This episode is a replay of the April 2022 Lessons from Legends interview at the University of Baltimore’s Merrick School of Business and features a conversation with the Legendary architect Diane Cho. She shares what brought her to Baltimore in the 1970s, what it was like to be a minority woman practicing architecture, and her hopes for the future of the profession. (Please note: The audio is a little patchy at the beginning but we changed mics early on to improve the quality.)

Building Highlights: Tindeco Wharf, Brewer’s Hill, Clipper Mill and the American Brewery for Humanim. Check out the Tangible Remnants Instagram page for images.


Bio: Diane Cho is a founding principal of Cho Benn Holback (formerly Cho Wilks Benn), a women owned architectural firm noted for projects in the cultural, educational, and community realm where the focus has been on the creative re-use of aging, historic building stock. Cho and Barbara Wilks started their architecture firm in the late 1970’s having moved to Baltimore a few years earlier after graduating from Cornell University’s architecture school. Beginning with rowhouse renovations, they gradually expanded their portfolio to include larger buildings and added partners David Benn and George Holback to enhance the firm’s reach. An early focus on housing led to market rate warehouse renovations such as Tindeco Wharf and Canton Cove, and a number of affordable housing/historic school house renovations located in some of Baltimore’s most challenging neighborhoods.

Believing in the arts as a catalyst for community revitalization, Cho began to focus her projects primarily in the cultural realm where she has worked closely with clients to assure that architectural concepts reflect each institution’s mission. Her portfolio includes many award-winning projects such as the Baltimore School for the Arts, the Jim Rouse Center at the American Visionary Art Museum, the Everyman Theatre and Center Stage.

As an active leader and a patron for many cultural organizations, she has helped to position and celebrate the arts as a vital ingredient in the life of strong and vibrant cities. Diane currently serves on the Board of Trustees of MICA and has recently served on the boards of the Baltimore Museum of Art and the Everyman Theatre.

After 35 years of building the firm in Baltimore, she and her partners sold their architecture firm in 2017 to Quinn Evans, a national firm headquartered in Washington DC with five other branches throughout the mid-Atlantic and Midwest. She remains a principal with Quinn Evans and continues to spearhead projects within her area of expertise.


Thank you to this Episode’s Sponsor: BQE makes it easy to manage your projects and people, for maximum productivity and ultimate profitability. Start implementing powerful systems for the profitability you need and the freedom you want. Join Douglas Tieger, FAIA for the next Designing Your Business Masterclass, brought to you by BQE CORE. Every live masterclass session is free and includes AIA continuing education credit. Register now at bqe.com/masterclass.


This podcast is sponsored by www.Smartsheet4architects.com, a better way to manage architecture projects.**

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