Andrés Blanco, Principal
Andrés grew up in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico, the son of an architect who was also the founding director of the Conservation Trust of Puerto Rico. His early interest in art and architecture led him to pursue a Bachelor of Arts in Art History from Brown University and a Masters in Architecture from Columbia University. His early professional experiences included internships at Peter Eisenman and Kohn Pedersen Fox, and junior architect positions in the offices of David Easton and Eric J. Smith where he discovered his passion for residential architecture. Andrés joined Ferguson & Shamamian in 2000. His talent for bringing people together enables him to foster collaboration among project teams both in and out of the office. Andrés’ completed projects include renovations and additions to historic buildings in East Hampton and Southampton, a new estate in Hobe Sound, Florida, and the renovation of apartments and townhouses on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. Andrés has been a member of the Institute of Classical Architecture and Art for two decades and led the team for the firm’s 2017 Palladio Award winning project. He is also instrumental in the firm’s recruitment process and is deeply committed to the development and advancement of the office’s architects and staff. He divides his time between Brooklyn Heights and Newport, Rhode Island where he enjoys hosting family and friends.
Stephen T. Chrisman, Principal
The son of an architect, Stephen spent much of his Oregon childhood drawing and visiting construction sites and historic buildings. He received his Bachelor of Architecture from the Oregon School of Design, and after graduation, accepted a scholarship to study traditional and civic buildings as part of the Prince of Wales’s Institute of Architecture Summer School. Following working for Allan Greenberg in Washington DC, he received his Master of Architecture from the University of Notre Dame and joined Ferguson & Shamamian in 1995. Since then, Stephen has led the teams for three of the firm’s Stanford White Awards, three Palladio Prizes, and a Mizner Award, among other recognitions. Stephen is a long-standing Fellow and Instructor of the Institute of Classical Architecture and Art, where he regularly teaches and lectures about classical architecture, the study of design precedent, and measured and analytical drawing. He is also serves on the Institute’s national Education Committee. Stephen and his wife live in Maplewood, New Jersey, where they raised their two sons, one studying classical philosophy and one following in the family footsteps as an architect.
Peter G. Francis, Principal
Peter was born and raised in the United Kingdom and earned his degree in Accounting from Southgate Technical College in London. Peter worked for many years as a Business Manager for the London and New York offices of the international engineering firm Arup, where he developed an appreciation for architecture. He joined Ferguson & Shamamian in 2001 and as Director of Finance, and is instrumental in developing the firm’s business strategy for both day-to-day and future operations. He also is dedicated to promoting a supportive firm culture, maintaining fair-minded policies, and ensuring the well-being of the firm’s employees. Peter lives in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, with his wife and twin sons.
Thomas J. McManus, Principal
Raised in Massachusetts, Tom is as inspired by the Colonial architecture of his native New England as he is by the late-nineteenth century warehouses that line the waterfront in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, where he lives with his wife and daughter. While receiving his bachelor’s degree in Architecture from the University of Notre Dame, he met Stephen Chrisman and Damian Samora, now fellow Principals. Since joining Ferguson & Shamamian in 1998, Tom has understood the importance of fostering the relationship between clients and their teams. He is instrumental in the firm’s commitment to utilizing the best tools for drawing, modeling and communication. Tom has designed new residences and worked on renovations across the country and in Canada, from Manhattan to Santa Monica, Nashville to Nantucket, and Hobe Sound to Toronto. A Fellow Emeritus of the Institute of Classical Architecture and Art, Tom served on the editorial board of the organization’s annual journal, The Classicist, as well its 10-year-anniversary publication, A Decade of Art & Architecture. He led the teams for the firm’s 2016 Bulfinch Award, 2018 Mizner Award and 2020 Palladio Award, and has worked with many returning clients on multiple projects, each distinct in style and location.
Andrew Oyen, Principal
Andrew’s passion for aesthetics and how people live comes from a family background in the decorative arts. Andrew began his career as an architect within an interior design firm, learning how to create balance between the two disciplines, a practice he draws from for each of his projects. Since joining Ferguson & Shamamian architects in 1996, Andrew’s early experience has informed everything from his first meeting with a client and helping them to envision how they will live in their residence, through the development of plans, finishes, and details. Andrew received his Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the University of Virginia, with a focus in Architectural History and Urbanism, and attended The Bartlett School at the University of London, where he studied Architecture, Preservation and Conservation. His work includes projects in some of New York’s most iconic buildings and residences in Long Island, Connecticut, Minneapolis, Los Angeles, and Malibu, among others. He lives with his partner in the Jackson Heights historic district of New York City and spends weekends at their cottage, an accessory building on a former estate near the Delaware River.
M. Damian Samora, Principal
Originally from Colorado, Damian received his Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Notre Dame and started his career in London at Demetri Porphyrios & Associates. At the encouragement of his University of Notre Dame schoolmates and fellow Principals, Stephen Chrisman and Tom McManus, he joined Ferguson & Shamamian in 1999. Raised in the Rockies, educated in the Midwest and having practiced in London and New York, Damian has been exposed to a diverse range of building traditions and lifestyles. He brings this experience to each of his projects, which range from mountain retreats in Telluride, Vail and Aspen to historic Manhattan apartment buildings and family houses in New York and Connecticut. A Fellow Emeritus of the Institute of Classical Architecture and Art, Damian is also Chair of the office Practice Committee. In this role, he helps to ensure the firm best utilizes its assets for design, documentation and resources, while also fostering an environment of learning and mentorship for the firm’s young architects. Damian and his family live in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood and enjoy holidays with family in Colorado and Lake Michigan.
Scott J. Sottile, Principal
Growing up in Virginia surrounded by historic buildings and classical American architectural influences, Scott was determined to have a career in architecture. He earned his Bachelor of Architectural History with a minor in Historic Preservation from the University of Virginia and during an intensive two-year internship with Office of the Architect for the Academical Village, was proud to be involved in the hands-on restoration work of Jefferson’s Lawn Buildings. He received his Master of Architecture from the University of Notre Dame and came to Ferguson & Shamamian in 2005. Some of Scott’s most recent projects include a new waterfront family compound in Maine, the restoration of an iconic, historic estate in East Hampton, and new houses in California and Florida. Active in community service, he was a member of the Restoration Committee that oversaw a two-year renovation of the historic Church of St. Francis Xavier in Manhattan, a project that won the 2011 Lucy G. Moses Award from The New York Landmarks Conservancy and the 2011 Victorian Society Award. He is also an avid gardener, and spends most weekends with his partner and their two whippets in Sag Harbor.