Whit Todd’s transition to the workforce from Oklahoma State University was smoother than he could have imagined.
“When I first got out of college, because I was doing models of projects, I told my dad, ‘I can’t believe they are paying me to do this because I like it so much,’” Todd said. “There’s not been a day where I’ve regretted going into work. I love it. I love being an architect.”
His passion for design recently has been rejuvenated.
On Jan. 1, he purchased Fritz Baily, an architecture and interior design company, and last month he moved the renamed firm, TODD Architecture Group, from 1836 S. Baltimore Ave. to Brookside.
It is a familiar setting.
TODD Architecture Group’s new studio at 3403 S. Peoria Ave. is on the second floor — just above the original stage of the Brook Theater — and incorporates the open roof trusses into the design of the office. In 1995, the firm repurposed the Brook Theater, converting the theater lobby and former Lewis Meyer Bookstore into the Brook Restaurant. That work also added a second level within the old auditorium portion of the theater.
The space is close to 3,000 square feet and blends blacks and whites and grays into an open floor plan illuminated by a skylight.
“When I did this space, I always thought this would be a neat architect’s office,” Todd said. “That’s always stuck with me.
“… We had the existing drawings, so we did a test fit to see if we’d fit. We did. I thought it was a real good decision.”
Todd has practiced architecture for more than three decades with stints in Boston, Mobile, Alabama, and Tulsa. A native of Tulsa, he graduated with a master of architecture degree from OSU in 1985.
Todd first worked at Fritz Baily in 1990 before co-founding Kinslow, Keith & Todd (currently KKT Architects) in 1999, returning to Fritz Baily in 2015.
“That’s probably the biggest reason why I went from KKT back to here; I wasn’t finished being an architect,” he said. “I was more of a manager. I’m an architect again.”
“Managing a 10-12 person firm is much different than helping manage with partners a 55-person firm. Everyone gets to do a little bit of everything. Nobody is relegated one task.”
Recent and current projects for the company include commercial development along East 3rd Street, the renovation of the Tulsa Air and Space Museum and Tulsa EDUCARE. TODD Architecture Group also is designing a $7 million renovation/expansion of the Tulsa Day Center for the Homeless, for which groundbreaking is scheduled this week.
“If we were doctors, we would be considered general practice…” Todd said. “We do a little bit of everything.”
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