#CTASpotlight | Amy Lindgren:
Boise’s Accidental Architect

By: CTA Staff
14 March 2018

CTA architect Amy Lindgren has never looked back from her life as an architect, but that doesn’t mean she saw it coming.

First, some backstory. Amy had what sounds like a fairly typical Wyoming childhood: her father worked for a coal mining company just over the Montana state line, and she did her best to spend as much time as possible careening down mountains with skis on her feet.

When it came time for college, Amy chose to go to Montana State University in Bozeman. This was partially because she was able to snag in-state tuition, but mostly due to the fact that it had better skiing than her other options. After a year of general courses, she realized her heart was in photography, so she applied for MSU’s strong photography program and was accepted! Her life was set: she would study photography and live out her days taking photos between ski trips to Big Sky.

The universe (and the university) had other plans for her. One day, she was notified the school didn’t have any record of her admittance to the photography program; they had lost her acceptance letter. Devastated and lost, Amy turned this minor tragedy into a new opportunity. A good friend encouraged her to apply to MSU’s architecture program, assuring her it had a lot of the same appeal as photography, and that at the very least, she’d almost definitely make more money. Fast forward a few years and Amy stands in a cap and gown, two Architecture degrees in hand, bright-eyed, bushy-tailed, finally ready to charge head-on into…

…a crashing economy. Amy walked out of school and into a world where architecture firms were in the business of filing for bankruptcy, not designing buildings or hiring fresh graduates. Fortunately, CTA was an oasis in a barren desert of job opportunities, so Amy began working as an architect-in-training in the Billings office. At the time, the Healthcare team was hiring, so fate had Amy designing examination rooms and ORs. Four years later, Amy met her to-be husband, a then-CTA electrical designer named Brent Clark, and was on her way to becoming a Billings-based expert in healthcare architecture.

Amy and Brent

Her course was rocked once again when her partner realized that his passion for a desk job was beginning to dim, so the couple became inspired to move the City of Trees, enabling him to enroll at Boise State University to work toward a career in biology and forestry land management. Amy transferred to CTA’s Boise office, continuing to work with close teams on a variety of healthcare projects.

Although she has plenty of experience and knowledge about the complexities of healthcare architecture, she’s recently found herself most excited about education: she got the opportunity to work from start to finish—from bubble diagrams to construction documents—on Kimberly Elementary School. Healthcare expertise translates well into education because both markets have fast growing technologies and ever-changing design opportunities, but recently, Amy has found more freedom and excitement in the theories and application of designing educational environments.

Rendering of Kimberly Elementary School

Outside of her specific projects, Amy most values the community at CTA. She is thrilled that the firm and the architecture industry are beginning to evolve and diversify, a welcome change from the homogenous group of architects she observed while in school. A key to a successful career is surrounding yourself with people you can stand sharing plenty of time and limited space with, and Amy agrees: “There are days when I’m frustrated with the job, but I love the people—that’s why I stick around.”

Myrtle and Gilbert

Since her husband is in the midst of a biology program, Amy is welcomed home each afternoon by yard work, ongoing renovations, and two very lovable dogs. Gilbert is a Boston Terrier and finds any excuse, from back pain to hives, to pay a visit to the vet—maybe they have the best treats? Myrtle, on the other hand, is a snorting high-energy puppy nicknamed “piglet” for her stout body and tiny tail, courtesy of her French Bulldog/Pug mix. Amy makes a point to bike to work when the weather allows it, and she still tries to ski whenever possible (but remains unconvinced that Bogus Basin is anything more than a glorified hill with subpar snow—sorry, Boiseans!)

Twice a month, she joins fellow Boise coworkers Lindsay Erb and Amy Probert at Hell’s Canyon/Zhoo Zhoo Winery, where she pours in a tasting room. It began as an opportunity to meet new people when she came to Boise, but she’s taken a liking to the other perks of the job. She’s yet to become a full-fledged somalier, but enjoys learning about how wine is made and chatting about notes, acids, and other sophisticated buzzwords.

Amy and Brent were married in September 2017, and are ecstatic about their life in Boise. According to Amy, there’s no reason to ever leave.

The #CTASpotlight series features the unique stories of team members from the many CTA offices and disciplines. Find more stories like this one here.

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    • Kenny Ellerton 1 year ago

      That’s my cuz….proud of you girl!!!

    • Ken Richardson 1 year ago

      Nicely written ! Thanks for sharing !