Jim Shepherd

  • Jim Shepherd Historic Preservation SmithGroup Washington DC
  • Jim Shepherd Washington DC Historic Preservation
  • Jim Shepherd Washington DC SmithGroup Historic Preservation

When a magnitude 5.8 earthquake shook the East Coast in 2011, “It changed the course of my life,” claims Jim. Because the disaster damaged so many landmarks in Washington DC, Jim—already with a lengthy resume as a preservation architect—became a client himself, overseeing the $34-million repair and restoration of the Washington National Cathedral as its director of preservation. “It became an immersive education on how to properly steward one of our nation’s most treasured landmarks,” he says. “It gave me a unique perspective that makes me a better architect as I return to the role of supporting clients.” Jim says he’s always been fascinated by the stories of historic buildings: “Who designed them, who built them, who occupied them and, in many cases, why they were neglected,” he explains. “Historic preservation is not just about restoring buildings to their original beauty. It’s about making sure the buildings are well-used, well-loved and continue to tell stories.”