In 1970, at the age of fourteen John chose an architectural career by majoring his vocational studies in architectural design where he won state championships and national honors and later completed his formal education at Drexel University in Philadelphia. Although John began his internship as a draftsperson in his home state of Pennsylvania, he moved to Florida in 1981 where, through a bustling economic construction boom, he was able to further develop his design and management skills and expand his knowledge of regional design styles.
In 1985, John was offered an Associate position with the international firm of RTKL Associates, Inc., so he moved his family back North to Maryland to take advantage of this opportunity. During his years with RTKL, John was architect and manager-in-charge of the design and construction of Redwood Tower which was the first “air-rights” high-rise office tower in Baltimore’s inner harbor as well as miscellaneous retail establishments throughout the region, a high-end residential development for the DuPont family in Delaware and a Marriott Suites Hotel in Bethesda, Maryland.
In 1989, John left RTKL thinking about his ultimate goal of some day starting his own business and secured a contract as a consulting architect, designer and project manager representing the U.S. Postal Service in projects throughout the mid-Atlantic region. These projects included high visibility retail focused “Postal Stores” within the Pentagon, Mount Vernon, four separate offices on the House of Representatives side of Capital Hill and one directly under the rotunda in the U.S. Capitol. These projects received multiple awards from USPS Headquarters as well as an Award of Excellence with the American Institute of Architects.
His contract ended during the 1992 Postal reorganization, at which point John felt sufficiently confident in his abilities to incorporate his private practice under the name of Lehman Associates, P.C. In the following years, he proved his design and business abilities to a growing clientele of developers, corporate clients, property managers, retailers and private residential clients.
With larger corporate and government projects on his horizon, John briefly entered into a limited partnership with a 30-person engineering design firm in McLean, Virginia and together, opened an architectural office in Rockville, Maryland. By 2003, troubled by a post 9.11 economic downturn and growing profit based business decisions that sacrificed client service, John dissolved this partnership to return to a sole ownership private practice where he was able to provide the integrity and quality that he expects from his team as well as himself.
Now, with more than thirty five years of experience and his life long passion for architecture, John has returned his focus to where his greatest passion lies in residential and light commercial design with a continuing education concentration on energy conservation and sustainability.
John has received numerous awards for community service, residential and commercial designs, and historic preservation. He has spoken at local gatherings and national conventions on designing handicapped accessibility into historically significant buildings. John is currently licensed to practice commercial and public architecture in Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania and the District of Columbia but extends his residential reach as far away as Texas, Florida and Maine. He is “GREEN Advantage” certified with the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) on sustainable design and is a member of the Maryland Society of Architects, the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the Custom Residential Architects Network (CRAN) and the Congress of Residential Architecture (CORA). Locally, John is an officer and board member of the Greater Highland Crossroads Association, the Highland Business Association and is working jointly with the Concerned Citizens of Western Howard County on zoning and planned development issues.