Richard H. Thomas, Ph.D, Building Committee Chairperson
The Mt. Vernon United Methodist Church faced two extremely difficult problems that challenged all our prospective architects: a – degree slope from the front door of the church to the edge of our property, and incorporating an elevator in a 1900 building listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The team from Martin Design made a presentation to us that immediately helped us see a way to accomplish our goals. They took the challenge and brought us a feasible plan even before we hired them. With additional study they offered us several different ways to achieve our goals. The team was patient in working with us and keenly aware of the needs of the congregation to remain a worshiping and functioning congregation during the construction period. We appreciated their constant sensitivity to our questions and their thoughtful explanations of each decision we needed to make.
The two phased plan gave us a safe, highly serviceable parking lot that is safe, suits the topography, and an elevator with five stops to accommodate the strange adjustments made to the hill over the years. The new elevator containment structure reconciles both the style and feel of the original building and a newer educational building. It creates a lovely interior space by the use of open landings and carefully placed windows. The end results have met with great enthusiasm by the congregation. The new flow of traffic around the building and within the entire church space plus the enlarged and convenient parking lot have more than met our expectations.
I appreciated the flexibility of the Martin team and their commonsense approaches to even unexpected problems. There was never a moment when we did not feel they were our advocates and working with us on a project of special importance. Dave Martin talked to us about “partnering” in his first presentation. Today we know that concept is more than an empty idea – it is a most enjoyable way of accomplishing a large and complex task and building lasting bonds of respect and friendship.
The Rev. John Caughron
I was most impressed with the patience and adaptability of the professionals at Martin Design as we “wandered through the wilderness” to find solutions to our many accessibility problems. It could not have been easy to work with so many people, each of whom had his own idea of what we should do. Dave and Sarah stuck with us, never ran out of good ideas, and turned out a finished product of a half-million dollar renovation. The success is that none of the many “advisors” has said we did too much, and no one wishes we had done more.
Steve Jensen, Retired/Former President Freund-Vector Corporation
Vector has worked with Martin Design on three projects over the last seven years. The projects include a new main conference room, 16,500 square foot manufacturing building addition and a building front/reception area re-modeling. All of the projects were managed very professionally. The conference room and building front re-model have received many compliments because of uniqueness in their design. Extra efforts were given to make sure we were satisfied during the duration of each project. Our satisfaction with Martin Design’s extra effort and high quality of work would lead me to use them for future projects.
Rev. Douglas MacLeod
Our project team found Mr. Martin to be an astute listener to and student of our congregation’s identity, vision, and ministry needs. He then offered realistic and creative architectural options which addressed and incorporated those factors and which satisfied our aesthetic intents.
Gene Neighbor, Executive Vice President
We’ve had the opportunity to work with Martin Design on several projects including new construction and extensive remodeling. Each project went smoothly from start to finish. Their home town accessibility and attention to detail was very important on each project.
Dr. Kristen Rickey – School Superintendent
Our school district loves our new facility. Martin Gardner Architecture paid attention to our needs and exercised extreme care in helping us realize our goals. They played a key role in bringing our idea into fruition. I was impressed with how smoothly the project went from start to finish and their ability to keep the project on task. MGA maintained excellent communication with me and my staff during the project which helped keep stress levels at a minimum. They have a great process and their professional service and quality did not wane throughout any part of the project. They are insightful, professional, courteous, and enjoyable to work with. We hope to work with them again on more successful projects.
Jo Benson-Vorwald, Former Director
We enlisted the architectural and interior design of Martin Design, P.C. in the Milestones in Marion Adult Day Services program. We found them to be an outstanding asset to the overall project. Dave and Sarah were easy to work with. They paid great attention to detail, researching the newest design techniques and rules of the industry. Milestones in Marion, was the first Adult Day Service Center constructed under new state regulations and the facility met and exceeded the regulations. I highly recommend Martin Design, P.C.
Things like Confidence, Trust, Professionalism, all are appropriate to the Martin Design Firm.
The Washington County Conservation Board had a very positive experience with the Martin Design firm in the design and construction of the Washington County Conservation Education Center. The design team was very professional with great ideas and yet very cost conscious. Martin Design, PC definitely has our standing recommendation.
Our South Winneshiek Auditorium looks wonderful! We had many nice comments all weekend long from visitors coming to see the musical. I heard: ‘It feels warm and cozy, did you lose any seats? The seats are so comfortable. We can really hear, so glad you have the microphones. The colors are so elegant-you feel like you are in a real theater.’
The stage looks awesome, I do not think they missed the few feet they lost on each side. They did not look crowded. I really enjoy that we had the ability to rent microphones and have such awesome sound. Love the aisle lighting…so professional! The use of technology was a nice touch and I know that will be used many times in the future. The Country Road Players are already asking about using the auditorium next summer for a community theater show. It has been a long road and I cannot thank you all enough for making this a reality for the South Winneshiek Fine Arts Students/Faculty/Staff and of course us parents.
The flood in June 2008 was historic in its magnitude and the devastation it caused to the Cedar Rapids area. As we realized that the damage to the Linn County Youth Shelter was severe, Martin Design provided technical assistance as well as a willingness to learn about the services the program provides. Throughout the process of determining the extent of the damage to the building and beginning to look at what might have been rebuilt the entire staff at Martin Design was engaged in our issues and understood the importance of serving young people in need.
I appreciate the work Martin Design does but most importantly I appreciate how the work is done.