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 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.

PRESS RELEASE – Architect James Childs Retires


James Childs Architects has announced the retirement of the firm’s President and founder, James E. Childs, effective September 30, 2012.

“This is a bittersweet moment for me personally.” commented James Childs.  “However, the timing just felt right.  I will certainly miss the many people I have met since I started the company in 1972.  In many cases, these clients have become personal friends of mine.  Our relationships grew over the course of multiple projects and shared experiences.”

“Jim and I have worked together for the past thirty-three years,” agreed Martin Murphy, a principal with the firm.  “Obviously, this is a milestone event.  However, with retirement, Jim and his wife Pat will be able to spend more time in the Florida Keys and pursue their many other interests which had been postponed.  We wish them all the best.”

Another James Childs Architects principal, Mark Leblang, added: “We are grateful for Jim’s leadership through the years and are thankful that the firm has been able to remain strong, despite the recent economic downturn.  He has been a good mentor to all of us.  Fortunately, Jim has agreed to remain involved in a consulting capacity.”

Murphy will assume the responsibilities of President, and Leblang will continue in his current role as Secretary/Treasurer of the company.

Based in South Bend, Indiana, James Childs Architects is comprised of eight registered architects and a total staff of fourteen people.  The firm has emerged as a leader in the design of multi-family apartments, public housing communities, and institutional buildings for both regional and national clients.  It is currently practicing in seven states throughout the Great Lakes, east coast and southwest.

Notable recent projects designed by James Childs Architects include:  the Studebaker National Museum, Heritage Place at LaSalle Square, the Roger B. Francis Library and the Michiana Health & Rehabilitation Center.  Additionally, the East Bank Emporium, Barnes and Thornburg Law Offices, and Trane Building would rank among the well-known, local commissions from earlier in the firm’s history.  The Trane Building is now home to the company.

Refer to for additional information.