CMA Navigates New DOH Processes

Following a growing national trend, the State of New Jersey and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania have recently adopted new electronic plan submission procedures for the review of healthcare projects. As one of the first firms to utilize the new processes, Charles Matsinger Associates has successfully developed a set of procedures to accommodate these new requirements. These in-house methodologies have put CMA at the forefront in navigating the particulars of each system.

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CMA Relocates and Renovates!

 1. New Offices

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2. Pre-Convention Renovation

AEC Cares is an organization that’s about “linking architecture and construction professionals to the communities where we live and work”  The day before the National AIA Convention, AEC Cares sponsors a “blitz build” single day renovation of a building in the host city.  This year, on May 18th, they partnered with the Community Design Collaborative (CDC) for Project Philadelphia to renovate the Philadelphia Athletic Recreation Center.  The Center offers hundreds of Sharswood neighborhood youths after school and sports programs, six days and nights a week.  Nearing a century of use, the building was in dire need of repairs. Nearly 150 nationwide volunteers completed approximately $323,540 worth of renovations in a SINGLE DAY.

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Jeff providing direction

CMA Project Architect Jeff Brummer, AIA, LEED AP, is a veteran volunteer with the CDC, which provides pro bono design services to nonprofit organizations in greater Philadelphia.  He was part of the Design Collaborative team that provided preliminary design and project management for Project Philadelphia.  Jeff was involved in not only the design and construction processes, but in the fund and material-raising efforts to support the success of the project.

Months of planning and preliminary work resulted in stunning improvements to the spaces, including renovations to the lobby, auditorium, kitchen, after-school art room, and costume room. Jeff admits “It’s great to have the before photos for me to remember the difference between what it looked like before we started this renovation and what is now a completed project.”

Check out all before and after photos by clicking HERE:

Final Kitchen
Kitchen Before and After



30th Anniversary Greetings

Charles Matsinger Associates is very pleased to have reached this milestone. In honor of our 30th year, we have created an infographic that celebrates small events, big steps and important relationships that have defined us as a firm.







Mystery on the Main Line

“What goes on in there?”

It’s a question that’s been posed frequently to those that work for Wilkie Lexus, located at 568 West Lancaster Avenue in Haverford, PA. Customers, neighborhood residents, at least one borough official and even those simply walking by have asked about the year-old grey building facing Lancaster Avenue.  It may take a few passes, but one can begin to understand why people ask; for what appears to be a typical street-front commercial building is missing something.


Entrance doors.

You won’t find any, at least not on the front, because the building is actually a state-of-the-art vehicle storage facility for the dealership.  The front elevation was intentionally designed by Charles Matsinger Associates to blend into the typical Lancaster Ave. streetscape by using traditional storefront elements in a slightly abstract manner. There are retail windows with awnings with second floor office or apartment style windows above.

We endeavored to design a storage facility that both met the needs of our client and respected the characteristics and architectural rhythm of the Lower Merion community in which Wilkie Lexus resides.  CMA, along with the Engineering and Construction Team carefully coordinated with owners Dan Polett and Scott Lustgarten and the Township of Lower Merion to ensure the success of this project.


A whopping 300 vehicles can be housed in the facility,  with 268 stacked four high and two deep on 67 independent racks. It is reminiscent of a giant-scale Matchbox® car case, which is exactly how Hezekiah Jones refers to  “his baby”.  Hezekiah is the person responsible for the daily operation of this facility.  The racking system is the only one of its kind on the East Coast, so it was up to Hezekiah and his coworkers to create and refine the most efficient method with which to identify, track and maneuver their stock in and out of the facility.

20151117_102209He won’t brag, but they’ve cut it to a slim four minutes to retrieve the top back car from a rack.  You don’t want to get in the way of this procedure, which resembles a carefully scripted and practiced ballet.  Three people are involved as cars are efficiently removed from floor level, the hydraulic lift engaged to drop the next, and so on until the desired vehicle is at floor level.  They should sell tickets to watch.

Here are some specifics:

Building/Site Rack System
20,000 s.f. footprint Lifts built specifically to fit Lexus vehicles
Attached state-of-art car wash Racks vary by vehicle type/size
No natural light/views to outside 67 racks, 4 high and 2 deep
Storm water retainage system Separate sprinkler system
New landscaping to enhance streetscape

To learn more, please contact Patty Whalen at



CMA Pitches In

Jeremy_cropCMA staff member Jeremy McClure spends many a Saturday morning coaching a team for the Camden County Miracle League, a venture of Build Jake’s Place in Cherry Hill, NJ. Both organizations are dedicated to the mission of providing barrier-free, handicapped accessible recreational areas and activities to children and adults with physical or mental challenges.

On October 17th, a few of his colleagues joined for the 2nd annual Run4Play event, which was held to raise funds for these fantastic organizations. While impressed with the Boundless Design of the park, which includes a baseball field, walking trail and extensive playground, we found ourselves completely inspired by the limitless energy and enthusiasm shown by the runners, players, families and Buddies who participated that day.


CMA assisted in checking in runners and setting up refreshments for the 5K run/walk, and then manned the field as Buddies for the baseball game, in which every player gets a hit, every player scores a run, and both teams always win! As you’d expect, the players, some of whom have been in the Miracle League together for years, supported and cheered for both teams with gusto. More importantly though, players provided constant inspiration and motivation for teammates to push their individual limits. A great time was definitely had by all.

      group_crop  men_crop  Elizabeth_cropJeremy says “The thing I love the most about Miracle League is that no one on the field is there out of obligation, it is where and what everyone there wants to be doing Saturday morning. It’s an uplifting experience every time, and there is always at least one player showcasing a skill they have been practicing. I feel fortunate to have been in the right place at the right time to become the “Phillies” team coach, it has allowed me to have so many great moments with the players and their supporters. I absolutely love everything about the organization, what they do and all those involved.”

Learn more about these fantastic organizations and their missions by clicking below:

          Build Jake’s Place                  Camden County Miracle League

Supporting Students

AIAS Northeast Quad Conference 2015                

Nourish Quad LogoThe American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS) Regional Spring student conference is held annually in the Midwest, Northeast, South, and West Quads. These Conferences are hosted by local chapters whose themes vary based on the city, local culture, and architectural topic of choice.

On April 10th, Charles Matsinger Associates was pleased to provide an overview of our firm for a group of students attending the Northeast Quad, which was hosted by Drexel University and Chapter President Marissa Gray.  “Nourish” was the selected theme for the Quad, the purpose of which was to explore the intersection between architecture and food. Twenty attendees were given a tour of our offices and shown a sampling of our projects,  including various food venues, four of which exist on Drexel’s campus:

Picture Bar 2

In addition, our soon-to-be Drexel Graduate Caitlin Kline provided insight and examples of how our office utilizes Revit design software in different ways to best meet client needs.  Questions were answered by both Shareholder Marty Whalen and Caitlin, who also provided practical advice regarding different ways students can make themselves valuable to a company as they start careers in the field.

Course Requirement Fulfilled!

Recently the daughter of one of our terrific clients requested the opportunity to “job shadow” with us for the day.   Victoria Fratarelli, an outgoing student at Garnet Valley High School, needed to complete this task for her Career Development course, meant to assist students in career and college choices.  Victoria has a strong creative side, and we strove to help her tap into the design field with the help of the studio staff.


Victoria told us “Job shadowing at Charles Matsinger Associates greatly fulfilled what I needed for the course by letting me job shadow a few people. I got to see many people at the firm work on different projects and experience a friendly environment. All of my questions I needed for my course were answered. Overall I learned a lot and had a really amazing experience.”

"Starbucks Corporation Logo 2011" by Source. Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia -


Avenue of Rehabilitation and Restorative Healing

Charles Matsinger Associates is excited to be partnering with Magee Rehabilitation Hospital on the design of the Creative Therapy Center and Healing Gardens.  This transformational project augments and updates existing patient therapeutic areas (Segal Street, McSherry Greenhouse and the Segal sponsored Resource Center) on the unique 6th floor rooftop of the hospital.

Research shows that healing/therapeutic gardens can help shorten the length of hospital stays, reduce pain medications needed and improve the mental well-being of patients and their families.  Rehabilitative patients benefit specifically from well-designed gardens that provide accessibility, socialization, stress relief, independence, movement, sensory stimulation and distraction from routine.

NOTE: CLICK on images to enlarge, use Back arrow to return

Healing Gardens Color Diagram with Labels 3.2.15
Master Plan

The theme for the Healing gardens is a stroll “Along the Avenue”, providing a visually stimulating, looping path that connects interior rooms and activity areas along its route.  Along the Avenue, patients, families and friends can explore and participate in group activities and therapy programs or find solace in private garden “rooms” or the indoor Spirituality center. The design draws on the Elements to awaken multisensory experiences along the way: a fountain and trickling water sculpture, an outdoor fireplace, planters and raised flower beds which will be incorporated into the Horticultural Therapy program.  The successful Art Therapy program will now benefit from its own studio/gallery space.


In addition to being visually enticing, this advanced rooftop experience both maintains and updates features that present actual challenges confronted by patients in everyday life.  This design is particularly notable as it was driven by a uniquely collaborative effort between Magee, Charles Matsinger Associates, Carter Van Dyke Landscape Architects, the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, patients, former patients and the dedicated staff who deliver patient care.

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Garden View


Click logo for more information, or to donate to the Magee Campaign.3047