Builds Firm Foundation for
Architect Gary Swartz
a sixth-grader, Gary Swartz of Clementon, N.J., recalls his strong
reaction to a housing development being built in his neighborhood.
Commercial developers seemed in his mind to be clear-cutting building
tracts and creating new communities without much regard for the
environment. Swartz was thinking "green" even before the
term became popular.
"I thought that I could design more earth-sensitive housing,"
said Swartz, who today works as a project manager at Granary Associates,
Inc., an internationally recognized architectural firm headquartered
in Center City Philadelphia. "It came as a surprise a couple
of years later when I realized the difference between an architect
and a developer. Fascinated with design work, I had already chosen
my career path as an architect."
Swartz remains inspired by his
career in architecture.
a project manager at Granary Associates, which specializes in hospitals
and other healthcare projects worldwide, Swartz is actively engaged in
writing and negotiating contracts, as well as coordinating project fees,
budgets and manpower. He also works in Granary Associates' commercial
division, where he has led a team of people on the conception and design
of several commercial projects from start to finish. They recently completed
a 72-unit condominium project known as 1352 Lofts on South Street in Philadelphia,
which won a Design Award of Merit in High-Rise Construction from Mid-Atlantic
Construction Magazine Best of 2007.
A graduate of Highland Regional High School in Blackwood, Swartz decided
to attend MCCC because of its highly regarded Architecture program. After
earning his A.S. degree in Architecture in 1980, he was accepted at several
four-year colleges, choosing the night program at Drexel University while
working full-time in the architectural firm of Kanalstein-Danton Associates
in Cherry Hill, N.J.
Other than a brief departure to work as an estimator/purchaser for a construction
company, Swartz has not strayed from the architectural field. While acknowledging
the hard work and long hours, he remains inspired by his field. "What
excites me about architecture is the creative and talented people I get
to work with side by side every day," he said.
Swartz recalls his many positive connections with both Mercer faculty
and fellow students. "Marilyn Dietrich and David Roesseler were my
studio instructors, and Marilyn actually recommended me for my first architectural
job at the O'Connor Group. My psychology professor, Dr. George Colnaghi,
made going to class a blast. He helped me understand things I already
knew but never really thought about!" Swartz also made lifelong friends,
with whom he remains in close contact.
"MCCC prepared me for the transition to an architectural office and
matriculation into a four-year college," Swartz said. "I loved
my experience at Mercer and have recommended it to many young people.
I believe a two-year college does a great job of helping students transition
to the demands of a four-year college or university."
Alumni & Friends