Nelson Architects

Nelson Architects is a proud contributor to Washington, DC’s stunning revitalization. Founded by Jane Nelson in 1996, our firm has designed new structures and renovated remarkable historic buildings to meet the changing needs of a growing city. We are inspired by Washington and our design is informed by its history and its future. Our experience is broad and our quality is consistent. We find creative ways to solve complicated projects. In short, our designs are both tangible and timeless. From large office buildings to small build-to-suit projects, we strive to provide our clients with a design and service that exceeds expectations.

Jane Nelson

Nelson Architects only accepts those commissions that allow the principal of the firm, Jane Nelson, to provide personal attention to every project. Throughout her years of professional practice, Ms. Nelson has directed teams that have produced design and construction documents for commercial, retail, institutional, and residential projects totaling over 2.5 million square feet. She has developed major projects involving the restoration and adaptive re-use of historic structures in addition to new construction. Ms. Nelson graduated with a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Notre Dame and has active registration in Washington, D.C., Virginia, and Maryland.


Nelson Architects prides itself on a process in which we work closely with our clients throughout the project to ensure inspired design and to fulfill programmatic requirements. Successful architecture not only enhances its surroundings but also captures the spirit of the end user. We provide our clients with a multifold of creative design solutions that are defined by the intended use, budget and context.
Projects that involve sensitive community issues are approached with an energetic and collaborative process that works to balance community and project needs. Demonstrating a well thought-out design that enhances the community enables interested parties--both public and private--to find common ground with the design team and to support design concepts generated for our projects.
Designing new buildings in an urban environment is an exciting endeavor and is successful when a balance between the desire to be unique yet respectful of the urban context is found. Designing within, adjacent to, or on top of an existing building is both challenging and rewarding. Whether the project is the restoration of an historic building or turning an eyesore into a gem, our design process seeks opportunities in adverse or unusual building conditions.

Past Experience

Warner Theater

Washington, DC

The 32,250 SF, 2,000 seat historic Warner Theatre was completely retrofitted with new systems and fully restored, including the restoration of the landmark terra cotta façade. Awards: D.C. Preservation League’s Building of the Year Award; AIA Historic Preservation Award.

Postal Square

Washington, DC

The restoration of Daniel Burnham’s 1912 City Post Office and the creation of 450,000 SF of additional floor area for a total of 1,200,000 SF of office, museum, and retail. Awards: D.C. Preservation League’s Building of the Year Award, 1992; AIA Historic Preservation Award.

Southern Building

Washington, DC

Constructed in 1914, the Southern Building is one of only three commissions completed by Daniel Burnham. The restoration included a two-story addition above its main cornice creating over 232,000 SF of office and associated retail use. Awards: AIA Historic Preservation Award.

2055 L Street - Washington, DC
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