FlashBack Friday #2: 1989

It was my first job in New York City and I was working for a firm I thought of as world-wide famous, Philip Johnson and John Burgee Architects…

Welcome to our FlashBack Friday series, a once a month blast from the past.

The year was 1989 and I was ushered into the top design slot for a firm I thought the world of.  Of course I did, they have designed most American’s cities iconic towers (go ahead and admit it).  Not always, but in many or most cases they designed a high rise that was not only exciting, but became symbols of their respective cities.  Pittsburg, Houston, Atlanta, Lexington and many others, including NYC and the Lipstick building we had our offices in.

So my interview with one partner, Steve Achilles (now with I.M.Pei) went well and I was hired. I had traveled down to NYC from Boston where I was living, so now had to find an apartment in NYC and figure out moving, etc.

My first day was great, showed up on time, was told to wait in the reception area by the receptionist (pictured here) and Philip Johnson comes wandering into the reception, sees me and says ‘oops forgot what I was getting’ and turned around and left, lol.  Then a young beautiful executive secretary came out and introduced herself and asked me to follow her into the office of Partner Jeff Sydness, with me responding ‘I guess this office is large enough for me,’ fully knowing I wasn’t getting an office, prompting a quick response of ‘oh I don’t think so, this is Mr. Sydness’s office (Jeff Sydness is now running a very successful office called Sydness Architects, P.C.).  Well I didn’t know it at the time but I would eventually date and marry that young lady, not pictured here btw, and we now have a beautiful young daughter.


Here enjoying my first holiday party at PJ JBA with receptionist Barbara Breza.


Here chatting with a colleague from Puerto Rico and his girlfriend.  I really seem to be happy 🙂 maybe a bit too happy.  What do you expect though, I’m working in a dream office for world renown Architects Philip Johnson and John Burgee, in New York City!


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