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Pound Ridge Architect Builds Award Winning Career

POUND RIDGE, N.Y. - Already a two-time American Institute of Architects (AIA) award winner, Pound Ridge architect Carol Cioppa can now add another accolade to her increasingly stellar resume.

In its spring 2012 edition, Westchester Home magazine named Cioppa one of the county's 14 best architects.

“It was a great honor to be picked out of the hundreds and hundreds of architects in Westchester County,” Cioppa said. “I was thrilled.”

Cioppa, a graduate of the Pratt Institute, has lived in Pound Ridge for 16 years, which she said still makes her somewhat of a newcomer. However, in that relatively short time she has already made her mark on the community. She is the current president of the Pound Ridge Garden Club and chair of the town’s Landmark and Historic District Commission, as well as a board member of the Bedford Audubon Society. She said her work with the Garden Club provides some nice synergy with her background as an architect.

“We are more than just a group of gardeners,” Cioppa said, noting that the organization has been involved in projects that require landscape design and sometimes some form of construction work. “We did some work on the front of the Ambulance Corps building where we helped put in a little pocket park and we helped with the landscaping in front of the library last fall.”

As an architect, Cioppa’s focus is mostly on renovations and redesigns rather than brand-new buildings. Her projects are found mostly in the Pound Ridge/Bedford area, as well as in Connecticut.

“Most of the other houses are huge ‘MacMansions,’” she said. “My houses are more in tune with Small Town USA. Most are redesigns. That’s my emphasis. I decided what was sorely needed was someone who could work with an old home and was sensitive to its condition. It’s a very special niche.”

Cioppa said that she’s always lived in old, historic homes and tinkered with redesigns and renovations for as long as she can remember. It seemed natural to her to apply those skills to her professional career.

“It’s challenging and rewarding,” she said. “I seem to get the projects that no one else can solve.”

Her favorite project is one she calls “Raising the Ranch.” It was a ranch home in Pound Ridge whose owners wanted to transform it into a country cottage on a very small budget.

“That’s the challenge: how to do a great job on a restricted budget,” Cioppa said.

As far as her new-found publicity goes, Cioppa said the magazine article is beginning to generate some new business.

“I was already pretty busy,” she said. “The economy is stabilizing and I’ve got four projects going at the same time. But the last couple of days I’ve received several calls because of the article. In fact, when you just called I was on other line with someone who phoned me because of it.”

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