family re-union

January 29th 2015 Comments: 2 Topics: ,

Last week the Montgomery, Alabama bureau of McAlpine Tankersley paid host to the first ever gathering of the entire McAlpine family of offices.
IMG_0036Staff from McAlpine Booth and Ferrier’s Atlanta, Nashville and New York offices made the trek down to the town where it all began over thirty years ago. Thirty four of us in total spent two chock-full days in learning, fellowship, food and laughter. Many of us had never even met face-to-face so it was a long overdue family re-union.

Highlights of the retreat:

  • Day one began with tours of stylistically different houses in Birmingham, Alabama. Three of our past clients graciously opened their doors to our throng and allowed us to spend time in environments of our own making. Bobby McAlpine gave a brief talk about the design of each house and described in detail how the clients influenced the completed work.
  • Once in Montgomery, Bobby gave a brief history of his design beginnings and how the Montgomery office came into being.
  • The first day wrapped up with Chris and Anne Tippett opening up their mid-century modern Montgomery home for a splendid buffet dinner.
  • Day two commenced with a series of chats, with each office representing their handiworks.
  • Susan Ferrier, representing the Atlanta office, presented a visual feast: a series of photographs of three sumptuous projects of interiors created by her and her staff. The final project was her own recently completed home, the images of which will be published in the next few months in a national shelter magazine.
  • Exhibiting for the Nashville and New York offices, Ray Booth extolled the importance of staff in his talk and illustrated the fruits of their labors in a series of lush and evocative slides. Ray also shared how important community service was to his group in their efforts of “giving back”.
  • Greg Tankersley, spokesman for the Montgomery office, gave an impassioned talk on the love for the humble cottage and how that adoration shows up as an inspired thread in all our architectural work. He also spoke on how truly significant and powerful interior design is in our creation of our architecture.  A part of his slide show was featured in last week’s post.
  • Bobby wrapped up the talks with characteristically poetic and heartening visions for the future of our offices.
  • After much pontification, there was bowling.
  • The final party was hosted by business manager Richard Norris in his lovely Garden District home.  A raucous tournament of the card game “Spoons” ensued, thus capping the evening while sealing the bonds in silliness and screams.

Given our hectic schedules and frantic work pace, it’s wonderful and necessary to stop and take stock of who we are, where we came from and where we are going – a brief respite, pausing to examine the road map.

We departed, a re-unified group, all well aware of the “Why” we do what we do.








Greg Tankersley for McAlpine Tankersley


  1. Gaines Blackwell says:

    Greg, it sounds like a really fun yet very meaningful event. Would have made a fantastic documentary (Next time ) to edit and share with potential clients….not that you need more !



  2. Beth McAlpine says:

    Mac and I love to see all of your accomplishments. Our boys are 16 and 14. We were talking about you last night and looking at your book, The Home Within Us. It is great to see your work. Take care and come by if you are ever close to Haleyville.

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