Eugene (Gene) Aleci is a native Pennsylvanian and a 1975 graduate of Notre Dame's School of Architecture, who studied for one year in central Rome as part of his 5-year degree. He then worked for a variety of architecture and downtown development consulting firms in Philadelphia, Washington, DC, and Lancaster, PA, before establishing his own firm in Lancaster in 1985. He is both a licensed architect (1980) and certified planner (AICP-1998), and brings these inter-related disciplines to all his firm's work.
Blending the design of new architecture, urban development design, historic preservation planning and renovation design for adaptive use of older buildings, along with public participation in planning, has been a lifelong pursuit of his practice. Aleci has worked on projects from Charleston, SC, to Portland, ME, and some small renovations in Italy. His firm, Community Heritage Partners, LLC, based in Lancaster, PA, uses architecture, planning, urban design, historic preservation, and real estate strategies to develop innovative design solutions and find new active uses for under-utilized properties and older buildings, so these older structures can generate new revenue, provide a reasonable return on investment, grow the local tax base, strengthen property values, and continuously improve local quality of life.
The firm specialiizes in designing sympathetic new additions and renovations for older buildings, and sensitively adapting older buildings to new uses. Custom new residential and adaptive use renovation design is also an on-going focus of work, along with larger, multi-family, commercial and institutional projects.
The firm also works at the larger scale of districts, neighborhoods, and communities, to encourage public participation, and to recommend improvements in community and economic development policy and procedures that will encourage and support individual property improvements.
Aleci served a 4-year term in the 1990s as a City Council member in the city of Lancaster. He also represented the city on the County Planning Commission, and was the city liaison to the Lancaster Central Market Standholders' Association. He was partly responsible for resurrecting the city's commitment to comprehensive planning, and the city's first new plan in 50 years was begun during his term. He also served as a long-time community board member for the Historic Preservation Trust of Lancaster County, and was a co-founder of the Friends of Central Market, Lancaster Buy Fresh Buy Local, and the Susquehanna Sustainable Business Network. He was also an early board member of the PA Downtown Center.
In addition to his architectural work, Aleci is also a private real estate developer, and president of his own development and property operations company, Community Design Works, Inc., founded in 2008. The development company works in small to mid-sized cities and towns with a focus on bringing revitalizing new development to older downtown districts. It also offers consultation to others interested in development, as well as undertaking its own development projects.