Gaines Group Architects

Labor Day 2013 – Architecture: An industry in recovery

To be successful, you have to have your heart in your business, and your business in your heart.” – Sr. Thomas Watson

Becoming an architect takes a huge commitment, unrelenting passion, and of course lots of time and money. It can be a rewarding career if you are able to sustain your energy long enough to get through all the hurdles. I did, made it through all the obstacles, achieved licensure, and then became a partner in a firm. My career goal of owning my own architectural practice had been achieved. Then the bottom fell out of the economy. A complete and total melt down, the likes of which has never been experienced in my lifetime.

Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life.” ~ Confucious

Like most small architectural firms, we (The Gaines Group) are more of a family than a traditional business. We have three partners of which I am the youngest. We decided at the start of the financial melt down not to let anyone go – once again, we are more like a family than a business. So lets say, the past five years have been extremely difficult financially for us. We expanded our staff to better serve our clients, opened a second office (Harrisonburg) to serve a wider demographic, and moved into a new office space in Charlottesville that is better reflective of our current design values. We survived! We are ready!


The economy is coming back and we have a deep and talented staff ready for the work. The ABI (architectural billing index) is showing signs of sustained growth. The worst of the economic collapse is over. So as you celebrate labor day, we join you. On this day dedicated to the social and economic achievements of the American worker, we salute those that have stood by us in tough economic times. We thank our team, friends, and family for sticking together over the last five years so that we can build a successful future. It has not been easy and probably will not be easy for years to come. Today is a day to celebrate what we have been able to achieve by working together and trusting in each other.

Happy Labor Day!