Firm Profile

Founded in 1976 by John Bero, Bero Architecture has earned a state-wide reputation and a number of awards for the quality of our new construction, rehabilitation, and preservation projects.  In addition to design and construction services, we provide a full range of preservation planning services to help you prepare for future projects, prioritize maintenance, obtain recognition for your historic property, and apply for grants.  In 2008, longtime employees Virginia Searl and John Page took over ownership, retaining John Bero as a senior preservation architect until his retirement at the end of 2014.  The firm has maintained its high-quality architectural and preservation services while incorporating appropriate sustainability practices with LEED-certified staff.

  • Greene and Greene Inspired New Home
    • Time Tested Building

    • Greene and Greene Inspired New Home
  • Foster Cottage
    • Preservation Is Sustainable

    • Foster Cottage
  • St. Stanislaus Kostka Church
    • Tradition In Design

    • St. Stanislaus Kostka Church
  • Asbury First United Methodist Church
    • Communication

    • Asbury First United Methodist Church
  • George Eastman House
    • Flexible Service

    • George Eastman House
  • Aldersgate United Methodist Church
    • High Quality Work

    • Aldersgate United Methodist Church
  • First Presbyterian Church of Albion
    • Responsible Guidance

    • First Presbyterian Church of Albion
  • Bridges Cornell Heights
    • High Quality Materials

    • Bridges Cornell Heights
  • St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Fellowship Hall
    • Thorough Specifications

    • St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Fellowship Hall

The Design Process

Gorsline Building: Site Plan
Gorsline Building: Site Plan
At Bero Architecture, creating a design is a cooperative act between the client and the designer. There are multiple acceptable solutions to every design problem. Our process involves looking at alternatives to discover a design that best serves the needs of the client.

Typically, we start with a program of the owner’s needs and examine existing site conditions. After understanding the programmatic and physical context, we sketch alternative solutions that will satisfy the program. We will meet to discuss the implications of these designs and get your ideas and suggestions for additional alternatives. After getting your comments on the sketches, we develop a schematic design and estimate that will be the master plan for your work.

The process described above can be as brief as described, or it can require multiple iterations of sketch, meeting, comment, and revision; the number of revisions depends on the complexity of the design issues as well as the nature of the client.


Working With Committees

Reconstruction of copper cupolettes at St. Stanislaus Church
Reconstruction of copper cupolettes at St. Stanislaus Church
Bero Architecture has developed appropriate strategies for working successfully with small and large building committees.  We have the capability to team with interested members in a collaboration to help ensure thorough consideration of all thoughtful contributions.  We distill complex information into understandable program criteria to help all committee members feel comfortable with the process.


Building Conservation

Corning Clock Tower condition assessment and restoration
Corning Clock Tower condition assessment and restoration
In addition to traditional architectural services described above, Bero Architecture provides many building conservation services including:

+ Measured drawing preparation for existing buildings
+ Building surveys to determine their condition and preparation of reports and other documents. (Please refer to Some Thoughts on Building Surveys for more information on this subject.)
+ Assistance with grant applications
+ Technical advice regarding conservation techniques required for the preservation of historic materials
+ Preparation of contract documents, assistance with bidding negotiation, and contract administration of contracts for the repair and conservation of historic materials.

Preservation Planning

Avon Opera Block rehabilitation
Avon Opera Block rehabilitation
Our preservation planning services include, but are not limited to the following:

+ Architectural Assessment Reports
+ Comparative Analysis Reports
+ Condition Reports
+ Feasibility Reports
+ Historic Resources Reports
+ Historic Structure Reports (see link below)
+ National/State Register and Local Landmark Nominations
+ Cultural Resource Surveys (Reconnaissance-Level and Intensive-Level)
+ Streetscape Studies

Learn more about Historic Structure Reports in Preservation Brief No. 43 (The Preparation and Use of Historic Structure Reports).

Cultural Resource Surveys

Charlotte-Genesee Lighthouse lamproom restoration
Charlotte-Genesee Lighthouse lamproom restoration
Bero Architecture prepares reconnaissance-level and intensive-level cultural resource surveys following state and federal standards.  Surveys are important planning tools designed to achieve the following goals:

+ To identify, evaluate, and document historic resources potentially eligible for local designation and/or the State and National Registers
+ To serve as a planning tool for local and state governments
+ To expedite OPRHP review of federal and state-assisted projects (Section 106 and NYS law 14.09)
+ To raise community awareness and pride
+ To serve as an incentive for revitalization of historic resources
+ To serve as a database of information for academic purposes
+ To promote historic tourism.

Municipalities and nonprofit organizations are eligible for grants to help fund survey projects.

Resume of Representative History Projects

National Register Nominations

Pittsford Presbyterian Church: rear of nave after restoration
Pittsford Presbyterian Church: rear of nave after restoration
The State and National Registers of Historic Places are honorary lists of buildings and other properties that are important in local, state, or national history.

Bero Architecture has assisted clients with research, writing, and editing National Register nominations for a variety of resource types in accordance with state and federal standards.  Clients include municipalities, non-profit organizations, and private individuals.  We have given public presentations in conjunction with OPRHP staff to explain the benefits of listing properties on the National Register.  We have a thorough understanding of the role the National Register plays as a preservation planning and resource management tool at local, state, and national levels.

Review and Compliance

Most Holy Trinity Church minor steeple
Most Holy Trinity Church minor steeple
Under state and federal law, municipal project approvals often require analysis of the project’s effects on cultural resources.  Bero Architecture is experienced at advising project teams throughout the review process to ensure compliance with local, state, and federal regulations.

Our services include:

+ Documenting and evaluating existing historic resources
+ Assessing the effects of proposed projects
+ Developing design criteria to avoid and/or mitigate adverse impacts
+ Determining unavoidable impact
+ Suggesting potential mitigation measures
+ Writing the Historic Resources section for environmental impact statements

Tax-Act Projects

Clifton Springs Library: Entrance Interior
Clifton Springs Library: Entrance Interior
Owners of certain properties listed in or eligible for the National Register may take advantage of tax credits to help with rehabilitation projects.  Credits are available at the federal level for rehabilitation of income-producing properties, and at the state level for both commercial properties and private homes.  (The state credit is only available in certain census tracts.)  The rehabilitation work must meet the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation.

We can help you determine whether your property qualifies for the credits, and help you plan a project that meets the Standards.  We are also experienced with the administrative processes required to claim the credit.


The Preservation of Museum Collections

Genesee Country Village and Museum

Bero Architecture has provided architectural services to many museums, most of which are located in historic buildings.  The difficulties of maintaining collections in historic building are many; often proper care of existing buildings is at odds with proper care of collections.  Bero Architecture has consulted with many museums with funding provided by Institute of Museum and Library Services under the Conservation Assessment Program (CAP), administered by Heritage Preservation.  This experience, together with the understanding that sophisticated environmental control systems are expensive to install, operate, and maintain, and sometimes detrimental to historic buildings, has led to a special interest in low-tech solutions to difficult collection care problems in historic buildings.

View our Resume of Museum Consultations

Federal Qualifications

Asbury First Methodist Church - Parish Hall Addition
Asbury First Methodist Church - Parish Hall Addition
In accordance with 36 CFR Part 61, projects that have state and federal support generally require consultants to meet professional qualifications standards. Bero Architecture is one of only a few upstate architectural firms with staff who meet the standards for Architectural History, Architecture, History, and Historic Architecture.

Firm Members


  • Founder / Architect Emeritus
  • John F. Bero
  • Principals
  • Virginia Searl: License 025944
  • Jennifer Ahrens, LEED Green Associate: License 026882
  • Architects
  • John E. Page, Senior Architect: License 019113
  • Lindsay Yoder (D’Ambrosia), LEED-AP: License 035895
  • Christopher Brandt: License 041115
  • Senior Architectural Associate
  • Richard Osgood
  • Architectural Historian
  • Katie Eggers Comeau
  • Interior Designer
  • Kati Smith
  • Architectural Associate
  • Anna Dnistrian
  • Administration
  • Mary Mitchell


  • Architectural Programming
  • Architectural Design
  • Construction Documents
  • Bidding and Negotiation
  • Construction Administration
  • Detailed Cost Estimation
  • Interior Design
  • Design For Accessibility
  • Storefront Renovations
  • Planning Tenant Space
  • Historic Structure Reports
  • Historic Impact Studies
  • Preservation Planning
  • National Register Applications
  • Local Landmark  Applications
  • Cultural Resource Surveys
  • Existing Building Evaluations
  • Condition Reports
  • Master Planning
  • Building Conservation
  • Site Comparisons
  • Quantity Surveys
  • Analysis of Operating Costs
  • Streetscape Facade Guidelines
  • Grant Assistance