ESKW/Architects is proud to announce that Moses Ragasa, Ruth Dresdner, and Jon Mark Bagnall have been promoted to Senior Project Managers in the firm. Combined they bring decades of experience, and their office leadership and mentorship of staff contribute to the teaching environment that sets ESKW/A apart from other firms.
Moses says it’s been too long to remember when he first started at ESKW/A, but our records confirm it was April 2005. Although the office was a lot smaller and the projects perhaps simpler, the culture and overall goals of the work were very much the same.
Moses highlighted Reaching New Heights Residence & The Apartments at Landing Road, The Emerson and The Old School, and Denton Green as major accomplishments during his time here. Although not one to gravitate to the spotlight, Moses doesn’t shy away from complicated construction issues or challenges. Dramatically sloped sites with pile foundations, block and plank towers on a steel base, historic SHPO renovations, and tenant-in-place upgrades are all project conditions that Moses handles with his trademark calm demeanor.
As our in-house Information Technology coordinator, Moses makes sure our systems stay up and running, reminding us all to save batteries and turn off the wireless mouse and keyboards. He’s a conservationist at heart and we thank him for that!
At office get-togethers, Moses can be spotted talking comic books with fellow superhero nerd aficionado Randy Wood over a craft beer. If you need pop culture references, he’s your guy. And please don’t spoil an episode for him, or you could get the cold shoulder. “I accidentally spoiled a Walking Dead episode 2 years ago, and I don’t think he’s ever forgiven me,” affirms Kimberly Murphy. Moses keeps things simple and direct, (“I’m boring and cheap,” he explained), so we’re very happy his deadpan humor and methodical work style are a part of our leadership.
Ruth Dresdner, AIA
Ruth has been with ESKW/A for almost three years, although it feels like she’s always been one of us. She admired our cofounder Judith Edelman’s work on behalf of women in architecture from afar and was also familiar with our New Settlement Community Campus project in the Bronx. So, when she wanted to try something new and different in her career, she came here. “I look for work with redeeming social value for the public,” she said.
With ESKW/A, Ruth is the Project Manager for Bedford Green House I for Project Renewal, School Street in Yonkers for SVWSJMC, NIHOP Multi-Sites for MHANY, and a large-scale cultural facility in Hell’s Kitchen for CHDC. To say she has been kept busy is an understatement. Her clear leadership and teaching style have encouraged and elevated her teams. She’s a true teacher by nature; she even stays connected to academics by teaching an architecture course at Bard High School Early College.
On weekends, Ruth does “what everyone does—[her] laundry,” but her favorite things to do are reading and traveling. The farthest she’s been is Uzbekistan and China (Siberia is next on her list!), and she’s also visited her son thrice in Switzerland where he’s studying computer science. Her daughter runs a hydroponic greenhouse in Industry City and has gotten the whole family into sustainability. Last year Ruth recommended The Leopard, an Italian novel, for our book club, and she brings a sharp, discerning wit to the office. We’re delighted to have her as part of the firm’s leadership.
Jon Mark Bagnall
Jon Mark joined ESKW/A in 2016, returning to his roots in architecture with a social mission after a brief sojourn in the hospitality sector. While the remit of restaurant and resort design may seem worlds apart from public schools and affordable housing, the purpose of the architecture—“to enrich the joy and drama of living” as a favorite quotation from Craig Ellwood states—remains the same.
“The functional and protective nature of our designs are non-negotiable,” Jon Mark said. As the leader of our Codes Working Group, he stresses the importance of applying not only the letter, but also the intent of the law to each unique design situation. But the real and most satisfying challenge for Jon Mark lies in creating architecture that is not merely a response to the special needs of a user group, but is meant to inspire them as an individual person.
Jon Mark is the Project Manager for our largest mixed use project to date: Archer Green for OMNI Development, located in the Jamaica neighborhood of Queens. Comprising nearly 400 affordable apartment units, retail space, and community uses in two towers totaling over half a million square feet, he said it has been particularly rewarding to see the building grow skyward.
On the festive side of work, Jon Mark contributed Swedish meatballs for the Thanksgiving Potluck and has paired wine for everything from chimichurri at our summer barbecue to aged Gouda at the office happy hours. His spare time is happiest spent building a house (whether his or anyone else’s), messing about in his sailboat (docked either in his yard or on the water), and learning yet another chord on his guitar, hoping to one day string them together into a recognizable melody.
We’re happy to welcome Jon Mark’s enthusiastic spirit and conscientious work ethic to ESKW/A’s leadership!
At the same time as these promotions, we also announced Janine Sutton Golub as Associate! See that news here.