TAPping Rensselaer's Resources

 

The Troy 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 afford them."
 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 TAP office.
 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."

 

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