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Dating back to 1924, Bailey Edward has had a presence on the Champaign architecture scene. The firm’s origins stem from Berger and Kelley Associates, proceeding through the century as Unteed Associates; Unteed, Scaggs, Nelson; Unteed, Nelson, Slack, Anderson and Architectural Planning Consultants before becoming Bailey Edward in 2001. The final merger in 2001 integrated four decades of educational and institutional experience into the new firm, including a myriad of work on K-12 education projects in the Champaign area since the company’s original inception.

“We have blue lines in the store room at our Champaign office that date back to the company’s beginnings,” said Ellen Bailey Dickson, Managing Principal at Bailey Edward Design. “My mentor, Ken Nelson, worked at the original firm, Berger and Kelley Associates.”

In fact, Ken Nelson served as the direct link between the original firm and Bailey Edward. His mentee, Ellen, worked as an Architectural intern at Unteed, Scaggs, Nelson for two years before returning to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to acquire her Master of Architecture in 1988. She went on to found and establish Bailey Edward Design, a Chicago-based architectural and interior design firm in 1991. Ellen was joined in 1993 by Robin Whitehurst, deepening the firm’s design and technical skills to serve a growing client base.

In 2001, Ken reached out to Ellen to gauge her interest in purchasing his firm. Given Architectural Planning Consultants’ rich history in educational and institutional work in the Champaign area, Ellen and Robin moved forward with the acquisition, giving them office locations in two of Illinois’ largest markets, Chicago and Champaign.

Today the firm has expanded to four offices in two states, providing architecture, engineering and interior design services. The Champaign office holds close ties with the University of Illinois situated just down the road, consistently executing multiple projects every year on their behalf with 86 in total.

“Our storied history in Champaign serves as a source of pride for us at Bailey Edward,” said Ellen. “We plan to remain a cornerstone of the A/E/C industry in the area.”