It all began 50 years ago when James Rooney and Everett Musser opened a new architectural firm in Findlay, Ohio, called Rooney and Musser, Architects. Jim and Ev were college classmates and roommates at The Ohio State University.
Jim Rooney, a native of Findlay, and Ev Musser, a native of Cincinnati, both served their country during the Korean Conflict. Upon completion of their military service, Jim and Ev enrolled in the School of Architecture at Ohio State University in Columbus where they met and became roommates. They both also met their future wives while at Ohio State University.
Jim and Ev graduated in 1958 and returned to their home towns to begin their professional careers. Jim worked for then, long time Findlay Architect Albert Keegan during which time he designed the Planetarium Building for Findlay College. Ev worked for the Cincinnati firm of Sullivan Isaac Sullivan Architects where he had the opportunity to design the Student Union Building at Findlay College.
Around 1960 The Findlay City Schools were planning to build a new Findlay High School on Broad Avenue when Jim went to work for the School System as the owner’s representative to oversee the construction of that building. Shortly after the completion of the new High School building in 1962, Jim called Ev and said it was time for them to start their own architectural practice in Findlay. Jim had just secured the commission to renovate the old Findlay High School building now known as Central Middle School on West Main Cross Street.
They spent some time planning their new venture and opened Rooney and Musser Architects in the spring of 1963. Ev’s marketing and design capability blended well with Jim’s planning and detail talents. Their first office was a small space on the second floor of the Hancock Savings and Loan Building at the corner of South Main and West Sandusky Streets, now known as the Glass Block Building and currently housing the Chase Bank and other professional offices. Some of their early projects were the Blanchard Valley School building, the Findlay Courier Publishing building, St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Bluffton, Hancock Wood Electric, Norcrest United Presbyterian Church, Dr. Becket Animal Clinic, J.I. Case Equipment Center, and Phi Kappa Theta Fraternity at ONU to name a few. They soon added a draftsman, Scott Heacock, and engineer, Gene Cupp, to the staff and that carried them until they received a commission to build four new Elementary Schools for the Findlay City School System in 1967. It was time to bring in additional staff and expand their office.
They renovated an adjacent area of the second floor of the Bank Building and moved across the hall to expand their offices. Then in 1968 came the hiring of two draftsmen, Daniel Clinger and Robert Eckert form Marion Ohio, a contract administrator, Thomas Dukes, and a receptionist , Crystal Terry, both from the Findlay area. This was the first expansion to their office facilities and many more were yet to come.
Rooney and Musser Architects’ dedication and attention to good design and client satisfaction was evident by the continued growth in projects and staff. In the early 1970’s the firm added Architects, Douglas Shuck, Mike Losacco and David Roth to the staff. An Intern Architect Bill Hugus and Joe Lobdell, Architect Paul Jacobson and contract administrator Joseph Farkasdi came on board a bit later as again more expansion was needed.
The staff grew to 15 with Rooney and Musser Architects completing many projects with the Findlay City School system, Bowling Green State University, Bluffton College, Westinghouse Electric, Marathon Oil Company, Blanchard Valley Center, Findlay College, Tiffin University, City of Findlay, Hancock County Commissioners, Bucyrus YMCA, Continental Cablevision, along with many banks, churches, office buildings and residential projects.
The business name changed to Rooney Musser & Associates in the mid 1970’s to reflect the involvement of staff members entering into management positions. In 1980, with the local economy struggling, Rooney Musser & Associates looked to expand their market opportunities and purchased a small Architectural firm in Columbus, Ohio. The firm name was then changed to The Architectural Forum, and served many clients in both regions. The Architectural Forum continued with offices in both communities until 1985 at which time they decided to move the Findlay operations to the Columbus office. It was this time that Jim Rooney who had started a new practice in 1983 and Dan Clinger who elected to stay in Findlay formed a new partnership called Rooney and Clinger Architects. We were off and running with a staff of three which included Catherine Zellner, with an office located at West Main Cross and Liberty Street.
During the 1980’s and 1990’s, the Architectural forum went through several more transitions in the Columbus area and Ev Musser settled in as a Marketing Director for the Columbus office of Fanning and Howey Architects. Ev continues to work for them part time, marketing contacts and securing school projects for which the firm has become nationally recognized.
During the 1980’s, Rooney and Clinger explored the benefits of the emerging computer aided drafting and design (CADD). Rooney and Clinger Architects were one of the first firms in Northwest Ohio to produce Architectural Construction Documents with the computer aided drafting program, AutoCAD.
In 1993 Jerry became a partner of the firm and the name was changed to Rooney Clinger Murray Architects. The office continued to serve the needs of the local community and beyond with projects located in Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Arkansas and Georgia. They even extended their services overseas to Africa as a result of former contacts and relationships Jerry developed when he spent eight years in Africa prior to joining Rooney and Clinger Architects.
In 1992 the office relocated to a newly renovated facility on the third floor of the Parkford Building at 613 S. Main Street. The firm continued to prosper and grow during the nineties and with the introduction of computers were able to handle projects more timely, accurately and efficiently. The office continued to grow to a staff of 14 dedicated employees and further expansions were required in the Parkford Building until the fire occupied 85% of all available space in the building.
Jim Rooney retired as President of the firm in 1996 at which time Daniel Clinger became President of the company. Dan started his Findlay career in 1968 with Rooney and Musser Architects and celebrated 45 years of service in this community during the anniversary year.. Jim continued to work on a consulting basis for several years to serve his long time clients. Dan retired as President in 2009 and Jerry Murray assumed the office of President, It was at this time that the firm name was shortened from Rooney Clinger Murray Architects to RCM Architects. Dan continues on as a member of the firm marketing and servicing the many repeat clients that have been developed over the years.
Cathy Zellner is celebrating 30 years of service with the firm and they are thankful for the many clients that have put their trust in this office and staff.
In 2012, Irvin Reinhart, an 18 year veteran of the firm became a stockholder and principal of the firm and holds the office of Vice President. RCM Architects is comprised of creative professionals with dedicated personal attention to your Architectural needs. Our current staff (2013) consists of Jerry Murray, Irvin Reinhart, Dan Clinger, Cathy Zellner, Julie Erwin, Sandy Knueven, Tracie Carpenter, Tina-Warsop-Beam, Ryan Haley, Brett Gies, Brock Rossel, Amber Clason and Mike Tanner.
We have developed many long time relationships throughout our career and look forward to our continued success thanks to our friends and clients that put their trust in our staff and our service.
-History Published in April, 2013.