JGWA’s architects and other historic preservation professionals represent some of the field’s most experienced and innovative practitioners, many of whom have been working together for more than fifteen years.

John G. Waite, FAIA

John G. Waite has over forty years experience in planning for and overseeing the restoration of adaptive use of historic buildings, as well as the design of new structures within historic contexts.  He is a fellow of the American Institute of Architects and the Association for Preservation Technology International and received APT’s Harley J. McKee Award for outstanding contributions in the field of preservation technology.

While serving as the Senior Historical Architect for the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, Mr. Waite was responsible for the development of compliance procedures for funding programs for properties listed in the National Register of Historic Places in New York State.  Since Mr. Waite entered private practice in 1976, his projects have received more than sixty architectural and historic preservation awards.

Jack Waite was instrumental in developing and refining the concept of the Historic Structure Report, which has become the recognized tool for gathering essential information for planning a preservation project. The Fort Johnson Historic Structure Report was selected by the National Park Service for reprinting by the U.S. Government Printing Office as a standard for reports that will be required for projects receiving substantial National Historic Preservation Act funding.

Mr. Waite has written more than fifty books and articles which have been published by the U.S. Government Printing Office, National Park Service, National Trust for Historic Preservation, Smithsonian Institution, State of New York, University of Virginia, and North Atlantic Treaty Organization. His book, Metals in America's Historic Buildings: Uses and Preservation Treatments, and technical leaflet, Preservation Brief 27: The Maintenance and Repair of Architectural Cast Iron, are standards for the field. Tweed Courthouse: A Model Restoration was published in 2006.

Mr. Waite is a graduate of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Columbia University.

Clay S. Palazzo, AIA, LEED AP

Clay Palazzo has managed some of the firm’s most prestigious projects, including the reconstruction of Yin Yu Tang for the Peabody Essex Museum, the restoration of Davidge Hall for the University of Maryland, Baltimore campus, and historic structure reports for the University of Virginia, Mount Vernon, the Museum of Afro-American History in Boston, and Top Cottage and the FDR Presidential Library in Hyde Park, New York.

Mr. Palazzo’s responsibilities have ranged from the preparation of feasibility studies, historic structure reports, and conservation studies to the design and construction administration of restoration and adaptive use projects.  All of these projects have been characterized by innovative, state-of-the-art solutions to restoration problems, and a consistent commitment to thoroughness, design excellence, and client satisfaction. 

He has acted as project manager for the exterior restoration of Cincinnati Union Terminal, Yin Yu Tang at the Peabody Essex Museum, and a variety of National Park Service projects undertaken by JGWA, including Saratoga Monument, the ceiling analysis of the Lincoln Memorial; historic structure reports for Fort Wood, Arts of War and Peace, and the DC War Memorial.

Mr. Palazzo earned degrees in economics and architecture from the University of Virginia, and a Masters in Historic Preservation from Columbia University. He joined the firm in 1989.

Nancy A. Rankin, AIA, LEED AP

Nancy A. Rankin, AIA, is a principal with John G. Waite Associates, Architects and has been an integral part of the firm since 1999. She currently oversees the firm’s New York City office, which is located in downtown Manhattan. Her commitment to incorporating new uses, modern building technology, and sustainable design practices in a way that respects the historic fabric of an existing building exemplifies an important value of John G. Waite Associates, Architects.

In her years of experience with John G. Waite Associates, Ms. Rankin has served as Project Manager on several prominent historic preservation and adaptive use projects, including New York City's historic Tweed Courthouse; the interior restoration of Cincinnati Union Terminal; the Nassau County Government Operations Center, Mineola, NY; the Nassau County Museum of Art, Roslyn Harbor, NY; and Hamilton Grange, the home of Alexander Hamilton in Harlem, NY.  She has contributed to many other projects of national significance with the firm, such as the University of Wisconsin Armory and Gymnasium, Madison, WI; Hancock Shaker Village, Hancock, MA; the Octagon, Washington, DC; the Harry S. Truman Library, Independence, MO; and Franklin D. Roosevelt's Top Cottage, Hyde Park, NY.

Ms. Rankin is a graduate of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with degrees in both Architecture and Building Science. She is a registered architect in New York State and is a LEED Accredited Professional.  Ms. Rankin has contributed to the fields of architecture and historic preservation through lectures and publications, such as "Tweed Courthouse Restoration: A New Approach to Life-Safety Management in a Landmark Public Building," an article she co-authored for the Association for Preservation Technology International Bulletin. She is also the co-author of Tweed Courthouse: A Model Restoration. Ms. Rankin is an active member of the APTI Technical Committee on Sustainable Preservation, and has given several local presentations entitled “Historic Preservation is Sustainable Design”.



Douglas G. Bucher

Douglas Bucher is a restoration specialist and building conservator with over thirty years of experience in scientific analysis of historic paint colors and finishes, and the restoration and recreation of historic decorative schemes.  He directed the restoration of interiors as diverse as Tweed Courthouse in New York City and the recreated Oval Office at the Truman Library.

Mr. Bucher has worked on virtually every historic structure report produced by JGWA, and contributed his expertise in the publication of several books, including The Marble House in Second Street published by the Rensselaer County Historical Society, The Mount, Home of Edith Wharton by Edith Wharton Restoration, and A Neat Plain Modern Stile: Philip Hooker and His Contemporaries, 1796-1836 by Hamilton College.

He has lectured widely on historic interiors, presenting at Preservation League of New York State conferences and the Annual Conference of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID).  In 1992, he was a guest lecturer at the Baltimore Antiques Show, where he presented a lecture entitled “Floor Coverings in America in the 18th and 19th Centuries.”  He has also been the Guest Curator for two exhibits, one on the architecture of Philip Hooker and the other on the Church of the Holy Cross/Mary Warren Free Institute.

A graduate of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Mr. Bucher currently serves on the boards of the Mary Warren Free Institute and the Rensselaer County Historical Society.

Chelle M. Jenkins

In her eighteen years of working with Jack Waite, Chelle M. Jenkins has specialized in historic structure reports, contributing to the surveying, writing, editing, illustrating, and final production of the reports. She has coordinated the firm's most significant reports: Yin Yu Tang, Mount Vernon, the University of Virginia, Lincoln Memorial, Liberty Memorial, the FDR Library, Top Cottage, and the Susan B. Anthony House are just a few of her projects.

Ms. Jenkins studied graphic design, interior design, and English at Brigham Young University and holds a Master of Historic Preservation from Columbia University. She currently serves on the board of the Harold B. Lee Library at Brigham Young University.



JGWA seeks qualified individuals who are dedicated to the field of historic preservation.  For more information about career opportunities at JGWA, or to submit your resume, please email