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Director of Architecture


Professional History


Ms. Stephanie December Gaines joined Curts Gaines Hall Jones Architects in 1984, shortly after graduating from Louisiana State University, and has been a principal since 1992. She was named CFO in 2016. In Stephanie's  30+ years at CGHJ Architects she has been Project Architect or Project Principal on a wide array of projects including re-zoning and entitlements for large scale mixed use projects, educational facilities, restaurants, assisted living and memory care facilities, offices, luxury condominiums, urban infill mixed use projects, and custom residences. The size and complexity of her project experience is as varied as the types.


Stephanie's work has been recognized by numerous local and national builders and architectural awards programs including receipt of the coveted NAHB Overall Project of the Year award for the historic renovation and adaptive reuse of the Florida Brewery Building in Historic Ybor City.


While she appreciates the challenge of any Architectural puzzle, Stephanie has a particular affinity for the redevelopment of neglected or outdated historic structures and districts.  As a result, she has been associated with numerous historic renovations, adaptive reuse and well as new infill projects in historic districts.  For Stephanie, there is great satisfaction in preserving history while accommodating the practical needs of present day uses. 


As is true for all CGHJ Principals, Stephanie has been heavily involved in gaining challenging entitlements for large properties including Hyde Park Village in Historic Hyde Park, Tampa, which achieved the addition of 200+ residential units in a highly sensitive historic neighborhood and the rezoning of 2 blocks in the Channel District of Tampa which resulted in entitlements for 1200+ residences and 50,000 sf of retail/business uses. 


While Stephanie brings many years of experience to her project involvement, each project is a unique challenge and she is consistently inspired by the interesting clients and talented team members with whom she has collaborated.



Louisiana State University

Bachelor of Architecture - 1983


Academic Experience

Recipient:  American Institute of Architects

Scholastic Scholarship 1980, 1981, 1982

Recipient:  American Institute of Architects

Award for Excellence in Design, 1981

Recipient: Louisiana State University, School of

Architecture; Dean's List 1979 through 1983


Professional Affiliations

Registered Architect:  State of Florida

Member:  The American Institute of Architects

AIA Women in Architecture

National Trust for Historic Preservation

Florida Trust for Historic Preservation

Ybor City Chamber of Commerce

Electric Streetcar Task Force (HART)

Board of Directors, Beach Park School


Ybor City Development Corporation

Chairman, 1990-1994

Lake Bernadette Architecture Review Board


Featured Speaker and publications

Featured in Florida Architect, July/August 1992:

"Women in Architecture"

Featured Speaker at Renew Tampa, 2008

Judge: Builder’s Choice Award, 2003

Annual SRQ Home of the Year, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013


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