aha! Ideas & News

Staff Thoughts

Sean’s Lunch Time Concert

Sean was our recent our student graphic artist here at AHAdams&Company.  With Sean’s recent assistance AHAdams&Campany has been able to provide computer generated images and renderings for projects, visualizing design concepts, and helping us have some fun around the office!  Sean talents include playing the Mandolin.  He gave us a sample of his playing skills, we enjoyed his skills, please visit our YouTube Channel

Eli comes to Work


Herm Schecter, a senior Architect who works with us here at AHAdams&Company has been bringing Eli to work recently.  Eli is a cocker spaniel, an energetic 8 months old and full of energy.  He brings his well-developed sense of play to make our day more enjoyable.  Unfortunately Eli hasn’t developed the stamina to make through the entire day, along about 1:00 Eli has to take a nap, his productivity level needs improvement.



At the entrance to our offices is our flower garden.  For a good part of the year it is filled with perennial flowers.  This spring we planted a single tomato plant in an open spot in our garden.  Through the summer we watered and watched over the growing plant.  Our efforts where rewarded with a bumper crop of home grown tomatoes!  Everyone is the office has been able to share in the “fruits of our labor”.

Travels with Hugh


Hugh Loomis our trusted architectural photographer consultant recently took a trip to Turkey.  Today Turkey retains many ruins of the ancient world, artifacts of cities from the distant past.  Hugh retains his artist eye while traveling and gave us pictures he captured at Aspendos in southern Turkey.  The ancient city of Aspendos is dominated by the best preserved theatre of antiquity with seating for 15,000.  The galleries, stage decorations and acoustics all reflect the ability of the architect Zenon.  Close to the theatre, basilica and agora lay the remains of an aqueduct, one of the largest in Anatolia.  Hugh can be reached at: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Remarks at the Veterans Day Ceremony by President John F. Kennedy

Remarks at the Veterans Day Ceremony (November 11, 1961)
General Gavan, Mr. Gleason, members of the military forces, veterans, fellow Americans:
Today we are here to celebrate and to honor and to commemorate the dead and the living, the young men who in every war since this country began have given testimony to their loyalty to their country and their own great courage.
I do not believe that any nation in the history of the world has buried its soldiers farther from its native soil than we Americans—or buried them closer to the towns in which they grew up.
We celebrate this Veterans Day for a very few minutes, a few seconds of silence and then this country’s life goes on. But I think it most appropriate that we recall on this occasion, and on every other moment when we are faced with great responsibilities, the contribution and the sacrifice which so many men and their families have made in order to permit this country to now occupy its present position of responsibility and freedom, and in order to permit us to gather here together.
Bruce Catton, after totaling the casualties which took place in the battle of Antietam, not so very far from this cemetery, when he looked at statistics which showed that in the short space of a few minutes whole regiments lost 50 to 75 percent of their numbers, then wrote that life perhaps isn’t the most precious gift of all, that men died for the possession of a few feet of a corn field or a rocky hill, or for almost nothing at all. But in a very larger sense, they died that this country might be permitted to go on, and that it might permit to be fulfilled the great hopes of its founders.
In a world tormented by tension and the possibilities of conflict, we meet in a quiet commemoration of an historic day of peace. In an age that threatens the survival of freedom, we join together to honor those who made our freedom possible. The resolution of the Congress which first proclaimed Armistice Day, described November 11, 1918, as the end of “the most destructive, sanguinary and far-reaching war in the history of human annals.” That resolution expressed the hope that the First World War would be, in truth, the war to end all wars. It suggested that those men who had died had therefore not given their lives in vain.
It is a tragic fact that these hopes have not been fulfilled, that wars still more destructive and still more sanguinary followed, that man’s capacity to devise new ways of killing his fellow men have far outstripped his capacity to live in peace with his fellow men.
Some might say, therefore, that this day has lost its meaning, that the shadow of the new and deadly weapons have robbed this day of its great value, that whatever name we now give this day, whatever flags we fly or prayers we utter, it is too late to honor those who died before, and too soon to promise the living an end to organized death.
But let us not forget that November 11, 1918, signified a beginning, as well as an end. “The purpose of all war,” said Augustine, “is peace.” The First World War produced man’s first great effort in recent times to solve by international cooperation the problems of war. That experiment continues in our present day—still imperfect, still short of its responsibilities, but it does offer a hope that some day nations can live in harmony.
For our part, we shall achieve that peace only with patience and perseverance and courage—the patience and perseverance necessary to work with allies of diverse interests but common goals, the courage necessary over a long period of time to overcome an adversary skilled in the arts of harassment and obstruction.
There is no way to maintain the frontiers of freedom without cost and commitment and risk. There is no swift and easy path to peace in our generation. No man who witnessed the tragedies of the last war, no man who can imagine the unimaginable possibilities of the next war, can advocate war out of irritability or frustration or impatience.
But let no nation confuse our perseverance and patience with fear of war or unwillingness to meet our responsibilities. We cannot save ourselves by abandoning those who are associated with us, or rejecting our responsibilities.
In the end, the only way to maintain the peace is to be prepared in the final extreme to fight for our country—and to mean it.
As a nation, we have little capacity for deception. We can convince friend and foe alike that we are in earnest about the defense of freedom only if we are in earnest-and I can assure the world that we are.
This cemetery was first established 97 years ago. In this hill were first buried men who died in an earlier war, a savage war here in our own country. Ninety-seven years ago today, the men in Gray were retiring from Antietam, where thousands of their comrades had fallen between dawn and dusk in one terrible day. And the men in Blue were moving towards Fredericksburg, where thousands would soon lie by a stone wall in heroic and sometimes miserable death.
It was a crucial moment in our Nation’s history, but these memories, sad and proud, these quiet grounds, this Cemetery and others like it all around the world, remind us with pride of our obligation and our opportunity.
On this Veterans Day of 1961, on this day of remembrance, let us pray in the name of those who have fought in this country’s wars, and most especially who have fought in the First World War and in the Second World War, that there will be no veterans of any further war—not because all shall have perished but because all shall have learned to live together in peace.
And to the dead here in this cemetery we say:
They are the race—
they are the race immortal,
Whose beams make broad
the common light of day!
Though Time may dim,
though Death has barred their portal,
These we salute,
which nameless passed away.

Events of this Summer


It has been an enjoyable summer in Willow Grove.  Our next door neighbors, The Second Alarmers Rescue Squad obtained a piece of steel from the World Trade Center.  The steel beam pictured above is to be used in a Memorial to 911 to be constructed at their soon to be built new facility in Whitpain Township, Pennsylvania.  They have all their news and information about the World Trade Center Memorial at their web site www.sars.org! 

Arthur Hall Adams receives Drexel University Award

On May 7, Arthur Hall Adams will receive the Mary S. Drexel Award from the Irick Society of Drexel University.  This award, named for Mrs. George W. Childs Drexel, was established in 1933 to honor an outstanding member of Drexel University who earned a degree through Drexel Evening College of Professional Studies.  The Awards selection committee has considered well over one hundred alumni each year before making its selections, Arthur was selected this year for his service to Drexel and his achievements as a Architect.  Arthur has been acknowledged by Drexel University previously and is the past recipient of the Drexel University Richard C. Goodwin College of Professional Studies Speciality Award (2007), Distinguished Member Award Mary S. Irick Drexel Society (2008), and the Drexel University Key D Award (2009).

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day

To help in your celebration of Saint Patrick’s Day we have an Irish song lyric, so tune your voice, drink a few green beers and let the melodious voices resound!

There’s a tear in your eye,
And I’m wondering why,
That it ever should be there at all.
With such power in your smile,
Sure a stone you’d beguile.
And there’s never a tear drop should fall.
When your sweet, lilting laughter’s
Like some fairy song
And your eyes twinkle bright as can be;
Oh then laugh all the while
And all other times smile
And now smile a smile for me.
When Irish eyes are smiling
Sure it’s like a morn in spring,
In the lily of Irish laughter
You can hear the angel’s sing.
When Irish hearts are happy
All the world seems bright and gay,
And when Irish eyes are smiling
Sure they steal your heart away.
For your smile is a part
Of the love in your heart,
And it makes even sunshine more bright.
Like the linnet’s sweet song,
Crooning all the day long,
Comes your laughter and light
For the springtime of life
Is the sweetest of all
There is ne’er a real care or regret;
Ad while springtime is ours
Throughout all of youth’s hours,
Let us smile each chance we get.

Integral Sustainable Design

Elizabeth, an Intern Architect here at AHAdams&Company, has some thoughts on new integral approaches to “green” design:

The “Green Movement,” along with recently created specialty grants and programs, has recently created a need to explore an integral approach to architecture and planning.  Recent projects in the education sector, in particular, have used sustainable design not only to improve building efficiencies, but also as a tool for teaching and learning.  In these projects, aesthetics embedded in the design reveal information about the buildings performance, the surrounding site, and community.

“Greening Greenfield” is a renovation project to Philadelphia School District’s Greenfield Elementary school play yard on 22nd and Chestnut in Center City.  Greenfield Elementary is just one school that has recently taken to the “green movement” by using an integrated and creative design approach.  Including the community, students and teachers in the design process from day one, the project immediately gained perspective on the importance that the design be both a visual and experiential learning tool.  This is achieved by using the project’s constraints, such as the asphalt schoolyard and the associated heat and drainage issues, as design opportunities.