Our respect for craftsmanship and the historical value of the buildings and neighborhoods compels us to this practice. We are passionate about our profession and that is translated into spaces that energize not only the individual but the community.

About us
TRACEarchitects is a Baltimore-based firm comprised of three partners:  Jim Shetler, Heather Hairston & Todd Connelly.  Together, we have rehabbed over 200 properties in Baltimore while working for the Patterson Park Community Development Corporation (www.ppcdc.org).  During our 11 years with the PPCDC, we used architecture to support their vision of community revitalization.  TRACEarchitects remains committed to using design as a tool for neighborhood sustainability. 

James Shetler
Southern Illinois University / Bachelor of Science
University of Maryland / Master of Architecture
Registered Architect in Maryland and District of Columbia
AIA member

Heather Hairston
Virginia Polytechnic Institute & SU / Bachelor of Architecture & Master of Architecture
Registered Architect in Maryland

Todd Connelly
Carnegie Mellon University / Bachelor of Architecture
ULI member

Architectural Services
Project Consultation
Zoning Drawings & Application Preparation
Permit Drawings
Schematic Design
Construction Documents
Construction Administration
Master Planning
Construction Management
Historic Tax Credits
Application Preparation
Project Documentation

Decker Walk consists of 19 contiguous 2 and 3-story rowhomes that have both their environmental and social impact at the forefront of the design.  The project is a compact development in an urban neighborhood, which allows these rowhomes to take advantage of the existing infrastructure, services and amenities of its surroundings.  It was important that these renovated homes took on a new life, not existing as single residences but as a community.  For example, the wide open backyards allow not only for parking but for social events for the new homeowners.  Decker Walk is one of just two projects in Baltimore City to participate in the USGBC's LEED for Neighborhood Development Pilot Program and was selected by the LEED Core Committee to be a part of the program's focus group.  For more information visit www.envirowhomes.com.

Residential Renovation - Rather pursuing a costly basement excavation to create a functional living space, we instead chose to remove a portion of the floor and raise the remaining first floor level.  We were then able to capture the added volume of the living room below while creating an interesting balcony condition above.   

Residential Renovation - We took the transom, a familiar architectural element, and transformed it into an affordable solution to the modern glass wall.  Just as they historically did, these custom-sized transoms allowed us to bring natural light into the middle of the rowhome while the frosted glass provided privacy for the bathroom.  

This project is one of 12 properties on a narrow alley in which we took two single properties and consolidated their space.  These "double-wide" rowhouse renovations allowed us to take (2) less desirable 800 sq. ft. properties and create more functional and creative residences.  It also reduced the number of residences on the street and therefore, helped to alleviate parking issues.     

"Rowhouse Schoolhouse" Montessori School.  The rowhouse is capable of assuming a variety of functions:  boutique, restaurant, coffee shop.  Why not a school?  This once abandoned building was designed to accommodate pre-school children on the ground-floor and includes an apartment above, ideally for the school's teacher.   We expanded the building with an addition along the previously windowless ground-floor southern facade.  This allowed us to flood the space with natural light and to engage the street front along Fairmount Avenue.