About

The Firm

KCA specializes in design of restorations, renovations, additions and adaptive reuse for existing buildings whether historically certified or not. Although formally trained as a historic preservation professional, Kate prefers to say she is an existing building specialist. KCA is adept at restoring historic materials, upgrading for energy efficiency, and making alterations required for accessibility. Accessibility is one of the firm’s passions.

There are three main reasons that KCA works exclusively on existing buildings: sustainability, community and creativity.

Pegasus Sculpture, Please Touch Museum
Pegasus Sculpture, Please Touch Museum
Kate Cowing headshot

Kate Cowing, AIA, APT-RP

The daughter of an engineer and a poet, architecture was the perfect direction for Kate. Her passion for buildings ignited at a young age, starting with drafting lessons in middle school and an after-school job at a local architect's office. With over 30 years in the field of architecture and historic preservation, she founded Kate Cowing Architect, LLC in April 2018, driven by her unwavering enthusiasm for these disciplines.

Kate Cowing, AIA, APTI-RP is both a registered architect and an accomplished architectural conservator. She has had the honor of working with small but
excellent preservation architecture firms throughout her career. Prior to establishing her firm, she served as the managing director of a prominent conservation firm in Philadelphia. This experience with conservation craftsmen provides her a deep understanding of building materials and construction. She has managed projects that have run the gamut of buildings even including a family mausoleum and a zinc mine.

Kate's educational background includes a BArch from Drexel University and an MS in Historic Preservation from the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Design, where she specialized in architectural conservation. Additionally, she holds a BS in psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University, something that is remarkably useful in this field.

Kate has taught historic preservation as an adjunct professor at both Temple University and Thomas Jefferson University. She's also presented research nationally at the Association for Preservation Technology International (APTI) and the Construction History Society of America (CHSA). Her affiliations include membership in the American Institute of Architects, APT, CHSA, the Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia, Partners for Sacred Places, and the Community Design Collaborative. In recognition of her professionalism in preservation architecture, Kate has been honored with the title of Recognized Professional (APT-RP) by the Association for Preservation Technology.

 

Byberry Friends' Meeting House, date unknown
Byberry Friends' Meeting House, date unknown

Finding inspiration and restoring the integrity of our historic buildings

I remember being about 9 years old walking past an abandoned barn and thinking, “If someone gave me that barn, I could do something really cool with it.” That was when I knew what I wanted to do (and do) with my life.

I have the privilege of helping people with their buildings, whether it be their home or simply a building they love. I have the honor of repairing buildings that have stood the test of time (albeit, sometimes just barely). I love to learn, and with each project, I learn more about history and people, past, and present. Through my career, I get to contribute to the sense of community by maintaining the built environment and ultimately contribute to the fight against climate change by repurposing existing buildings.

There is little I love more than getting to know a building or structure by exploring it from top to bottom.

My work is my passion. Each project is unique, each building is different, and the people I work with all have interesting stories to tell. I am really honored to have this job, to work within incredible buildings and create inspiration from their original integrity.

Let's Work Together

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