Ben Crabtree is the project manager and lead architectural designer for the renovation. Born and raised
in Northwest Ohio, Crabtree earned an advanced degree in architecture at the University of Cincinnati.
After internships on both coasts, he settled in Baltimore before returning to the Midwest.
“I’ve always enjoyed creating, whether that was building Lego structures as a kid or coming up
with a new way to solve a building problem for a client or in my own home. Architecture allows me to
make a career out of that creative outlet and, hopefully, positively impact people’s lives while doing it,”
As transplants to Northeast Ohio, Ben and his family were drawn to Shaker’s close-knit
neighborhoods and settled in the Onaway area. “Having this kind of a community as an inner-ring
suburb with such immediate access to downtown is a rare benefit,” Ben says.
Best part of the job? “Libraries, in general, are very rewarding building types to work on because they are such a huge part of the
social fabric in the communities they serve. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work on my home library with a direct impact on my
family, friends, and neighbors. That, coupled with the fact that we’re restoring a building that is a piece of Shaker history, makes this a very
Jill Christoff is the lead interior designer for the project. She grew up in Warren and went to Kent State
University where she earned her bachelors in interior design. She moved to New York City to work for an
architecture firm before receiving her master of architecture degree from the University of Notre Dame.
She has spent the last nine years working at Bialosky Cleveland.
“My grandfather was an architect and I’ve always been interested in art, design, and patterning,
she says. I have an undergraduate degree in interior design but was so intrigued about the building
experience as a whole, and creating a unified experience from the outside in, that I went back to school
for my Master of Architecture.”
Shaker’s architecture, neighborhoods, school district, and the trees drew the Christoff family
to Shaker from the west side of Cleveland. Jill is currently a member of the Shaker Square Area
Development Advisory Committee. Having served as an adjunct professor for Interior Design at Kent State University’s
College of Architecture and Environmental Design, she continues to serve as a juror of student work.
Best part of the job? “It’s really incredible to be working on a project that has a direct impact on my community.”
Peggy Lipscomb is writing the specifications to ensure that all materials used in the renovation are
appropriate, safe, and compliant with building codes. Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Lipscomb received
her master of architecture degree from the University of Virginia.
Lipscomb has always enjoyed building things with her hands and studied art in college where she
was a painter. “After college, I worked as a carpenter’s helper for a year and got to experience building
small commercial and residential projects first-hand,” says Lipscomb. “I found that I enjoyed learning
about the complexity of buildings’ components, materials, and systems. A bit of investigation convinced
me that I could best pursue this interest as an architect.”
Lipscomb and her family moved to Shaker many years ago for its walkability, architecture, and
schools. “Our son had a fabulous experience with the Shaker schools, from Boulevard through the SHHS
Class of 2014,” says Lipscomb. Currently, she and her husband and are enjoying their empty nest and spoiling their dog. An avid
reader, Lipscomb visits the Library weekly.
Best part of the job? “The Library has always been a big part of why I love living in Shaker.”
George Pasiadis is a mechanical engineer who will work on the HVAC system upgrade along with
the plumbing design. Pasiadis grew up in Shaker Heights and attended Hawken School. He studied
mechanical engineering and mathematics at Southern Methodist University in Dallas and returned
home after completing his master’s degree in 2012.
He began his career in manufacturing as an engineer and production supervisor before entering
the architectural/engineering field. “In college, I was eager to understand the science and mechanics
behind everything and to work on cross-disciplinary projects. Being an engineer, we constantly solve
problems and create thoughtful and useful designs.”
Pasiadis lived in downtown Cleveland before relocating to Shaker. “It’s been amazing and exciting,
and having the Van Aken District in our area and going almost weekly has been a great addition to our
lives.” Pasiadis is a member of ASHRAE, a professional association to advance HVAC design and constructions, and serves on
the associate board of the Rainbow Babies and Children’s Foundation.
Best part of the job? “My wife and I moved to the Fernway neighborhood almost a year ago, so we are very close to the
Library. I grew up going to the Library as a kid, so it will be great to be part of the renovation.” SL