CHARLES M. KELLEY Jr.
AIA | NCARB | LEED AP BD+C
During a turbulent time of social unrest in Seattle’s Central District in the 1960’s, Charles was exposed to what neighborhoods could do and how they might succeed in building stronger and more diverse communities. The ideas and the openness to inclusivity that existed in the Madrona Neighborhood at that time instilled his passion, and optimism, for making community-oriented places. Through that lens he studied architecture and urban design at University in Seattle, Rome, Beijing, and Philadelphia. He had the privilege of working for his design professors from the University of Pennsylvania before securing his dream job at ZGF Architects. Over a 30-year period at ZGF, he was embedded in Oregon’s unique planning context and participated in community-oriented design projects across the US. Most recently Charles led ZGF’s export of green planning and design across the Pacific Rim through Portland’s “We Build Green City” program. Through his leadership he has helped clients use sustainable urban design practices that give communities the greatest potential to create equitable and low carbon emitting neighborhoods.
Mary Jaron Kelley, who studied with Ian McHarg at PENN, is Charles’ life partner. Together, they have raised their children as engineers who are committed to making places that restore nature.