Fairport architect, who fought for the Raise the Age legislation in NYS, owns more than 3,000 vinyl records
By Ernst Lamothe Jr.
Q: What made you pick a career in architecture?
I started in college majoring in mechanical engineering and I always had a passion for math and physics. There was something about putting together calculations that made me excited, but I also have an artistic bent. Because of this, I shifted and settled on architecture to start my career. I just viewed an architect as a jack of all trades who can see the big picture and help make everything work all together. I specialize in K-12 and municipal buildings. When it comes to public safety buildings, functionality is just as important as aesthetics. It is all a methodical process and sometimes things need to be addressed quickly depending on the pace. I started working at SWBR in 1985.
Q: What do you enjoy about the company?
A: I really like that SWBR is the kind of company that encourages and incorporates younger people in the office. It is a great mix and we have an incredible amount of talent. When you have a big staff it is important that everyone feels like they are a part of the plan. I love the energy and fresh ideas that some of our younger employees bring. It really invigorates you and makes it a joy to come to work every day.
Q: What is your connection to the Raise the Age initiative?
A: Raise the Age legislation was to catch New York with other states that do not view 16 or 17-year olds as adults in criminal cases. Previously New York was one of the two states that prosecuted those juveniles as adults but now 16 and 17-year-olds charged with misdemeanors are considered juvenile delinquents and their cases are decided in the family court. When you put those younger kids in a jail environment with older adults you tend to see the recitive rate increase. There can be many physiological effects and physical damage that comes when you put these young kids in with adult criminals who have been in the system for years. The Monroe County Juvenile Detention Center is going through phases that could create large spaces for these kids who are not fully formed adults and need attention and focus. This will allow them to be housed closer to their families as well.
Q: What are some other areas that you are passionate about?
A: I care about my community. We sometimes offer free design review services just to help businesses and organizations that may be coming into the town or village. We help them put their best foot forward on how their design could be a better fit. I really want to promote the town I live in and improve the quality of life in any way I can. We have a great active community here and we work well together which is the foundation of a good village or town.
Q: What do you like to do in your spare time?
A: There are two things I greatly enjoy outside of my family and that is traveling and music. There is so much to see in the United States and internationally. I make a regular pilgrimage to Cape Cod as one of my favorite places. When it comes to music I am someone who enjoys a variety of musical genres. There are people who say they love different genres but my musical collection shows it. I make sure to go to a lot of concerts and I have collected more than 3,000 albums. My album collections span from classical, rock and blues to hip hop and bluegrass, and I am often listening to radio and music around the house.
Q: What is the best concert you ever went to?
A: A couple of years ago I saw Paul McCartney at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse. Here is a guy in his 70s and he played for three hours with no break. He has an incredible personality and it was a phenomenal show. It teaches you that age has nothing to do with talent and being able to still be successful and incredible as you age.