March, 2021

Congratulations: Martha Werenfels, FAIA, Elevated to the College of Fellows

DBVW would like to extend a big congratulations to Senior Principal Martha Werenfels, FAIA, for being elevated to the American Institute of Architects’ College of Fellows. This is a great honor and Martha is the first woman in Rhode Island to receive this designation, a milestone we find very notable.

"By rigorously restoring significant landmarks and updating them to suit current needs, I aim to reinforce the idea that the architecture of today can only benefit from the careful preservation of buildings from our past."

- Martha Werenfels, FAIA, LEED AP

Martha is a nationally recognized expert in the field of historic preservation. While a large portion of Martha’s work has involved museum-quality restoration of highly significant historic structures, she has also designed and overseen projects that have repurposed historic buildings for new uses by constructing additions that complement the historic buildings to which they are attached while also accommodating expanded programs.

RI State House and Lawn Providence

Plymouth Town Hall Architect

international tennis hall of fame new port rhode island

Martha has had the distinct honor of preserving some of New England’s most cherished landmarks, such as the Rhode Island State House, the Tabernacle on Martha’s Vineyard, and Connecticut Hall, the oldest building on Yale University’s campus.  Each of these projects has required rigorous attention to detail as well as thorough knowledge of preservation technology.  Similarly, when designing additions to historic buildings, such as Plymouth Town Hall and Taunton City Hall, Martha has adhered to the highest standards of preservation while designing additions that are respectful of and compatible with their historic neighbors.

Martha Werenfels FAIA Architect Providence Rhode ISland

Much of Martha’s work has been with not-for-profit organizations. These clients have included the International Tennis Hall of Famethe Newport Restoration Foundation, the Preservation Society of Newport County, many municipalities, and several institutions of higher learning. Since 2012, she has had the honor of working with Yale University to preserve eighteen of their historic buildings. Throughout her career she has also volunteered on the boards of several not-for-profit organizations that have a focus on preserving artifacts, structures and, most importantly, communities.

Martha Werenfels, FAIA

As a Senior Principal at DBVW, she has endeavored to hire and mentor younger architects who have a particular interest in preservation. Through this effort, DBVW has built a team of professionals whose technical competency is of the highest caliber and who have a deep appreciation for historic architecture.


The College of Fellows, founded in 1952, is composed of members of the Institute who are elected to Fellowship by a jury of their peers. Fellowship is one of the highest honors the AIA can bestow upon a member. Elevation to Fellowship not only recognizes the achievements of the architect as an individual but also elevates before the public and the profession those architects who have made significant contributions to architecture and to society.