2018 Art Beat Poster Designed by Rick Podrasky


We Congratulate Rick On Being Chosen Winner Of The 2018 Art Beat Poster Design Contest.

Rick has been a valued member of the Alliance family for over 5 years, with more than 20 years of experience in architectural design.

He primarily focuses on the design development, construction document and construction administration phases of the work.

He has acted as project architect for many corporate and government agencies, both national and international in scope and has recently completed projects for the University of Notre Dame and St. Pius X Parish.

Artist Statement from Rick Podrasky

My name is Rick Podrasky, and I have lived and worked in the South Bend area since relocating here from Washington, DC in 2004, ultimately returning to Indiana after having graduated with a degree in architecture from Notre Dame in 1991. I have been an architect for the past twenty years; however, I have been an artist and graphic designer for decades prior to that! I enjoy painting and sketching using a variety of media, but working in a digital format has been the primary means of expression these days…

My inspiration for this year’s Art Beat poster has been our City’s new flag, which is now starting to happily fly in our neighborhoods as well as our civic buildings. All the elements that make up Art Beat – music, art, food and dance – are celebrated emblematically against a big blue midwestern sky over the skyline of South Bend and the river that gave her its name.



PRESS RELEASE – Architect Christopher Hartz Named Partner


Alliance Architects has announced that Christopher Hartz has been promoted to principal in the firm.

Hartz is a graduate of the Notre Dame School of Architecture and holds a masters degree from the University of Michigan.  He is a registered architect, an NCARB certificate holder and a LEED accredited professional.  Hartz joined Alliance in 2003, after working with a large, multi-disciplined design firm in Minneapolis.  In his new position, Hartz will lead the design and client development efforts within Alliance’s educational studio.  He lives in the Near Northwest Neighborhood of South Bend, along with his wife and four children.

With a professional staff of sixteen architects and engineers, Alliance is recognized as an innovator in the design of institutional facilities, multi-family apartments and senior living developments for both regional and national clients.  The firm is currently practicing in eight states throughout the Great Lakes, east coast and southwest.  Recent local commissions include the new St. Pius X Church, Notre Dame Boathouse, Belltower Health and Rehabilitation Center, and the Oliver Apartments.  The firm is currently designing the Howard Park Reconstruction for the City of South Bend, and assisting Shepley Bulfinch with the ongoing Hesburgh Library Renovation at the University of Notre Dame.

Martin Murphy, Jed Eide, Mark Leblang, William Lamie and Anthony Paiano are the other principals in Alliance Architects.  The firm recently redesigned its website:  www.alliarch.com.



PRESS RELEASE – Century Center/Island Park Named As One Of USA Today’s “25 Must See Buildings In Indiana”


USA Today online recently featured “25 Must See Buildings In Indiana” and included our own Century Center Island Park.

The article read as follows:

Century Center/Island Pavilion, South Bend (Alliance Architects/Philip Johnson): Once a city eyesore, now transformed into a vibrant urban riverfront development that draws visitors for community festivals, concerts, weddings and more. Located along the St. Joseph River, the 11-acre Island Pavilion was completed in 2012 to complement the adjacent Century Center that was completed in 1977. This new community space has spurred additional development along the riverfront, which is just minutes from museums and University of Notre Dame. Here is a link to the article. https://bit.ly/Indianaarchitecture

PRESS RELEASE – Anthony Paiano Named Partner


Anthony Paiano Named PartnerAlliance Architects has announced that Anthony Paiano has been promoted to principal in the firm. A registered architect and LEED accredited professional, Paiano holds degrees in architecture and environmental design from Ball State University.  He joined Alliance in 2009, after serving as a project architect specializing in mixed use residential development for clients in South Carolina.  In his new position, Paiano will lead the design and client development efforts within Alliance’s multi-family housing studio.  He resides in his home town of Mishawaka, Indiana along with his wife and two daughters. With a staff of fifteen architects, Alliance is recognized as an innovator in the design of multi-family apartments, senior living developments and institutional buildings for both regional and national clients.  The firm is currently practicing in eight states throughout the Great Lakes, east coast and southwest.  Recent local commissions include the new St. Pius X Church, Notre Dame Boathouse, Belltower Health and Rehabilitation Center, and the Colfax @ Hill mixed-use development. Martin Murphy, Jed Eide, Mark Leblang and William Lamie are the other principals in Alliance Architects.  Jack Plennert retired from the firm late last year.

PRESS RELEASE – Architect Jack Plennert Retires


Jack PlennertAlliance Architects has announced the retirement of Jack Plennert, one of the firm’s founding partners, effective December 31, 2015.

Plennert also co-founded Architecture Design Group, the firm that merged with James Childs Architects to create Alliance Architects in 2012.

“My decision to retire was not reached in haste”, said Plennert.  “In fact, I never thought this time would actually arrive.  I will miss the challenges involved with taking a project from concept to reality.  As Principal in Charge of Alliance’s Institutional Studio, I have had the opportunity and pleasure of working with many clients who are among the best and brightest minds in higher education.”

Plennert led the design team for a number of noteworthy projects, including: the new IU South Bend Education & Arts Building, the IU South Bend Student Activities Center, and Rolfs Sports Recreation Center, located on the campus of the University of Notre Dame.

In reflecting on his thirty-six years as a practicing architect in South Bend, Plennert remarked that he has witnessed dramatic changes in the way projects are designed and constructed.  “At the risk of stating the obvious,” Plennert said he believes “the most transformative element has been the development of digital technology.”  According to Plennert, “It has impacted the way architects think, design and communicate.  That being said, the time is right to pass the baton to a new generation of architects at Alliance who will promote the profession with the passion and energy that is essential in today’s multi-tasking environment.”

Plennert plans to remain involved with local community organizations such as The Rotary Club of South Bend and the YMCA of Michiana.  When not traveling with his wife Nancy, he plans on spending time with his two grandchildren.

PRESS RELEASE – Architectural Firms Announce Merger


The principals of James Childs Architects and Architecture Design Group (ADG) have announced the formation of a new firm, Alliance Architects.

“Our combined team features seventeen registered and graduate architects. We average over twenty years of experience per person,” according to Martin Murphy, James Childs Architects principal and President of the new firm. “This represents an incredibly strong and talented professional staff. Our goal is to compete effectively with Indianapolis and Chicago architects throughout the region.”

ADG principal, Jed Eide, added:  “We have been friendly competitors with James Childs Architects since we started.  We admire each other’s work, and the principals have great respect for each other personally.  The merger discussions began a little over a year ago.  It seemed like a natural fit.”

An increased diversification of project types was also a factor.  “The greatest benefit to our clients will be our ability to offer a more varied project experience base.” commented Mark Leblang, another principal.  “This should prove to be particularly valuable when clients are planning mixed-use developments; as well as projects requiring innovative financing or geographical reach beyond the Midwest.”

Jack Plennert and William Lamie are the two other principals in Alliance Architects.

The company was formed November 1, 2012.

The firm plans to consolidate all staff and operations at the current James Childs Architects building, which is located at 929 Lincolnway East in South Bend, Indiana.  A renovation will be undertaken in the next few months in order to accommodate the combined firm.  “We are committed to remaining good neighbors and strong corporate citizens in South Bend and Mishawaka.” said Murphy.  “Although our work often takes us into many other areas of the country, we intend to stay firmly rooted in the community.”

Services offered by Alliance Architects consist of architectural design, interior design and urban planning.  The firm will continue to focus on the core building types of the two predecessor firms, which include higher education, institutional, multi-family apartments, public housing and senior living developments.  Sustainable design and Building Information Modeling (BIM) are additional specialties which the firm has developed.  Alliance is currently practicing in seven states throughout the Great Lakes, east coast and southwest.

The name Alliance was chosen because it speaks to the collaborative nature of architectural practice.  In the view of the principals, the concept of the alliance extends beyond the in-house team to include clients, consultants, contractors and virtually everyone impacted by the work.

Refer to the firm’s new website at www.alliarch.com for additional information.


ADG, Inc. is a full-service architectural firm which was founded in 1988.  The firm has created a number of award-winning designs, particularly in the higher education, K-12 schools and urban planning sectors.  Recent commissions include American Trust Place, South Bend Civic Theatre, Island Park Pavilion at Century Center, Saint Mary’s College Spes Unica Hall and the IU South Bend Education & Arts Building.


Since its founding in 1972, James Childs Architects has emerged as a leader in the design of multi-family apartments, public housing communities and institutional buildings for both regional and national clients.  Significant local projects designed by the firm include the Studebaker National Museum, Benjamin Harrison Primary Center, Roger B. Francis Library, Heritage Place at LaSalle Square and Michiana Health & Rehabilitation Center.