About Me

"James is a visionary, and the type colleague everyone should have the privilege of working with in their career. I am proud to say that he became an adviser and trusted confidant. He had no respect of person and treated each citizen with kindness and respect."                                                                                                                                - S. D. Williams, Government colleague 


Regarded as one of the top preservation professionals in the US. Under James' direction, the restoration of Main Street Railroad Station, in Richmond, Virginia, was awarded the Restoration Project of the Year. While specializing in restoration and the re-use of historic structures, James has also completed projects for museums, universities, schools, cultural arts centers, educational nature centers, churches, public parks, memorial fountains, hospitality, residences, federal, state, and local governments, and private residences.

James takes a highly technical, hands-on approach to project development, design, and construction, often serving as project manager, site architect of record, and construction administrator. He works first-hand with material selection, material conservation, finish quality, cost control, and code compliance. Restoration, architectural history, design, interior design, historic preservation, historic archaeology, facilities operations, and issue mitigation are all aspects of James' substantial set of skills. Additional experience in the development of medical and research facilities. Successful experience in project management, construction administration, life safety, and uniform building codes.

James received his Master's Degree from the University of Virginia School of Architecture, and studied at the Monticello Archaeological Field School.  He also holds a degree in English from Randolph-Macon College. A widely published writer and former university lecturer on historic preservation, restoration, architectural history and life safety in the building industry, James is available for speaking engagements.

James meets the US Department of the Interior's qualifications in architectural history, historic preservation, archaeology, preservation planning, and historic architecture.  He has been a champion for the National Historic Preservation Act, and is considered a leading expert in The Secretary of the Interior's Standards.

"Jim has been a major player in preservation in Virginia." - Ethel Eaton, Senior Policy Analyst, Virginia Department of Historic Resources (SHPO).

James has been involved in landmark projects regarding the earliest sites of European occupation in North America, the location of 17th Century English forts, Revolutionary War battlefields, Civil War sites, and structures associated with the Underground Railroad.


An award-winning restoration architect who meets the Secretary of the Interior’s qualifications in multiple disciplines (36 CFR part 61).  I am highly creative, and also fiscally efficient at building and maintaining relationships. 


  • Led a multi-faceted team in all aspects of the award-winning restoration of Richmond, Virginia’s Main Street Station ($85 Million in today’s dollars), representing a local municipality in its implementation of a federally funded budget
  • Unified museums/tourism in Petersburg, Virginia and successfully redirected the efforts of a staff of 30 professionals
  • Managed field research team of 18 in the fulfillment of federal NEPA and NHPA requirements
  • Highly educated former university lecturer and speaker
  • Overcame Santa Barbara Historic Preservation Board objections to allow for a $125 Million mixed-use city block development in the “Funk Zone” arts district
  • Led a code review for the One and Only Ocean Club in Nassau, Bahamas which resulted in the reduction of life safety issues and improved risk management results
  • Solved decades-long flooding issues in Richmond, Virginia’s Shockoe Bottom area and their 400 year old city market, resulting in increased revenue for the city
  • Authored the original Town of Palm Beach Preservation Plan and Landmark Manual and successfully lobbied for their ratification by Town Council despite local opposition
  • Developed opportunities for the City of Petersburg to utilize Historic Preservation Tax Credits to increase revenue from city-owned historic structures
  • Re-designed structural plans to reduce costs and yield greater profits for residential development in Washington, DC
  • Negotiated a greater understanding between the Commonwealth of Virginia, the City of Richmond, the Federal Transit Authority, and CSX Railway to allow Amtrak trains to return to Main Street Station


  • In depth knowledge of architecture, historic preservation, city planning, zoning, mechanical/electrical/plumbing, building codes, constructability, environmental issues, land use, and federal/state/local legislation
  • Experienced in construction management, construction administration, project management, and owner representation.
  • Communications, education, and proposal writing