About

UpStreet Architects, Inc. is a full service firm, providing Architectural, Planning, Landscape Architecture, Interior Design and Project Management services from our two offices in Indiana, PA and Johnstown, PA. Our firm is licensed to practice in multiple states and we go where our clients go. Since 1994, UpStreet Architects, Inc. has completed numerous new construction, renovation, rehabilitation and historic preservation projects in urban, suburban and rural environments.  The principals are President, Karen L. Welsh, R.A. and Secretary, Thomas R. Harley, R.A.  The firm is a Certified Women’s Business Enterprise and a Small Business Enterprise.

We work with developers, agencies and owners through the conceptual plans, financing applications, design decisions, coordination of consultants, and construction contract administration.  Many of the projects we complete have several phases, layered requirements and varied complexities. We embrace our role to be involved in nearly every aspect of the development process so that our services are comprehensive and decisions can be made in the best interest of the project.

The majority of our clients represent long-term relationships, repeat clients and open-ended agreements. Our client-focused designs include traditional architectural aspects combined with expertise in navigating compliance with government and financing requirements. We have worked hard to establish a cooperative and responsive reputation with the technical service departments of the governmental agencies involved with our clients’ projects. We identify the timeframes for critical path items, submission requirements and work within established budgets for both design and construction.

Our successful project management strategy integrates multi-disciplined teams of professionals, as needed. We believe that communication between the prime professional, the consultants and the client is critical to the success of the project. To that end, we have developed several strategies that enable us to work efficiently and effectively.

Many of our projects are produced in a team-focused Integrated Project Delivery strategy system, where all team members are identified up front, including the contractor, and decisions are made collaboratively, taking multiple factors into consideration, so the results meet the goals and the project is completed on time and on budget. This is particularly effective when meeting energy program goals, evaluating budgets over lengthy development timeframes, meeting tight construction schedules and addressing issues with unique complexity. Regardless of the contractor selection method, we approach each project with an attitude of teamwork and constructability.

Our team brings a diversity of knowledge, experience and interests to the projects that allow us to evaluate decisions in many aspects and contexts. We take great pride in our designs, our construction documents, our project management skills, and the relationships we build. We welcome the opportunity to collaborate with you.

History

The Architects of the firm have been involved with various types of housing developments since 1989. While in Pittsburgh, Karen Welsh worked with the Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh on several building renovations. At the same time in Indiana, Tom Harley was working on many diverse project types including privately funded multi-family and elderly housing developments. Just after Karen joined his firm in 1992, Thomas R. Harley, Architects completed a PHFA LIHTC financed development of 30 units of elderly housing called “The Courtyard”. In 1993, Tom and Karen worked on the first PennHomes/LIHTC financed project in Indiana County, “Schoolhouse Square” which was 24 units of housing for the elderly in a rehabilitated turn of the century school building. Due to Karen’s specific interest in focusing on the multi-family housing market, Welsh + Harley • Architects was formed in 1994. The firm incorporated in Pennsylvania in 1997 as UpStreet Architects, Inc. and obtained a Womens Business Enterprise Certification from the PA Department of General Services.

For more than 20 years, UpStreet Architects, Inc. focused its efforts on many types of multi-family Tax Credit, assembly and mixed-use projects, serving developers and housing authorities but most of all the elderly, families and special-needs individuals that call our projects home. The firm’s work provides safe, affordable, well-maintained housing, which creates a nucleus that, can anchor the much larger community to greatly benefit both the communities and the residents. The transformative power of the work is evident in the improved neighborhoods and communities in which the buildings are constructed. These projects require significant project management skills to navigate the many demands and restrictions.

In January 2017 UpStreet Architects, Inc. was given an opportunity to hire the employees of Frank Dachille Architects PC in Johnstown, PA. Frank’s retirement allowed Karen, a native and resident of Johnstown, to maintain his established architectural office under the UpStreet Architects, Inc. name, keep professional job opportunities in her home region as an investment in the local economy and expand UpStreet Architect’s capabilities beyond the multi-family core expertise into Medical, Industrial, Government, Financial and Commercial Facilities.

The firms’ cultures were very similar and both were specifically focused on providing high client satisfaction through good design and comprehensive project management, making the transition easy. The Johnstown office continues to service the community’s architectural needs with the same professional and responsive project delivery and personal attention our clients and employees appreciate. With the two locations, UpStreet employs a 20+ team of architects, landscape architects, project managers, and drafters. Even with new hires, average employee tenure is 9.7 years, reflecting the firm’s leadership, culture and success.

While the market segments are different, the design and management approach to the projects are the same- know your client and their goals, provide a creative design that responds to those goals and meets the budget, and successfully coordinate a diverse team to execute the vision. With the expansion of offices and markets, UpStreet Architects is positioned to assist your organization with many forms of architectural services.

Recognition

2019 Seniors Housing Winner for Readers’ Choice Awards in Affordable Housing Finance magazine for Senior Housing Highland Hall, Hollidaysburg, PA

2018 Metal Architecture Magazine December 2018 issue Case Study featured Iron Bridge Crossing, Brownsville, PA

2018 Eagle Award for Excellence in Construction from the Associated Builders and Contractors of Western PA presented to Vince Building Company for Buttermilk Falls Access Bridge and Stairs, New Florence, PA

2017 Excellence in Construction Merit Award from the Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc. Best Residential Project for Bellefonte Mews – Cadillac and Garman Houses, Bellefonte PA

PAHRA 2015 Best Practices Award for Redevelopment presented to the Housing Authority of Allegheny County, for Park Sheldon Apartments, Natrona Heights PA

PAHRA 2011 Bellamy Award for Excellence in Design in a Redevelopment/CD Project/Program, presented to the Housing Authority of Allegheny County, for Fraser Hall, Turtle Creek PA

10,000 Friends of PA Commonwealth Award, 2011 for “Building a More Perfect Commonwealth- Model Projects Still Under Construction”, presented to City of Uniontown, PA for Maple Street Estates, Uniontown PA

10,000 Friends of PA Commonwealth Award, 2011 for Smart Growth of a Mixed Use Development, presented to 1505 East Carson Street LP for The Beneficial Building, 1505 East Carson Street, Pittsburgh PA

2010 Excellence in Construction Merit Award from the Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc. Best Residential Project for Opera House Apartments, Lock Haven PA

City of Pittsburgh 2009 Historic Review Commission Award For Outstanding Effort, presented to 1505 East Carson Street LP for The Beneficial Building, 1505 East Carson Street, Pittsburgh PA

HUD Region III 2008 Energy Star Award for Excellence in Affordable Housing, presented to the Allegheny County Housing Authority, for Dalton’s Edge, Tarentum PA

PAHRA 2007 Bellamy Award for Excellence in Design in a Redevelopment/CD Project/Program, presented to the City of Pittston, for Lincoln School, Pittston PA

PAHRA 2007 Best Practices Award, presented to the Allegheny County Housing Authority for Dalton’s Edge Phases I and II, Tarentum PA

PAHRA 2004 Award of Accomplishment presented to the Allegheny County Housing Authority, for Sharps Terrace, Sharpsburg PA

PAHRA 2004 Award of Accomplishment presented to the Beaver County Housing Authority, for Beaver Village Apartments, Beaver PA

PA Business Central 2018 Top 100 Businesses presented to UpStreet Architects, Inc.

In 2018, The Southwestern PA Sustainable Small Business Designation (SSBD) program’s Gold Designation has been earned by the Indiana Studio of UpStreet Architects, Inc.  In 2019, The Johnstown Studio earned the SSBD program’s Silver Designation (please note that Cambria County is not in the program’s 10 county area, therefore, our Johnstown Studio will not appear on their map).

PA Business Central 2016 Women-Owned Business 50 to Follow presented to UpStreet Architects, Inc.

PA Business Central 2003 Top 100 Businesses presented to UpStreet Architects, Inc.

In 2002, our office was the proud recipient of the first ever Excellence in Housing Award presented by the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency. This is awarded to a firm that demonstrates a commitment to affordable, safe and decent housing in Pennsylvania.

PA Business Central 2019 Women Making a Difference Award presented to Karen Welsh for her professional achievements and dedication to her community.

PA Business Central recognized Karen Welsh as one of the Top 100 People of 2018 for her many years as a leader in Affordable Multi-Family Housing and for her dedication to the profession through service.

PA Business Central recognized Thomas Harley as one of the Top 100 People of 2018 for his many years as a leader in architecture in the area and for his dedication to community projects.

PA Business Central 2018 Women Making a Difference Award presented to Karen Welsh for her business leadership and dedication to the architecture profession.

YWCA Tribute To Women in Cambria and Somerset Counties,  2018 Award in the Business Category, presented to Karen Welsh for her leadership as a Woman-Owned Business and her work in Affordable Multi-Family Housing.

PA Business Central recognized Thomas Harley as one of the Top 100 People of 2017 for his many years as a leader in architecture in the area and for his dedication to community projects.

PA Business Central 2016 Women Making a Difference Award presented to Barbara Hauge.

PA Business Central 2016 Top 100 People Leaders in Business & Community presented to Barbara Hauge.

In 2015 Karen Welsh was awarded Associate of the Year by the Pennsylvania Builders Association for her dedication to the organization through her work supporting women in the construction trade and for her unwavering support for cost-effective, commonsense code adoptions.

2014 Indiana County YMCA, Ralph McCreary Award for Volunteer Service-Untiring Dedication and Support, presented to Tom Harley.

PA Business Central 2011 Women Making a Difference Award presented to Karen Welsh, inaugural class.

2010 Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc. Central Pennsylvania Chapter, Excellence in Construction Merit Award, presented to John Shaffer for the firm’s contribution to the award winning Opera House Senior Apartments.

2004 Indiana Civic Leader of the Year presented to Tom Harley.

Certifications

Architectural Registrations in various states including Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Maryland, Tennessee

National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) permits reciprocal architectural registration in most states

Women’s Business Enterprise National Certification (WBENC)

Pennsylvania Department of General Services Small Diverse Business

Small Business Administration Women Owned Small Business (WOSB)

NAICS 541310

SAM Registered CAGE Code 6LUS1