Early life and education
Suzanne Di Geronimo received an AAS in Interior Design, graduating Summa Cum Laude, from the Fashion Institute of Technology in NY in 1967. She then went on to study at Columbia University’s School of Architecture and graduate from Cooper Union’s School of Architecture in 1973 with a B.Arch.
Career in Architecture
Suzanne Di Geronimo’s career in architecture focused on public sector works. Her practice was based on team collaboration between clients, engineers and herself. Highlights in her career touch on her work with the Housing Authority to produce first rate low income housing, the Transit Authority’s well designed station accomodations for its passengers and collegiate recreational and athletic facilities.
Di Geronimo’s touch can be felt throughout the industry, lending better business practices and for firms large and small. She led the way for small firms to be granted hospital designs, opening up a market for smaller firms. For medium firms, she showed how the management of in-house expenses through integrated computer systems is more cost efficient and piloted AIA workshops on Interpersonal Skills for architects in large firms.
Di Geronimo is known for her advocacy work. She created the concept of architectural sabbatical and helped shine a light on grant opportunities available. She also became the advocate for the Native American Solar Education project to train tribes at the Good Shepard Mission in Fort Defiance, AZ, in solar energy technology.
Major Buildings and Projects
- Children’s Clothing Store Secaucus, NJ 1986 – This design for a new children’s clothing store was to serve as a prototype for a chain of stores. The design concept was to neutralize the store background to showcase the merchandise. An “aisle of color,” created with oversize crayons suspended from a multi-layer ceiling, leads the customer into the store. Paper-doll logo cutouts band the crayons and band the store in a continuous light soffit. The project presentation graphic follows the crayon and paper-doll cutout theme of the design.
- Mantoloking Residence New Jersey Shore 1984 – A 1920s New Jersey Shore house located on the ocean with views to the bay. A huge residence, equal to a small hotel in size. Architects DeGeronimo cut into the space of the interior of the house and created balconies. Victorian era gingerbread was applied to the Victorian-style house. The presentation method follows the context of the design. The style depicts the details of the house in the foreground so that one views the house elevation through the house’s own details.
- US Post OfficePompton Plains, NJ 1989 – This US Post Office facility is a one of a kind design executed at a time when the postal service was organizing their standardized design “Kit of Parts” program. Suzanne DiGeronimo’s leadership developed community pressure for a contextual post office in Pompton Plains, NJ. The new post office architecture is compatible with the Dutch Colonial character of the town.
- Carmelite Retreat House Mahwah, NJ 1990 – A quiet retreat house located in Mahway, New Jersey, led by the Carmelite Fathers needed a code upgrade and an increase in capacity. The base Dutch Colonial building was rehabilitated to its original grandeur and an architecturally sensitive addition allowed for additional retreatant rooms and a new assembly area. Project presentation graphics follow the context of the design.
Press and Awards
- AIA Practice Committee Chair, 1991
- Commerce and Industry Association National Issues Committee
- Society of American Military Engineers North Atlantic Region, Assistant Vice President for Membership, NJ Post President
- AIA New Jersey Region Legislation and Convention committees
- Instructor, Fashion Institute of Technology
- Trustee, New Jersey Institute of Technology, and member, Advisory Board, School of Architecture
- Architects’ League of Northern New Jersey, Speakers’ Bureau
- AIA National – Public Architects Committee 1988-91
- State of New Jersey Award from Governor Thomas Kean for entrepreneurial activities
- Commerce and Industry Association of Northern New Jersey, trustee 1988-91