Over the years, I've had the good fortune of working on skyscaper and mountain refuges alike, but the highlight has been collaborating with exceptional talent, good listeners who pay attention to detail and who can - no matter what the size, cost or complexity - render each project into a beautifully crafted, one-of-a-kind design.

Because of this, a habit has formed. At the end of the day, when we put our pencils down and reflect on what we've done, we simply ask ourselves.. "Were we excellent today?"

Then, we do it all over again.




Shafer received a Master of Architecture ‘with Distinction’ from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design (1982-85). Selected works are published in the Design Archives, Harvard University (1982-85). At graduation Shafer received the Appleton Traveling Fellowship for Academic Excellence (1985) and shortly thereafter was named a faculty instructor for Harvard’s Career Discovery Summer Program (1985). Previously, Shafer graduated from Washington University in St. Louis with a Bachelor of Arts Degree, Major in Architecture (1976-80). At Washington University Shafer was both a Luce Scholar and Rhodes Scholar finalist (1980), a finalist for the School of Architecture’s Widman Prize for outstanding excellence (1980), and has selected works published in the Bulletin of Student Works, Washington University (1980).


Shafer has worked in numerous high-profile firms during his career. He was a Senior Associate / Studio Head while at Lohan Associates in Chicago, IL (1989-91) responsible for the design of several office towers under the guidance of Mr. Dirk Lohan, Principal-in-charge-of-design; the Dain Bosworth Tower in Minneapolis (built), and the Harris Bank Tower in Chicago (unbuilt). While at Kohn Pedersen Fox PC in New York City, NY (1986-89) he worked directly with Mr. William Pedersen, Principal-in-charge-of-design as a Senior Designer responsible for the design and development of two office towers – The Rizzoli Tower on 5th Avenue in New York City (built) and One Fountain Place in Cincinnati, OH (unbuilt). He worked in the offices of Silvetti + Machado in Boston, MA (1983) and Fred Koetter & Associates in Boston, MA (1983) in which he was part of the team who took first place in the Beacon Corporation Crescent Building Competition. Shafer worked on the United Airlines Terminal project while in the office of Murphy / Jahn, Chicago, IL (1983 + 1984) and worked on high-end residential projects while at Krueck + Olsen Architects, Chicago, IL (1985). Shafer founded Shafer Architects PC (1991-2001) and ten years later established Grunsfeld Shafer Architects LLC (2001-2012) with the late Ernest A. Grunsfeld III, FAIA.

academic experience

Shafer has been, and continues to be, involved with academic pursuits within the profession including mentoring for the Intern Development Program, volunteering as a Thesis Advisor (1990) and Studio Professor for an Advanced Design Studio (1992-94) at the Illinois Institute of Technology, and as a visiting critic at Harvard University, The University of Chicago – Circle Campus, The University of Wisconsin, The Art Institute of Chicago and the Illinois Institute of Technology.

civic experience

Shafer is active and participates in civic minded activities, recently completing a tenure on the Executive Board and the Board of Trustees at the North Shore Country Day School in Winnetka, IL where he also served as the Chairman of the Student Experience Committee, served as a committee member on the Strategic Planning Committee, Global Initiative Committee, Buildings & Grounds Committee and assumed the lead role on the Diller Street Theater Task Force charged with developing a campus Master Plan and a design / program for the Diller Street Theater / Auditorium Project. Shafer has been an invited featured artist at Highland Park High School’s ‘Focus on the Arts’ Program where he explained both the path to becoming an architect as well as the process of designing and constructing a project. Shafer has participated in Middle School programs such as Highland Park’s Elm Place Middle School 8th grade Annual Career Fair, and has participated in the City of Chicago’s UMOJA’s “Training-to-Transition” career day giving mock interviews to high school juniors and seniors at The Manley School.


Shafer is an active member of the American Institute of Architects, Chicago Chapter (1989-present) and was the Chairman of the Young Architects Committee (1990-92). He is a member of Lake Shore Country Club, Glencoe, IL (1988-present) where he served on the Board of Governors (2001-2003), was Chairman of the Property Committee (2001-2003), was a member of the Ad Hoc Golf Committee (2000-2003), the Long Range Planning Committee (1999-2001), Chairman of the East Side Feasibility Committee (1996), Chairman of the Architectural Committee (1995), and was a Co-Chair for The Centennial Project (2001-2003), the 100th anniversary Master Planning effort for the complete overhaul and redevelopment of the historically significant country club designed by Howard van Doren Shaw. On numerous occasions Shafer has been a juror for the Highland Park Preservation Awards, has been a past commissioner on both the Design Review Board (2010-2011) and the Highland Park Historic Preservation Commission (2000-2001), has served on the Highland Park Cultural Arts Commission (2000-2001) and was instrumental in the restorative development of The American Legion Hall building for the Suburban Fine Arts in Highland Park, IL. Shafer is currently working with Zurich Esposito, Executive Vice President of the Chicago Chapter AIA to establish a local Custom Residential Architects Network (CRAN) for the Chicagoland area. Shafer continues to fund and promote his firm’s ‘Salon Series’, a small gathering of invited guests and featured speaker to engage in a casual but intellectual discourse relating specifically to the arts and architecture professions. Shafer has been a member of The Harvard Club (1989-1992), The Chicago Architectural Club and The University Club of Chicago (1989-1991).

Academic Alumni Services

Shafer is currently active with his alma mater (Washington University in Saint Louis) serving as a committee member on the Regional Cabinet and Regional Campaign Committee (2014-present), a member of the Alumni and Parents Admissions Program (1995-present) and participates in Alumni Sharing Knowledge Panels.


In his free time, Shafer and his firm gives back. Shortly after Hurricane Katrina devastated the St. Bernard Parish in New Orleans, Shafer’s firm along with a dozen seniors from the North Shore Country Day School volunteered in Louisiana’s St. Bernard Parish as part of the on-going St. Bernard Project. Founded by Liz McCartney, who was CNN’s Hero of the Year recipient in 2008, the St. Bernard Project provides low-to moderate-income families in the parish with rebuilding and community wellness programs. The Rebuilding Program utilizes volunteer labor and donated building supplies to rehabilitate homes for families that would otherwise be unable to restart their lives. The Rebuilding Program works on over thirty houses at a time and has rebuilt 228 homes to date. Additionally, Shafer who is a competitive cyclist uses his bike as a platform to raise money and awareness for various charities including the annual 109 mile El Tour de Tucson bike race in Tucson, AZ for Tu Nidito (, a grief and counseling center for terminally ill children or those affected by death of a loved one. Recently, Shafer was the top fundraiser contributing $15,000. Shafer has also participated in the QualCom Million Dollar Challenge, a 6 day 625 mile bike ride from Los Angeles to San Diego, raising awareness and money for the Challenged Athletes Foundation ( and their Project Rebound and Wounded Warriors programs. For this event Shafer raised $10,000. Shafer also participates in the annual Cowalunga ( ride from North Chicago to Lake Geneva, WI and back, a 130+ one-day ride to raise money and awareness for those afflicted with respiratory disease.







Having spent the first half of my career trading foreign currencies and tracking corresponding yield curves, I switched gears to apply my knowledge and skills towards my real passion – the Arts. Now I am in charge of tracking “architectural curves” and managing operations and interior design for the firm.


What I enjoy most is collaborating on design projects – finding the perfect balance between all the materials, colors and products that will reside in our clients’ designs. When I’m not crunching numbers I’m out in the field, helping clients find that ‘one’ item that will help tie their project together.



Kathryn Karmin Shafer joined Shafer Architects in 1998 and assumed responsibility for the financial and marketing activities of the firm. Before moving into the architectural industry, Kathy was involved in the financial sector for over twenty years


Kathy graduated from Washington University in St. Louis in 1981 with a B.S. in Economics and Sociology. She studied economics her third year at Bath University in England. After graduating, she moved to Chicago and went to work for Drexel Burnham Lambert at the Chicago Board of Options Exchange. She spent the next four years, first, as a runner, and then as a broker, for their arbitrage desk on a Midwest trading seat. While working at the CBOE, Kathy began her M.B.A. at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management. After she had completed half of the program, she left Drexel Burnham and attended Kellogg full time in Evanston, where she completed her degree in 1985. She received her M.B.A. in Finance and Management.


In the fall of 1985, Kathy started working at First Chicago in the Bank's first program in sales and trading within the Asset and Liability Division. There she rotated through each of their trading and sales groups and learned about the financial product sector. In 1987, after completing the program, she joined First Chicago's Foreign Exchange Group. She helped start their Institutional Marketing Group, worked on the spot trading desk and eventually settled in at the Forward Trading Desk of Foreign Exchange. She eventually became First Vice President and Head of Forward Trading. While there, she was tapped on the shoulder to work on a one year consulting program for First Chicago in preparation for the mergers the Bank was about to undertake. The program allowed Kathy to work within all areas of the Bank and across many customer lines. When her work was completed, she rejoined Foreign Exchange as Marketing Head of North America. In 1998 she left the Bank to join Shafer Architects.


Since 1998, Kathy has worked in the financial and marketing areas of THOMAS SHAFER ARCHITECTS LLC and has assisted with interior materials and finishes selections.


Kathy currently serves on the Board of Directors of the GI Research Foundation of the University of Chicago, which funds research at the University to treat, cure, and prevent digestive diseases. Previously, Kathy served as the PTO President for Indian Trail School in Highland Park from 1998-2000. She also co-chaired both the K-5 and Middle School book fairs for over ten years, where proceeds benefited both the PTO and schools in need in Waukegan and North Chicago. She also acted as a Grade Chair at North Shore Country Day School for three years. In 2013, Kathy volunteered as a docent for the Facing History and Ourselves program, where she guided high school students through the exhibit and corresponding discussions on race and prejudice. Currently, Kathy is a Board of Governor Member at the Lake Shore Country Club and a Committee Member for Capital Projects.







As Principal of Operations, I ensure in each and every Project that the level of craft is consistent, the Construction Documents are accurately delineated and well-communicated, and that the construction remains true to the intent of the design.  I’m passionate about detail and craft, realizing that their intersection is an opportunity for great design.

I’m also passionate about urban life as well as cooking and gardening (I am a founding member of our local community garden) which affords me precious time to spend with my two children, who my wife and I are raising “urbs in horto.”



Crowe received his Master of Architecture from Harvard's Graduate School of Design in 1995, where his work was included in the 1994 Publication of Student Works. He earned a Bachelor of Architecture at North Carolina State University in 1986. There he received his AIA School Award and Certificate of Merit, and the Henry Adams Medal, awarded to the top-ranking graduate in the program. Crowe was the recipient of the Kamphoefner Scholarship in 1985.


Crowe joined Shafer Architects, PC as a Senior Project Architect in 1998. In that capacity, Crowe directed the design and production of several residential projects, including: 1200 North Lake Shore Drive in Chicago IL, Rural Estate in Barrington IL, House on a Pond in Glencoe IL, Grounded in Modernism in Long Grove IL, Tudor Revival in Highland Park IL, and North Shore Modern in Highland Park IL.

Since the formation of THOMAS SHAFER ARCHITECTS LLC in 2012, Crowe has been involved as Senior Technical Architect and Operations Manager in much of the work in the office, including: Rooftop Pied-a-Terre in Chicago IL (built), Homestead Redux in Lake Forest IL (built), North Paulina Penthouse in Chicago IL (built), Lake View Modern in Highland Park IL (built), Full Floor build-out at 9 West Walton in Chicago IL (built) and Garage Mahal in Joliet IL (unbuilt). Crowe also worked as Senior Construction Project Manager + Engineer on THOMAS SHAFER ARCHITECTS LLC's first design-built project with 3 Rabbits Design/Build + 3 Rabbits Development on Rabbit's Den in Highland Park IL (built).

Previously, Crowe worked at Peter Forbes and Associates in Boston as an Associate and Project Architect. Projects included several large residences in Maine, and retail facilities in Cambridge MA and New York City. Before moving to Boston, Crowe worked in Raleigh NC for two firms. At O'Brien Atkins Associates, Crowe was responsible for the design and production of large corporate headquarters for Sprint and MCI, an electronics laboratory for ABB on the North Carolina State University campus, and the Winston-Salem State University Student Union. At Burnstudio, PC, Crowe design and produced documents for several projects for not-for-profits in North Carolina. During his stints in Boston and North Carolina, twelve projects that Crowe worked on were honored with local design awards.

professional affiliations + activities

Crowe has been a member of the American Institute of Architects since 1988, and is currently a member of the steering committee of Custom Residential Area Network (CRAN) Chicago. While in North Carolina, he served as chair of the Education Committee of AIA Raleigh (1992-93). Crowe was an official mentor to younger architectural interns in North Carolina and Boston, has served on architectural juries at the Notre Dame School of Architecture, the Boston Architectural College, and the North Carolina State University College of Design, and has volunteered as a Thesis Advisor for Bachelor of Architecture candidates at the North Carolina State University College of Design. Crowe is a member of the North Carolina State Alumni Association and the Harvard Alumni Association

CIVIC + Charitable activities

As an invitee to the Highland Park High School 'Focus on the Arts' program in 2013, Crowe described the day-to-day activities and responsibilities of an Architect to students. In 2008, Crowe volunteered with Grunsfeld Shafer Architects to help rebuild homes near New Orleans that were devastated by Hurricane Katrina as part of the St. Bernard Project. Crowe is an interested and active community member involved with the ongoing redevelopment of the Little Italy and University Village neighborhoods on the near west side of Chicago, where he lives. Crowe combines his passions for urban life, cooking and gardening as a founding member, and a current board member, of the Maxwell Street Community Garden, which draws residents from neighborhoods of diverse ethnic backgrounds and socio-economic status. The garden affords him precious time to spend with his two children, whom his wife and he are raising "urbs in horto."

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I have always been captivated with making things and it started as a kid with “building blocks” like Legos.  As I grew up and the “building blocks” became more complex I became fascinated with understanding how things are constructed.

Now I love finding the design opportunities in detailing the “building blocks” of architecture, and helping clients to realize the possibilities of what can be done, whether it’s helping design their dream home or a piece of furniture to help complete a space.



Kueck received a Bachelor of Architecture from the Fay Jones School of Architecture at the University of Arkansas (2008-12). While at the University of Arkansas, Ben participated in the UARK Design Build Program, designing and construction two modular houses in central Arkansas. Of the two projects that he worked on, the first was awarded a 2012 Arkansas AIA Honor Award, and the second was awarded a 2014 Arkansas AIA Merit Award. During his senior year he was the project manager for the project. These two projects have been instrumental in the revitalization of the Pettaway Park neighborhood in downtown Little Rock.


Since joining THOMAS SHAFER ARCHITECTS LLC in 2015, Kueck has served as an Intern Architect, Project Designer+Manager, and Associate on several residential projects under the guidance of Mr. Thomas Shafer, AIA and Mr. Scott Crowe, AIA: Renovation + Remodel to Highland Park House in Highland Park IL (in progress), Glencoe Bathroom Renovation in Glencoe IL (in progress), Full Floor Interior build-out at 9 West Walton in Chicago IL (built), Shafer Bathroom Renovation in Highland Park IL (built), Garage Mahal in Joliet IL (unbuilt), Freedom Rider Remodel in Highland Park IL (built), Modern Cottage in Glencoe IL (unbuilt), Estate Kitchen Remodel in Highland Park IL (built), Winnetka Remodel in Winnetka IL (built). Kueck also worked as the Intern Architect, Project Designer+Manager, and Construction Project Manager + Engineer on THOMAS SHAFER ARCHITECTS LLC first design-built project with 3 Rabbits Design/Build + 3 Rabbits Development under the guidance of Mr. Thomas Shafer, AIA and Mr. Scott Crowe, AIA: Rabbit's Den in Highland Park IL (built).

Kueck worked for James R. Childers Architect, Inc. in Fort Smith, AR (2012-15) where he was an Intern Architect and Project Manager working on several health care and hospitality projects under the guidance of Mr. Breck Childers and Mr. Casey Hargrave; the Cherokee Nation Vinita Health Clinic (built), the Franklin County Public Library Remodel and Renovation (built), Cherokee Nation Roland Casino & Hotel (built), and Choctaw Nation Regional Medical Clinic in Durant, OK (built).

Kueck is currently working toward his professional licensure through the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB).

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PEter henseler


In this forbidding world, I am encouraged by the vibrancy of personality alive in the people and projects of Thomas Shafer Architects. Our dedication is unmatched. Our detailing: impeccable. We are the beacon beside the lake. Come rest in our harbor - ye of shaky nerve - and fear not, for in our hands you and your home are safe.



Henseler received a Master of Architecture from the Tulane School of Architecture (2013-15). While at Tulane, Henseler earned the Goldstein Travel Fellowship (2014), through which he studied tent city urbanism in the Pacific Northwest. His Master's Thesis This Will Kill That studied the history of media houses and the architectural design strategies for modern media and technology companies. Henseler participated in the design and construction phases of Tulane's award-winning URBANbuild 10 house (2014-15) in Central City, New Orleans LA and volunteered in construction phases of various projects for the public interest design-focused Tulane city Center (2013-15). Previously, Henseler graduated from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign with a Bachelor of Science degree in Architectural Studies (2013), participating in the School of Architecture's renowned Study Abroad Program in Versailles.


Since joining THOMAS SHAFER ARCHITECTS LLC in 2015, Henseler has served as Intern Architect and Project Designer+Manager. He has helped design and manage residential projects of various scales under the guidance of Mr. Thomas Shafer, AIA and Mr. Scott Crowe, AIA including; Glencoe Residence in Glencoe IL (in progress), Wilmette Residence in Wilmette IL (in progress), Iowa City Residence in Iowa City IL (unbuilt), Highland Park Bathroom Renovations in Highland Park IL (built), Tudor Suite in Highland Park IL (built), Woodland Retreat in Northbrook IL (unbuilt), Mid-Century Remodel at Gull Lake MI (built), and Peony Cucina in Highland Park IL (built).

Before joining THOMAS SHAFER ARCHITECTS LLC, Henseler served as an Intern Architect for Harding Partners in Chicago IL (2014) working on a renovation/addition for a Fine and Performing Arts Magnet School on the Northwest side of Chicago. Previously, Henseler developed and led the Architecture I course for Duke University's Talent Identification Program (2014).

Henseler is currently working toward his professional licensure through the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB).

As a graduate student at Tulane University, Henseler curated the annual Graduate Student Colloquium (2014) and served as the Graduate Student Representative on the New Faculty Committee and as the Architectural representative for the Graduate and Professional Student Association. Henseler served as Teaching Assistant for courses at each level of the School of Architecture's History+Theory department. 


Peter serves as a mentor through the iMentor program, assisting students in Chicago high schools throughout college applications and preparation. Additionally he serves on the Auxiliary Board of the non-profit "Big Shoulders Fund," providing service and scholarship support to small parochial schools in Chicago's neediest neighbors.


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Through my various experiences in life and as a designer, the relationship between man and nature drives me to create unity in architecture through materiality, light, and space. Architecture even in its most fundamental form has the ability to create a sense of place and being. It contrasts yet unites the natural environment.


Passion, careful detailing, and a constant strive for innovation allows us to achieve this unity.



Eble received a Master of Architecture from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (2015-17). While at Illinois, Eble was a part of the Chicago Studio, working alongside the Chicago Housing Authority, Department of Transportation and Alderman to create a masterplan that would reinvigorate the Cabrini Green neighborhood. Eble also participated in the AIA CRAN Here + Now National competition, studying single family homes that were informed by context, culture, and vernacular while embracing 21st century technology. His project Revitalizing the Rural was selected as a winner amongst over 500 entries across the country. Eble was also the winner of the Universities’ design excellence award for his Highrise and Habitat project Pinnacle. In addition to receiving his Masters degree, Eble also received his Bachelor of Science in Architectural studies from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (2011-15).


Since joining THOMAS SHAFER ARCHITECTS LLC in 2018, Eble has served as an architectural designer on several residential projects under the guidance of Mr. Thomas Shafer, AIA and Mr. Scott Crowe, AIA including; Glencoe Residence in Glencoe, IL (in progress), Chicago Condo (in progress), Longboat Key Florida Condo (in progress), and Woodland Modern (in progress).

Prior to joining THOMAS SHAFER ARCHITECTS LLC, Eble worked as an Architectural Designer at Krueck + Sexton Architects. At Krueck + Sexton, Eble worked on U.S. Embassies and Consulates in several locations around the globe including Jerusalem, Buenos Aires, Dhaka, and Nairobi. His primary focus was the development of a master plan for a new U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem, Israel, which included a 200,000 sqare foot office building and the development of several other government buildings on a 16-acre site. He was also involved in the renovation of the firm’s award winning project Spertus Institute in Chicago.

In addition to his work at Krueck + Sexton, Eble was a part of a research team at Perkins + Will that focused on a masterplan for a large undeveloped area of land on the south branch of the Chicago River that was featured in the 2018 Chicago Biennial. He has also served as an architectural intern at FGM Architects and Archideas.

Eble is currently working toward his professional licensure through the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB).

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Lehigh University, Department of Art Architecture and Design

Architecture Major

Class of 21’


Seth Greer

Summer Intern

There’s more to architecture than meets the eye. In every design, there’s a different aspect to be considered. From the color of the interior wall to how wide the door should be, architects are always thinking of ways to amplify their design. Architecture is more of an art than anything.

Through THOMAS SHAFER ARCHITECTS LLC, I want to utilize this art to design and construct luxury homes to fulfill the dreams and desires of the clients. With architecture, we have the power to change the community for the better.



Greer received his high school diploma from Wolcott School in the Ukrainian Village of Chicago’s west side in 2017. He currently is studying architecture at Lehigh University looking to earn his Bachelor of Arts in 2021.


Greer volunteered to represent Wolcott for High school open houses and present to groups of prospective family’s the student life at Wolcott (2013-2016). Greer went on to intern at Phenomenal Fitness, his uncle’s business, assisting the gym manger at the front desk managing supplies, organizing equipment, and receiving payments (Summer 2014 / Summer 2018).

Through the After-School Matters (ASM) program, Greer joined the Chicago Public Library staff as an intern supporting digitally untrained patrons in accessing the library computers and helping teach computer courses (Summer 2015 – 2016). After that he worked in another ASM program at a nearby school learning how to design and construct professional quality skateboard decks. He worked in groups to conceptualize a series of skateboard graphics and create functional artwork in the form of professional skateboard decks (2016 – 2017).

Greer later became a desk attendant at Lehigh University’s Taylor Gym making sure patrons swiped into the facility, assisting with questions and navigation, assisting with equipment rentals, and organizing equipment (2017 – 2018). Now he serves as a supervisor for Taylor Gym making sure patron’s swipe into the facility, assist with questions and navigation, assist with equipment rentals, and open and close the gym weekly.

In the fall of 2013, Greer Co-Founded a Robotics Club at Wolcott School and advised and managed the team. He designed the robot, constructed and developed the code, and in 2014 used an android phone to code and run the robot. He wrote and won multiple grants from 3D Systems, Coca-Cola, Microsoft, and FIRST Robotics. He also led the team first place through the first 10 rounds of their first competition, finishing in 14th place out of 24 teams.

Greer started boxing in 2014 at Bravo Martial Arts and helped teach in 2016. He also learned Muay Thai from time to time (2015-2016).