FIRM HISTORY

We Build Community

 

Our Roots


In 1945, solo architect Jake Gatewood hung out his shingle in Mt. Vernon, a crossroads town and county seat in Southern Illinois. He was soon joined by Cliff Fields and shortly thereafter by Jack Goldman and George Magee. In 1963, the firm was renamed Fields, Goldman, and Magee, and formally incorporated as FGM, Inc. in 1967. Today, the firm is known as FGM Architects (FGMA).

From its early days, the PK-12 school and federal design/build markets have been key elements of FGMA’s practice. By the 1970s, FGMA was established as one of the leading education design firms in IL thanks to the ongoing expansion of new and renovated schools throughout the baby boom era. An early partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was the springboard to a network of relationships that has included the U.S. Air Force, Navy, Postal Service, Army Air Force Exchange Services, and other state/local entities.

 

Our Evolution


To better serve clients, FGMA opened an suburban Chicago office in 1971 which now serves as the firm’s corporate headquarters. In 1988, FGMA became an employee-owned firm with the creation of an Employee Stock Ownership Plan. During the late 1980s, the firm also began building its municipal practice which today includes fire and police stations, public safety facilities, local/regional government buildings and recreation centers. 

In 1990, a new generation of FGMA leaders introduced strategic planning to effectively navigate the firm’s continued growth through market diversification, geographic expansion, and talent development. This investment of time, energy, and expertise, conducted at five-year intervals and updated annually, has paid multiple dividends:

2003     AIA Illinois names FGMA “Firm of the Year” 
2010     Crain’s Chicago names FGMA a “Fast Fifty” firm, recognizing significant growth
2011     FGMA expands its municipal portfolio with the acquisition of SRBL Architects
2014     FGMA strengthens its Missouri practice, opening a St. Louis office
2016     FGMA expands its practice to Wisconsin and opens a Milwaukee office
2017     AIA Central States Region recognizes FGMA as an “Outstanding Emerging Professionals Friendly Firm”
2018     AIA Northeast Illinois names FGMA “Firm of the Year”
2019     FGMA expands to Texas and establishes a faith-based practice with the acquisition of Austin-based Jackson Galloway
             Associates
2020     FGMA celebrates its 75th anniversary 

 

Our Practice Today


Today, in its fourth generation of leadership, FGMA is a thriving, award-winning enterprise with six offices (Oak Brook, Chicago & O’Fallon, IL; St. Louis, MO; Milwaukee, WI and Austin, TX) in four states (Illinois, Missouri, Texas and Wisconsin) and a team of 135+ architects, designers and professionals managing a national portfolio of projects. FGMA architects and interior designers are thought leaders in local, regional, and national associations, The firm is an active participant in AIA’s 2030 Commitment, a national initiative committed to a transforming the practice of architecture and helping to ensure a sustainable future.

 

Throughout decades of growth, change and expansion, FGMA remains today as it began, committed to our core purpose: We Build Community.