MCCC Laid Foundation
Alum Michael Gronsky's Architecture Career
homes have always fascinated MCCC alumnus Michael Gronsky, Jr. The
Victorian and colonial American houses that dotted his boyhood neighborhood
in Clinton Township, N.J., were sources of great intrigue for the
"What added to the interest was that I thought some of them
were haunted," recalls Gronsky. In grade school, he spent hours
photographing and sketching the dwellings and, in his eighth grade
yearbook, he identified architecture as his career goal.
as a project architect for Fitzgerald Architecture Studio in High
Bridge, N.J., Gronsky has made his dream a reality. With more than
20 years of experience in retail/commercial and residential design,
he is the point person for a variety of residential and office renovation
projects in north and central New Jersey. To his delight, some of
his current work is in historic preservation.
Gronsky is responsible for drafting overall master plans, assembling
the appropriate technical team, and following through on every step
and detail of his projects. "I anticipate the needs of my clients
and tailor approaches to meet their specifications. The process is
challenging and exciting," he said. A current assignment is the
renovation of Beaver Brook Homestead, a colonial era farmhouse located
in Annandale, into a multi-use office and restaurant complex. Prior
to his present position, he gained expertise as a project manager
at Greenberg Farrow Architects in Somerset and at other small firms.
Gronsky praises Mercer for giving him a solid foundation in all aspects
of the field. The North Hunterdon County native selected Mercer's
program since it was one of the few community colleges in the region
to offer an Architecture program at the time.
"I was nervous about keeping up with the architecture curriculum
at a four-year university so I tested the waters at a two-year school
first," Gronsky said. "In addition to gaining insight about
mathematical concepts, I had the best hands-on learning experience
at Mercer. The professors were great. They emphasized the art of proper
drafting and made me think about what I designed and how to present
my ideas. I received a lot of personal attention."
Gronsky recalls pearls of wisdom from Architecture Professor Marilyn
Dietrich. "She told us, 'Some things won't mean much to you now,
but they will later.' I understand what she means when I encounter
issues involving different designs, materials and construction techniques."
After graduating from Mercer in 1983, Gronsky transferred to Penn
State and earned his bachelor's degree in Architecture in 1986. He
has continued to grow professionally, mastering computer-based AutoCad
applications and mentoring college interns, who in turn, share their
fresh perspectives and technical skills.
Gronsky remains passionate about early American history and historic
preservation, even in his spare time. He serves as president of the
Union Forge Heritage Association and Solitude House Museum, a non-profit
organization in the Borough of High Bridge. He is currently leading
the effort to restore the Solitude House and one of the borough's
historic office buildings. In 2008, he received an award from the
Hunterdon County Culture and Heritage Commission for excellence in
"I couldn't be happier with my career choice," Gronsky said.
"I encourage all of today's students to pursue their interests.
Your career will follow."
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