Sophie Roark

Business Development

Sophie completed a bachelor’s degree in history and a Master of Science in historic preservation at the University of Texas in Austin. She worked as a historian, architectural historian and project manager for a regional historic preservation consulting company and a national engineering firm. Her experience includes documenting and evaluating historic resources for community preservation planning projects and Section 106 compliance for multidisciplinary infrastructure projects.

Sophie expanded her professional skills as a sustainability consultant in the city of Austin’s Green Building program, where she consulted on new commercial developments and adaptive re-use projects to ensure the highest level of building and site performance. After moving to Kansas City, Sophie worked for FEMA’s Public Assistance Division, a grant program that supports rebuilding public buildings and infrastructure as part of disaster recovery operations. Her professional path has included exploring interests in public policy and the built environment, new urbanism and sustainability.

Favorite historic building

I like urban settings that retain large-scale design elements with temporal and cultural dimensions that all respond to the natural environment. I love identifying those layers and how they interact to make a region distinctive. My favorite place right now is San Antonio, Texas, where that complex interaction is celebrated.

I am a preservationist because…

I think thoughtful historic preservation is an integral part of successful planning and land use. Utilizing embodied energy in historic buildings conserves resources while using existing infrastructure can encourage density. Plus, historic spaces can be dynamic and inspiring. Our favorite places often include historic settings that enhance quality of life and contribute to local economies.