FA’s Principal Ellen Anselone Recognized as Woman of FIRE

October 11, 2019
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Originally announced on Banking New England and American Business Media's Women of FIRE.

Boston, MA – Finegold Alexander Architects proudly announces that Ellen Anselone, AIA, LEED, AP, has been named by Banking New England and American Business Media as a Women of Fire Award recipient. The award honors women who are making a difference in their profession in one of the FIRE (Finance, Insurance and Real Estate) sectors. Banking New England identifies the most talented, the most ambitious, the most innovative and the most philanthropic Women of FIRE. Recipients will be featured in the September/October issue of Banking New England and honored again at an awards luncheon taking place October 11, 2019 at The Verve Crowne Plaza in Natick, MA.

“I am thrilled to have been chosen as one of the Women of FIRE and am proud to be part of the growing group of women who are shaping the New England marketplace.”
—Ellen Anselone, FA Principal

Banking New England writes that FIRE sectors have emerged as a keystone of the New England economy, transforming the knowledge, wealth and dreams of the world’s most ambitious visionaries into reality. As more and more women rise to the top of businesses and institutions in this sector, there is a growing need to shine a light on their achievements to inspire others.

As a champion of Boston’s existing and future architecture, Ellen Anselone, AIA, LEED AP, Vice President of Finegold Alexander is truly a Woman of Fire.  A maverick, Anselone has corralled her boundless passion for historic preservation and adaptive use into re-imagining libraries, multi-unit residential, commercial and hospitality, academic, and civic projects. Her specialty? Creative, unique, and award-winning designs to render existing buildings – both historic and mid-century buildings – into artful designs.

When it comes to developing creative and unique design solutions, and seeing them to fruition, Anselone’s ability to synthesize, design, develop and implement is in demand. When her firm transformed its leadership in May of 2018, she and three of her peers purchased the firm and together they are leading the firm into its next era.

When Anselone joined FAA, she was drawn into two historic preservation/adaptive re-use projects that influenced her future. “The Nott Memorial at Union College and Penny Savings Bank project were both fascinating and complex experiences that drove the rest of my career.”

Anselone has never engaged a puzzle she couldn’t solve. “Every project, in my mind, has a creative, unique solution.” Recent projects include The Lucas, a 33-unit church-turned-condo project that was not only controversial but complex. “The Lucas was a gothic-era church whose new design was so popular that the units sold out a year before completion.” The Lucas won an AIA New England Honor Award, and an Award of Merit in Residential/Hospitality, from ENR and was featured in Architectural Record:

“This…confident, legible, individual chunk of architecture…subtly celebrates the diversity of the neighborhood and the city,” noted critic, Robert Campbell. This work led to the firm being tapped to step in and solve a layout and design issue for another church-turned-condo project, 260 High Park, in Toronto.

Recent projects include the Boulevard, The Godfrey Hotel and the Stoughton Public Library, which was featured on the cover of PRESERVATION.  

Traversing the ranks of a male-dominated field, Anselone has made a mark and helped pave the way for the next generation of real estate women. “When I began, I was often the only woman in the room.” Often responsible for leading teams where she was the only woman, she determined to lead with respect. The strategy worked. “I simply acted as if this was completely normal that I was the only woman, and I approached everyone on the team with respect and equality.”

Two more keys to her success: preparation and creative thinking. “If you are prepared you are never questioned.” Anselone encourages teams to think beyond convention. “I empower the team to fit things into place like a puzzle.”

Ellen is a member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), Boston Society of Architects (BSA), CREW Boston, and Urban Land Institute (ULI), and the ULI Women’s Leadership Initiative Council. She also serves on the Town of Milton Historic Commission and the Fire Station Building Committee, and previously on the Milton Library Building Committee. Anselone is a registered architect and LEED Accredited Professional. She graduated from from Roger Williams University.