A perfect blend in Portsmouth as architectural firm finishes 100th project
Growing up in Portsmouth, she had fallen in love with architecture, both historical and modern.
She developed that passion in college and technical school before returning to her hometown to start her business.
Recently, DeStefano Architects completed its 100th project in downtown Portsmouth, a landmark more significant to DeStefano than her total number of projects to date.
The former boutique shop features a solid pewter bartop, many wood features, pulley-operated fans and window seating.
Maintaining Portsmouth's historic character is an important part of DeStefano's work, and may be why she is sought out by homeowners and businesses .
"We build business by building relationships; and for those 100 projects, I've represented clients and presented plans at several hundred meetings of the City Council, Planning Board, Historic District Commission and others," DeStefano said.
"Students are happy and teachers are thrilled with their 'new' school," Portsmouth Middle School Principal John Stokel said in a prepared statement. "Lisa DeStefano's vision and passionate advocacy for our renovation was essential to propelling the project forward. The result is a perfect blend of environmental design strategies for energy-efficiency, with preservation of the historic building's character."
Among DeStefano's list of standout projects are the renovation of a 200-year-old bank building to accommodate RiRa, the Irish Pub, the redesign of the Portsmouth Gaslight building, and even the design of a trash compactor enclosure on Ceres Street.
DeStefano said about half of her company's business is residential and half commercial.
DeStefano said for her, the business is about relationship building, not just a project, and credits those positive working relationships with the company's success in the city.