Name: B. Craig Lipscomb, Architect.
Where were you born and raised?
“My family for many generations has lived in Gadsden, Alabama. Prior to my birth, my parents moved to Leeds, Alabama, where I was born. Shortly thereafter, we moved to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where we lived until I was eight, at which time we moved back to Gadsden and have remained since.”
What is your occupation?
“I am a registered Architect in the States of Alabama, Georgia, Florida and Illinois.”
What made you decide to work in your field?
“I have been passionate about architecture since I was a small child. I know that seems unusual, but having been reared by a contractor father, creative mother and having an aptitude for the arts, I was inherently geared towards the construction design community.”
Tell us about your family and pets.
“I am married to my wife Angela of 16 years. We dated for the seven years prior to our engagement, so we’ve been together for quite some time. We are blessed to have a 13-year-old son and a 10-year-old daughter who are perpetual entertainment for us.”
Describe an average day in your life.
“After delivering my son to school, I try to go by The Choice for Gadsden’s finest diner style breakfast. Shortly thereafter, the work day begins at my office at the corner of 5th and Broad, the remaining ground floor of a historic hotel in downtown Gadsden. We design unique architecture for commercial and sometimes residential projects in the Gadsden area and throughout the southeastern U.S. This entails the typical architectural design process as well as daily interaction with our clients, municipalities, review boards, engineers and others critical to the success of our projects. In between all of the work-related activities, we make time to invest ourselves in community service organizations. Generally, after work I visit Aaron at Body Maxx Fitness on Broad Street for a workout and then head home to see the family.”
What school or schools have you attended?
“I briefly attended Gaston and Glencoe Elementary schools. We moved in close proximity to Coosa Christian Schools when I was in fourth grade, where I graduated high school in 1994. After attending Gadsden State Community College for two years, I transferred to Auburn University where I completed a five-year Bachelors in Architecture in 2000.”
What do you like to do in your free time?
“Obviously, I enjoy spending time with my family. We have a large extended family who gathers together frequently. Truly, my most enjoyable hobby is fly fishing. Once upon a time, music was my primary free time activity, as I play several instruments. However, since fly fishing is such a therapeutic and enjoyable hobby, it is my favorite recreation.”
What would you say is your greatest accomplishment?
“I’m not going to lie to you and say friends, family or whatever. The reality of it, is that making it through the School of Architecture at AU was the most difficult task that I have ever accomplished. Ask anyone who knows. It is such a challenging environment physically, psychologically and intellectually. Once you’ve done it, you are extremely proud. Would I do it again? Eh…”
Name the one person that has been the most influential in your life. Why?
“My father is the most influential person in my life. Without his guidance and support, I would certainly not be who I am today. He continues to bless me daily. Don’t get me wrong. I have great love and affection for my mother. She has been my greatest supporter, but it’s difficult for me to see myself being successful without my Pop.”
To what do you credit your success?
“My parents gave me structure and support throughout my life. It was the keystone to everything I’ve attempted. However, all credit goes to the Almighty. God is my strength and foundation. With Him, all things are possible.”
Are you involved in any service organizations?
“Gadsden Kiwanis, Foundation Member; Etowah County Chamber of Commerce, Board Member; Gadsden Symphony Orchestra, President; United Way of Etowah County, former Board Member; and Gadsden Museum of Art, former Board Member.”
What is your favorite thing about this community?
“When I graduated from Auburn, I had the opportunity to go to various locations to practice architecture. I returned to Gadsden because it is home. It feels right. It’s not too big nor too small. We have everything that you need and most of what you would want. But my favorite thing about this community is the community itself. The people are wonderful.”
What would you like to see change in the community?
“As an architect with a specialization in urban design, I see so much untapped potential. Our riverfront needs tremendous renewal. It is our greatest natural asset and it currently is not much more than a shoreline with arbitrary commercial development thereon. Look at other cities with a river such as ours. The quality of retail and recreational development is far beyond ours. Cities such as Chattanooga were places that you would never go to prior to their riverfront developments. It takes public and private money to make those things happen. The community and municipality has to be willing to work hand-in-glove with each other to make these things happen. Neither party can do this alone. It’s critical that the city utilizes their own citizens to design, build, occupy and utilize the structures that would better the riverfront. It’s critical that the community support the city’s use of tax dollars to better this riverfront so that it can in turn create a greater tax base to benefit the citizens. When we work together and utilize “local” resources to make our city better, everyone benefits.”
What are three words that describe you?
“Creative, authentic and stubborn.”
What is something surprising that many do not know about you?
“I, once upon a time, had a fantastic head of hair.”
What is your favorite quote?
“Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men’s blood and probably themselves will not be realized. Make big plans; aim high in hope and work, remembering that a noble, logical diagram once recorded will never die, but long after we are gone be a living thing, asserting itself with ever-growing insistency. Remember that our children and our grandchildren are going to do things that would stagger us. Let your watchword be order and your beacon beauty.” – Daniel Hudson Burnham
What is on your bucket list?
“Not having the resources to spend a semester abroad studying architecture while in school, I very much want to spend time traveling Europe and perhaps Asia when able.”
What is your hidden talent?
“To make friends with just about anyone.”
If a movie were made about your life, who would you want to play you?
“I’d say Jeffrey Dean Morgan. Not only is he an incredible actor, but it might trick people into thinking that I’m as good looking as he is. On second thought, Bruce Willis. If he had a beard, we might pass as cousins.”
What advice would you give yourself as a child?
“Work hard, save every dime and invest it all in Apple, Google and Amazon as soon as it hits bottom in 2002.”