JGWA group meeting
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 thirty years.

John G. Waite, FAIA has over forty years of 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.

Nancy Rankin 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”.

In her over two decades 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 including: Yin Yu Tang, the Statue of Liberty and Fort Wood, 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.

Clay S. Palazzo, AIA, LEED AP (Retired)

Clay Palazzo is a principal with John G. Waite Associates, Architects and has been an integral part of the firm since 1989. Mr. Palazzo has managed some of the firms most prestigious projects. Those projects have included the exterior restoration of the iconic Art Deco style Cincinnati Union Terminal; the renovation and restoration of the Rotunda at the University of Virginia; the restoration of Carr’s Hill, the home of the President at the University of Virginia; reconstruction of Yin Yu Tang for the Peabody Essex Museum; the restoration of the Parish of All Saints, Ashmont in Dorchester, MA; and the exterior restoration of Vanderbilt Mansion in Hyde Park, NY. In addition, he has managed the preparation of historic structure reports including Mount Vernon; Boston’s Museum of African American History; Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Top Cottage; the Whitehouse at the Battell Stoeckel Estate at Yale University; the FDR Presidential Library, and over a dozen reports for The University of Virginia.

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 across the country. 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.

Mr. Palazzo has contributed to the fields of architecture and historic preservation through lectures and publications such as Yin Yu Tang: Preserving Chinese Vernacular Architecture, a book he co-authored. In addition, he presented papers at the Association for Preservation Technology – National Trust for Canada joint conference titled: Deep Dive – Adapting Early 20th Century Train Stations and at the APT Kansas City Conference titled: New Marble Capitals for Thomas Jefferson’s Rotunda.

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

Douglas G. Bucher (1947-2023)

Doug was an “architectural detective.” Through physical investigation, paint analysis, and his ability to remember all that he read from his extensive library, Doug traced the history and evolution of buildings, as well as their finishes and furnishings. He then communicated his findings through carefully developed sketches and renderings, and through clearly written reports. With these skills, Doug was integral in the development of the historic structure report, a foundational document for the disciplined preservation and stewardship of a historic building. He also led the restoration of historic interiors, designing and sourcing furniture, carpets, wallpaper, and lighting fixtures.

His work encompassed every sort of historic building. A union organizer’s townhouse in Troy, New York; the Statue of Liberty; Gilded Age mansions; commercial buildings near the Alamo; an eighteenth-century Chinese house; Jefferson’s buildings at the University of Virginia; a replica of Harry S. Truman’s Oval Office; state capitals; a massive railroad station; a small vernacular home in Long Island: all received the same level of Doug’s focus, fascination, and enthusiasm.

Doug often spoke of visiting museums and bookstores as a child, traveling into Albany, Troy, and New York City to explore and to discover his love of art, books, and antiques that he would carry with him throughout his life. He read voraciously about history and architecture and built up his own personal library that filled his office and then spread through JGWA’s studios. That office, filled with an eclectic mixture of books, paint analysis equipment, architectural fragments, and antiques is a favorite lure for visitors to JGWA. He loved to share the stories of his collections.

Doug’s expertise will live on in the physical restoration of the buildings that he loved and in publications. In addition to JGWA’s historic structure reports, Doug helped write The Marble House in Second Street published by the Rensselaer County Historical Society; The Mount, Home of Edith Wharton published by Edith Wharton Restoration; Tweed Courthouse: A Model Restoration published by W. W. Norton & Company; and A Neat Plain Modern Stile: Philip Hooker and His Contemporaries, 1796-1836 published by Hamilton College.

He came to work every day through his illness, and it was only recently that we learned how difficult it was to work without him. We will miss his confidence, his expertise, his unique sense of fun, his insistence on decorating the office Christmas tree, his enjoyment of every sort of food, and his almost daily delivery of books or paintings or antiques.


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