Architectural Program (TAP), conceived by students and faculty at
Rensselaer's School of Architecture in 1968, has been saving buildings
in Troy for more than 30 years.
TAP was the brainchild of Vincent Lepera '68, along with fellow
student Bob Mitchell '68, architecture professors Ilmar Reinvald
and Robert Winne, and the late Ned Pattison, a former Congressman
and father of Troy's current mayor, Mark Pattison. Lepera conceived
TAP as part of his Rensselaer thesis project. The idea, Lepera says
"was to provide the architectural services of Rensselaer students
and faculty members to people who might not otherwise be able to
In 1969 Joe Fama '70 and Stephen Christopher '70 began work
at TAP as work-study students. Both are still there today. TAP has
grown into a thriving practice providing design services for more
than 100 small and medium-sized construction projects a year. Six
of the nine permanent TAP staff members are Rensselaer graduates
and four to six Rensselaer students a year do internships at the
Today, Lepera runs his own architectural practice in downtown
Troy with partner Jay Ward '72. Lepera & Ward, P.C., has performed
preservation and restoration work on many historic downtown Troy
buildings, including the McCarthy Building, Standard Furniture (currently
being renovated as the new home of RCCA: the Arts Center), Rice
Building, Frear Building, and the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall.
TAP frequently collaborates with Lepera & Ward on projects and Lepera
remains an avid supporter of the program.
"Working in Troy enriched our Rensselaer experience," says
Fama. "So much so that three decades later many of us still live
and work in this community. It's very gratifying to see the many
new links which Troy and Rensselaer are forging. I think TAP is
a fine example of just how productive a partnership it can be."