Fireside Chat with Mike Griffin

Fireside Chat with Mike Griffin after 37 years with OMNIPLAN
Fireside Chat with Mike Griffin after 37 years with OMNIPLAN

There is not a soul working at OMNIPLAN today who knows an OMNIPLAN without Mike Griffin. With his 37 years, Mike has the most tenure of anyone at the firm and his retirement will impact us greatly. Mike is the quintessential architect. He is thoughtful and exact, quiet and thorough. Mike has worked on countless projects significant to our history. Having been at OMNIPLAN for more than half of the life of the firm, he has been a constant source of knowledge and guidance for our staff and a trusted resource for our clients. Given this, we couldn’t just let Mike walk away without telling a story or two and imparting some parting wisdom.

Encapsulating this hour-long talk is hard to describe. There was not only a dialogue between Tip and Mike, questions from younger architects, and definitely a lot of laughs in between. Some of the highlights of this fireside chat was the reflection Mike Griffin had on his own career. He talked about the list of projects he worked on. They ranged from NorthPark Center to the UTD parking garage. After 37 years of experience, he wrote down all of the projects he had worked on (it covered 6 pages!) and also his advice to younger architects. He advised the younger architects to “keep on learning.” Architecture is a dynamic profession that requires a learning attitude. He talked about his memories about the founders of OMNIPLAN, E.G. Hamilton and George Harrell. Here are some of the questions that were asked:

  • What was your favorite project to work on? NorthPark Center—every elevation was drawn on that building, to show where the bricks go.
  • What is your favorite Building? The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth by Tadeo Ando.
  • Can you tell your favorite pun? No, not on the spot.

At the end of this discussion, our firm presented Mike with a framed photograph of NorthPark Center with our signatures and also an Apple Watch. Mike Griffin has been the gold standard of what an architect is, and as Tip said, “I could sleep better at night, knowing that Mike was on my project.” Mike has been a living example of a knowledgeable architect who has carried an air of professionalism and kindness. As Mike said, “I’m an architect. I can’t stop being one.” This shows that he has not made architecture merely a career, but a lifestyle and way of thinking. We wish him the best as he enjoys his retirement and are thankful for the immeasurable impact he has made on our firm. Therefore, we will honor each November 16th as Mike Griffin Day.

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