2006-11-22 / News

DiMauro firm to review future commercial projects for the town

Ronald F. DiMauro Architects have announced that the firm has been hired by the town of Jamestown to serve as Review Architects, a job that involves the review of future commercial projects in Jamestown.

Jean Brown of the Jamestown Planning Commission and Lisa Bryer, the town planner, recently interviewed several architectural firms to find one that could assist in reviewing future commercial projects in Jamestown. "There has been a lot of development in the last five years due to people's interest in living and working in Jamestown, and we needed a professional to look at the drawings for these commercial projects and give us their thoughts on massing, scale, proportion, and materials, so that these new buildings would be appropriate to the neighborhood as well as the overall feeling of Jamestown," said Bryer.

The list of architectural firms was whittled down to two local ones according to Jean Brown. "We felt Ron DiMauro Architects was a perfect fit because it specialized in traditional, yet eclectic, Jamestown architecture, and it has won numerous awards for historic preservation as well as new construction with "character," Brown said.

"Ron's firm also had experience as design consultants for a small New England town. Therefore, it seemed like a perfect fit for Jamestown." Brown added, "I think people really want to do the best thing with their building projects, but they just do not know where to start or who to turn to, so having these guidelines will help the public, and reduce the amount of time it takes the town to get the applicant through the review process," she said.

Ronald F. DiMauro Architects, Inc. was hired by the town of North Kingstown as its review architect four years ago. Dick Pastore, former planning board chairman for North Kingstown said, "During the Wal-Mart, Staples, Wickford Junction development plan review, the commission struggled with aesthetics. We learned from that experience that we needed professional architectural assistance from someone whose portfolio embraced the New England village concept. A review of Ron's work convinced the commission members and the planning department staff that he was the clear choice to assist us."

DiMauro's first project for North Kingstown was to redesign the typical Home Depot "big box" building model. "As architects," said DiMauro, "We do not just redraw what we feel will look better; we need to take into consideration the town's needs and requirements, the applicant's budget and the applicant branding image. Large companies have branding (the visual image of the companies to the public) that involves their logos and signature colors, which are very important to them. We need to be sensitive to this while representing the town's best interest, since they are our clients. This is no easy task, and there is always a give and take in the design review process. But in the end, if you do it right, the outcome is always a win-win solution for those involved."

The Home Depot redesign process was so successful that Home Depot now uses the North Kingstown store, with its gables and "widows walk" feature, as a national model whenever architecture is critical to the reviewing authorities. Home Depot subsequently hired Ronald F. Di- Mauro Architects as consultants to their own design department, to aid them on issues pertaining to exterior materials, signage, and color.

"We are honored to have been chosen by Lisa Bryer and the Jamestown Planning Commission," says John Tumino, a project architect who will assist DiMauro on this review process. "Jamestown already has a talented Planning Commission and town planner, so we look forward to bringing our expertise to the table to produce an even better outcome," Tumino added.

DiMauro and his wife, Linda, consider themselves fortunate to be able to raise their 11 year-old daughter, Olivia, in Jamestown, where Ron has lived most of his life. "We wouldn't live anywhere else," said Ron.

Return to top