Our Team

Philip Thomason

Principal

Phil ThomasonPhil Thomason is principal of one of the oldest preservation firms in the country. His breadth of experience, passion for livable spaces and mediation skills all come into play as he helps clients identify and articulate the value of their historic resources and communicate that value to the community.

During recent decades, Thomason’s work and his firm have reflected the evolution of historic preservation in the U.S. Focusing first on National Register nominations and cultural resource surveys, he soon branched out into preservation plans, design guidelines for towns and communities, and environmental assessments. Initially focused on the Southeast, his work expanded throughout the country. Along the way, he developed a unique expertise in military architecture.

A native of Georgia and Kentucky, he grew up in historic neighborhoods and experienced their intrinsic value. Upon completion of his B.A., he pursued a career in public radio before returning to school to earn an M.A. in historic preservation in 1978. He worked as a preservation planner with Building Conservation Technology, Inc. until 1982, when he founded Thomason and Associates.

Affiliations

  • Advisor, National Trust for Historic Preservation
  • Preservation Action, Board of Directors
  • National Alliance of Preservation Commissions, Board Member
  • Tennessee Preservation Trust
  • Historic Nashville, Inc.
  • Vernacular Architecture Forum
  • Society for Commercial Archaeology
  • Preserving the Recent Past
  • Trail of Tears Association

Education

  • M.A., Historic Preservation, University of Middle Tennessee, 1981
  • B.A., Knox College, 1975

Andra Kowalczyk Martens

Preservation Planner

Andra provides project management and oversight for a variety of Thomason and Associates’ historic survey and National Register projects, including a multiple-property nomination for the hydroelectric facilities of the Tennessee Valley Authority. Her interest in agriculture- and equine-related history has been the basis for projects from her Master’s thesis, “Horse Race: Class and Gender: American Cultural Identity through Horse Racing” to the Thomason and Associates’ National Register nomination for Thompson Creek Rural Historic District and associated Bedford County, Tennessee, agricultural context.

Andra presented research at the Equine History Collective’s inaugural conference at the Will K. Kellogg Arabian Horse Library at the Cal Poly University campus in Pomona, CA. Her paper addressed the theme, “Why Equine History Matters,” following the story of a World War II prize-of-war stallion from pre-war Poland to modern American culture. Her research includes a recent trip to Poland for development of historical, cultural, and architectural contexts, as well as for personal family history. Andra is also the author of Tennessee’s Arabian Horseracing Heritage, published as part of Arcadia Publishing’s “Images of America” series.

Education

  • M.A., Historic Preservation, University of Middle Tennessee, 2005
  • B.M., Commercial Music: Jazz Composition/Arranging, University of Memphis, 1991

Kelsey Lamkin

Architectural Historian

Kelsey LamkinLamkin graduated with her M. A. in Public History in December of 2018. She studied historic preservation under Tennessee state historian, Dr. Carroll Van West, and worked on several public history projects in her classes and internships, including exhibit research for Murfreesboro’s Bradley Academy and writing an adaptive reuse plan for the Alvin C. York Bible School. In addition to historic preservation, Lamkin worked at the Albert Gore Research Center during the graduate program. She assisted in the creation of physical and digital exhibits for the Center showcasing their political and women’s aviation materials. Her research combines women’s history and public landscapes and is focused on sexual regulations in Nashville during World War II.

Since joining Thomason and Associates, Lamkin has completed National Register nominations and Section 106 surveys. She has designed graphic models to be used in various city design guidelines. She also collaborated on a  digital project with the Metro Nashville Historical Commission Foundation writing content and designing tours for a historic walking tour.

Affiliations

  • Vice President of Preservation, Next Generation Heritage Foundation of Williamson County, TN

Education

  • M.A. Public History Candidate, Middle Tennessee State University 2018
  • B.S. Anthropology, Middle Tennessee State University, 2016

Rebecca Hightower

Architectural Historian

Rebecca headshotThrough the study of Architectural History and Interior Design, Hightower developed a passion for the rehabilitation of historic properties. She went on to pursue a Master’s Degree at Savannah College of Art and Design where her graduate studies focused on the integration of historic preservation and sustainability policies and practices through
rehabilitation. Hightower also participated in and completed plans and proposals for cultural resource surveys and rehabilitation projects in Savannah, Georgia, as well as the
completion of two National Register nominations for the Savannah Greyhound Bus Terminal and the Fort Screven Guardhouse on Tybee Island, Georgia.

After earning a Master’s Degree in Historic Preservation, Hightower worked as a preservation consultant in Montgomery, Alabama completing various preservation
projects for the Alabama Historical Commission, City of Montgomery, and the Landmarks Foundation. She also worked as a community development coordinator with rural towns to implement heritage tourism programs for comprehensive planning.

Since joining Thomason and Associates, Hightower manages and contributes to various projects, including statewide cultural resource surveys and National Register nominations

Affiliations

  • National Trust for Historic Preservation

Education

  • B.A. Interior Design, Southwest University of Visual Arts, 2009
  • M.A. Historic Preservation, Savannah College of Art and Design, Savannah, Georgia, 2011

Frequent Associates

The Walker Collaborative

Planning Services

The Walker Collaborative is the planning practice of Philip Walker of Nashville. Phil has 30 years’ experience in urban planning projects including downtown and neighborhood revitalization, battlefield preservation, comprehensive planning, implementation tools and community visioning. He has outstanding experience in land-use planning including zoning issues, conservation easements and “smart growth” techniques. Thomason and Associates and The Walker Collaborative have worked together on numerous projects including the award winning Little Rock, Arkansas Citywide Historic Preservation Plan, the Garden City, Kansas Historic Preservation Plan and the Georgetown, South Carolina Design Review Guidelines.

Encore Interpretive Design

Planning and Interpretation Services

Encore Interpretive Design is the planning and interpretive company led by Principal David Currey. David received his Master’s in Public History from Middle Tennessee State University and entered the museum field in 1996 as an independent consultant. After a term as Executive Director at Travellers Rest Plantation and Museum in Nashville, he moved back into full-time consulting in 2008 for museums, historic sites, and preservation organizations. Thomason and Associates and Encore Interpretive Design have teamed together on projects such as the Wood Lake Battlefield Preservation Plan in Granite Falls, Minnesota, an African American Heritage Interpretation project in New Bern, North Carolina and and various research and marketing projects for the Civil War Trust in Washington, D.C.

Centric Architecture Inc., Jim Thompson

Historic Architect

Jim Thompson has more than 30 years’ experience as an Historic Architect, designing projects in accordance with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation. He has worked with Thomason and Associates on a variety of projects including assessments of dams and powerhouses of the Tennessee Valley Authority, historic structure reports, and tax certification projects. Jim is a partner with Centric Architecture Inc. which is based in Nashville.

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