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The Studio

Troy Joseph Simmons, Principal Designer

Troy Joseph Simmons is Principal and Owner of McPherson, Simmons Brothers & Sons LLC. He also continues to serve as Resident Architectural Historian for the Archdiocese of Newark, New Jersey. In 2006, he was curator to Form, Function & Faith, an exhibition held at Seton Hall University, highlighting the Arts and Crafts movement and its influence on Roman Catholic ecclesiastical architecture in America. He is the co-author of Guidelines Concerning the Handling of Ecclesiastical Patrimony, a document that instructs pastors and administrators in the proper handling of art and artifacts that are of historical value to the Archdiocese. Troy has published numerous articles and has lectured both in the United States and Canada on the topic of American ecclesiastical art and architecture. He is a Fellow of the Samuel H. Kress Foundation and a graduate of the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture & Historic Preservation where he completed a thesis entitled The Art Moderne in Ecclesiastical Design. Troy also holds a Masters of Architecture from the New Jersey Institute of Technology and a Masters in History from Seton Hall University. He is a trustee for Washington Association of New Jersey and a member of the Board of Trustees for the New Jersey Historic Trust.

Troy is married and has twin boys.

James Langley,  Figurative Artist & Designer


James Langley is a contemporary classicist working at the intersection of the human figure with narrative, allegorical and historical content in still life, landscape, portraiture and figurative painting. His work both sacred and profane is imbued with a timeless and yet fresh perspective. He has taught life drawing for more than fifteen years as a professor at the Savannah College of Art & Design.  Langley's body of work includes architectural ornament for the Metropolitan Museum of Art, a monumental altarpiece for Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary and numerous other ecclesiastical decorative art projects.   His work has been exhibited in the United States, Ireland, France, Spain, Italy, Finland and Portugal.  James holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Rhode Island School of Design and a Masters of Figurative Art from the New York Academy of Art.

Savannah Louise Krusen, Graphic Artist

Originally from the Midwest, Savannah Louise completed her studies at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. She is a modern graphic designer who strives to erase the borders that exist between the traditional techniques of figurative design and the modern, digital world. She has collaborated with both known and up and coming fashion designers, visual artist, interior designers and musicians.

David Lee Berry, Senior Project Manager

Born and raised in Philadelphia. Pennsylvania, David earned an undergraduate degree from Temple University in Architectural Preservation in 2017. Upon the completion of his undergraduate studies, David went on to work for the Fairmount Park Commission where he engaged in historic renovation and preservation projects involving technical material investigations and functional adaptations to original building fabric. Later, he would go on to design high-end custom homes along the Main-Line, where he developed a keen eye for craftsmanship and fine details. In 2023 David graduated from Temple University with a Master’s Degree in Architecture

Msgr. Robert J. Wister, Historical Consultant

Msgr. Robert J. Wister is a Professor of Church History at Seton Hall University. After seminary studies at the Gregorian University in Rome, he spent seven years in parish work in the Archdiocese of Newark, during which time he obtained an S.T.M. in American Christianity from Union Theological Seminary in New York City. His graduate studies at the Gregorian focused on the interaction of the Holy See and the Catholic Church in the United States and the diplomatic interaction of the Holy See and the United States government. Msgr. Wister have taught Church History at Immaculate Conception Seminary School of Theology since 1980, with the exception of five years during which he served as executive director of the Seminary Department of the National Catholic Educational Association in Washington, DC. His research interests focus on the history of Catholicism in America, the art and architecture of American church buildings, and the diplomatic activities of the Holy See.

Brian Regan, Design Consultant

Brian Regan is Deputy Director of the Morgan Library & Museum in New York City.  He is coauthor of The Making of the Morgan from Charles McKim to Renzo Piano and author of Gothic Pride, the story of the building of Newark, New Jersey’s Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart.  Brian holds degrees from both Wesleyan and Harvard Universities and is a past recipient of the prestigious Watson Fellowship.  He is an expert in the English Gothic Revival and its pervasive influence in nineteenth century American ecclesiastical architecture.

Our Philosophy

We remain firmly rooted in history but not bound by historicity. 

To that end, religious spaces be they period or contemporary are useless if they are not beautiful places in which to celebrate and worship within the context of modern life. 

Our Methodology

We believe strongly that the success of our projects rest in our ability to listen. We begin each project by first listening to our clients as they explain their requirements for a new space, the shortcomings of an existing one or both.  Through observation we then listen to the existing space as it tells us of its past and future potential.  It is only after having listened to both that we are able to successfully achieve a harmonic balance between form and function, as they precariously exist within the twenty-first century religious space.


Our Services

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AIA CNY Chapter, Award of Excellence, Adaptive Re-Use / Historic Preservation, 2018
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