Ground has been broken for Wier Boerner Allin Architecture’s new location at 2727 Old Canton Road.
In ceremonies held today, Jamie Wier, Michael Boerner and Jack Allin welcomed the crowd of nearly 100 friends, family, clients and their staff of eighteen to officially kick off work on the two-story late modernist building.
“Wouldn’t you agree this is great for the city?” an excited Gus McCoy, Chief Administrative Officer for the City of Jackson asked. “(Mayor Tony Yarber) and his directors were just speaking today of the importance of recovering the value of places that have been undervalued, places you drive by daily, but didn’t know they are there,” he said of the building purchased by from the State Street Group late last year. “We appreciate Wier Boerner Allin for reinvesting in the city. Fondren has always done that and this is a testament to that strength.”
Fondren Renaissance Executive Director Jim Wilkirson said, since his meeting Jamie Wier and Michael Boerner six years ago, their firm has been a leader in their field. “(You’ve) secured yourself with a diversity of knowledge, innate ability and outside-the-box thinking, garnering yourself as a leader in this city, state and beyond,” he remarked. Wilkirson thanked the trio for investing in their own backyard. “You have stayed firm and are investing further in the community that has cultivated and supported you from the beginning.”
Wier said the groundbreaking and expansion of their firm is larger than the three whose names are on the building. “It’s the teamwork, trust, faith and support we have from every one of you,” he noted. “Less than six years ago, (Michael and I) were sitting in Cups or Broad Street or Newk’s — those were our offices – trying to figure out what our businesses cards would look like. To look six years later and see having shingles in Fondren — in Jackson, Mississippi — it’s overwhelming.”
Boerner echoed Wier’s sentiments and added thanks to Mike Peters, whose Fondren Corner has been their professional office the entire life of their firm. He spoke of their expansion year after year, occupying a larger and larger portion of the building’s first floor. “We feel that has been one of the catalysts for our firm, the neighborhood’s energy, helping us to recruit the most talented creatives in the region, allowing us to do regional work, from Texas to South Carolina.”
Allin acknowledged a special guest in attendance, Nancy Haas Brown, the daughter of Jones and Haas partner, Harry Haas, Jr. whose architecture firm designed the building and occupied the second floor. The legacy and significance wasn’t lost on the newest partner of the firm. “Standing in a moment like this, you realize, it’s much bigger than yourself,” he said.
Allin told that, over the past several weeks, people have said thank you for their investment in Fondren and Jackson. But he sees a bigger picture. “We have a tendency to draw circles: we’re Fondren or downtown or Madison. But I want to draw that circle larger. It’s bigger in my mind. We’re doing work from here regionally. It’s a Mississippi business and we’re honored to be that.”
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