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The consulting practice of J&M Preservation Studio is a certified Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE) that offers professional architectural and engineering services in the general domain of historic and existing buildings to a diverse array of clients. J&M Preservation Studio was founded in 2013 by Jessica Senker, AIA, and Melanie Rodbart, PE, as a successor firm to S. Harris Ltd. (SHL). The founding of such a women-owned firm that provides both architectural and structural engineering services within the historic preservation field is extraordinarily unique to the Philadelphia region.
Combined, the founders have dedicated over twenty-five years to design and historic preservation. The women trained with the late, Samuel Y. Harris. Harris, who was a leader in the field having combined degrees in architecture, engineering, and law with extensive experience in historic preservation, construction, and planning—provided an extraordinary level of expertise.
Our goal is to continue to provide a level of expertise unequaled in the field of preservation architecture and engineering. It is our policy to provide services consistent with the Secretary of the Interior’s “Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties” for all historical projects. The operating philosophy at J&M Preservation Studio is simply that our clients are our most valued assets. The firm perceives its role as that of guide and advisor, hired to assist our clients through the process of problem solving and execution. Our job is to research the presented need or dilemma, outline all reasonable and available options, array the options in a way that assists the client in making an informed decision, and then to abide by the client’s decision as diligently as though it were our own. J&M has the low cost overhead and flexibility of a small company, coupled with the experience and staff necessary to respond to the individual needs and projects of our clients.
Our principals have provided technical and advisory services for the Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site, Asbury Park Convention Hall, the US Army Reserve, the City of Philadelphia, various State of Pennsylvania and New Jersey agencies, and multiple private institutions. Ms. Rodbart is licensed as a civil engineer and Ms. Senker is a registered architect, focusing on historic preservation work. Both principals are LEED GA accredited, and are members of local preservation and technical boards of directors.