Mary B Brush FAIA » Speakers Bureau

Ely Speakers Bureau

Welcome to the Lambda Alpha International Ely-Chicago Chapter Speakers Bureau. Our chapter members offer themselves as a resource for you across a wide variety of land economics industries. Members of LAI Ely-Chicago have a minimum of 10 years of professional experience in their land economics field. They have been selected by their peers as worthy of recognition for their commitment to excellence. Click on a category below to find your next speaker, panelist or moderator from our membership.

If you are an LAI Ely-Chicago Chapter Member, click here to apply for the Speakers Bureau.

Photo of Mary B Brush FAIA

Mary B Brush, FAIA

Owner, Architect BRUSH Architects
Work 4200 North Francisco Avenue Chicago il 60618 Phone: 3129253070


Mary Brush has 25 years of experience as a preservation leader and envelope specialist. She is the Principal and Owner of Brush Architects, LLC. She has built the firm’s as an innovative practice specializing in the Modernization, Rehabilitation, and Restoration of existing buildings. By design BRUSH acts as both prime and specialized consultant to leading design firms.

Ms. Brush is internationally recognized as a leader in Historic Preservation and was the 2005 Richard Morris Hunt Fellow which created opportunities to work throughout France with leading preservation professionals to learn techniques that are applied for creative problem solving on current projects. Prior to starting her firm, Brush created and led the Building Envelope and Preservation Groups at Klein & Hoffman and Holabird & Root.

Mary is internationally recognized for her knowledge involving the complexities of interiors and exteriors of existing buildings including curtain walls, terra cotta, brick, and limestone masonry walls, roofs of nearly every type, windows, integrating new utilities into historic spaces, and modernizing the building for the next century. She approaches all building issues with preservation principles: what was the original intent, how has it been maintained, and how and why is it behaving as it is now. Her experience focuses on managing the continuous occupancy during construction, maintaining schedules, and monitoring the budget. Mary has a depth of experience with a wide range of historic and modern materials on building exteriors and interiors, as well as having the tools to non destructively diagnose building conditions.The key to existing building projects is to find the balance between the original design intent and the future priorities of the building. Mary was named Crains Chicago Business 2021 Notable Woman in Design and Construction.


The core of the business is working with existing buildings. We have extensive training in Historic Preservation and approach each project - historic or not - with the questions of what was the original intent, how has the building evolved, and what are the goals for the future. Current projects include the restoration of the 1974 Mies van der Rohe Federal Plaza Loop Station United States Post office, the Facade assessment of the Chicago Federal Center Kluczynski and Dirksen Federal towers (1963, 1974), The Louis Sullivan Gage Building (1898, 1906), and the 1949 Bachman house designed by Bruce Goff.

Brush is Prime on numerous public funded projects for the University of Illinois - Chicago, Chicago Public Schools and Public Building Commission, as well as for private projects such as the Bachman house. We are specialty consultant to RADA for the all woman design team for Sauganash Elementary Annex (2022). We are the historic preservation contracting side expert for Gilbane Construction for the restoration of Altgeld Library at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (1897).

Brush Architects values diversity and currently our office does have more women than men, and the languages spoken in the office are English, French, Dutch, Flemish, Lithuanian, and Russian.


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4200 North Francisco Avenue Chicago il 60618