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Phoenix Historic Architecture Motley Design Group

Motley Design Group is regionally recognized for our expertise in historic preservation.  Clients have found that our knowledge of local architectural history, of construction materials and techniques, and of the application of modern codes to historic buildings  is indispensable for preservation projects. 

Our team has the capability to provide restoration and rehabilitation design for projects large or small. In addition to design work, we offer experience in an array of related services including historic preservation tax credit application, preservation agency approvals, and energy optimization / LEED certification.

Many firms claim "historic preservation" experience, but few have the depth of understanding of the historic preservation process necessary to negotiate the various standards and regulations that may apply.

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The Motley Design team has experience in a wide range of new construction projects. We don't specialize in any one particular building type, but many of our projects are considered unusual in one way or another.


With a combined 50 years of experience in varied aspects of architectural practice, we have particular expertise in:

  • Industrial manufacturing

  • Aviation - hangar/FBO

  • Commercial office

  • Housing

  • Tenant improvements

  • Retail centers

  • Museums

  • Performing arts

  • Community centers


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Most historic preservation projects start with a study of one type or another.  We have broad experience in the study of existing buildings and historic districts,  the application of the Secretary of the Interior's Standards, and the exacting identification and documentation requirements of the National Park Service.

Our ability to manage all aspects of the historic preservation world sets us apart from other architects. Project types include:

  • Historic Resource Surveys 

  • National Register Nominations

  • Preservation Master Plans

  • Building Analysis Reports

  • HABS/HAER Documentation

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While much of our portfolio is dedicated to commercial project types, we do take on residential commissions when the project and the homeowner's goals mesh with our specialized  knowledge, talents, and values.

We are frequently called upon to work with owners of historic homes or other properties within historic districts.  In these projects, it is essential that your architect knows how to  design additions that will easily achieve preservation approvals by the local jurisdiction. Our work is known by most of the preservation offices in Metro Phoenix and beyond.

For new home designs, it is important that you and your architect  have compatible views on design issues as well as  personal values. We look forward to discussing your potential new home with you.

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Because our work frequently involves historical subjects and facilities housed in significant old buildings, we have developed a specialty in consulting and design services for many different  museums .

For the last 20 years, Principal Architect Robert Graham has been an Architectural Assessor for the Collections Assessment for Preservation  (CAP) of the American Institute for Conservation (Formerly the Conservation Assessment program of Heritage Preservation).

Oure preservation work and CAP work have led to design projects for small museums ranging from remodels and additions to planning of new museum  buildings.

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Project Feasibility / Site & Facility Planning in Arizona

We are often called upon at the "front end" of projects to provide guidance on the feasibility of a potential development. We work with you to define your goals in concrete terms  in order to evaluate potential sites or building acquisitions, and in developing preliminary concepts from which cost estimates may be developed. 

Many projects require phased development due to funding limitations or forecast expansion. In these instances, an overall plan of the eventual project development is essential. A well thought-out master plan drastically reduces waste in site or building utilization and provides for a less costly long-term investment. 

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