adg lighting - architectural detail group


63842863 Pavement Handicap Symbol And Wheelchair

Are We Losing ADA Protections? And Should We?

Were you aware that there are one in five, or 56 million Americans living with disabilities? Further, of those 38 million, or one in ten, are considered living with severe disabilities such as blindness, deafness or epilepsy. These are sobering numbers and brings to light that the challenges Americans with disabilities face on a daily basis are on a grand scale.

Because of these challenges, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law on July 26, 1990, by President George H.W. Bush. The legislation prohibits discrimination and guarantees that people with disabilities have the same opportunities as everyone else to participate in the mainstream of American life. To be protected by the ADA, one must have a disability, which is defined by the ADA as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, a person who has a history or record of such an impairment, or a person who is perceived by others as having such an impairment. To architects, the most concerning part of the act is Title III. This concerns physical access to privately owned places offering public accommodation, such as restaurants, retail stores, hotels and other public environments.

This act has created tremendous change for the accessibility of millions of Americans. Most developers, architects and business owners have energetically embraced the letter of the law and the spirit of the act to make life just a bit more reasonable for the disabled. Just like every good action, there seems to be a sinister force that has taken advantage of well-intentioned legislation. This deceptive group of individuals have created a ‘business’ of filing thousands of lawsuits against businesses for alleged noncompliance with Title III and the ADA. These suits have damaged businesses, hamstrung courts with unnecessary actions, and created a shadow on legislation that was created to do what is right and just.

Currently, H.R. 620 just passed the House of Representatives, which promises to remedy and relieve Americans from the burdens of some elements of Title III and the ADA. If it falls on favorable ears in the Senate and on the desk of the President of the United States, these changes would become permanent. This being the case, it could actually create new legal barriers for the disabled and leave them stranded without legal relief.

We must understand the impact the ADA has our our society, and overall it has been a positive force in our society. What needs to change is the cottage industry of fraud surrounding this act and the unscrupulous behavior of less than reputable businesses that refuse to act in a manner that is respectable.

Can we preserve Title III and the ADA, while respecting the rights of millions of disabled Americans? Why did the American Institute of Architects (AIA) not shout loud enough for the public to hear that the rights of 56 million Americans will be impacted?

From the Factory Floor

…a fixture in the making

IMG 7875

By Gerald Olesker, CEO, ADG Lighting


61178146 Modern Architecture Trail, Columbus, Indiana

Indiana Architecture – Have You Ever Heard of Columbus?

Somewhere in the ‘fly-over’ part of the American heartland is an architectural mecca, which most have no idea the town even exists. Annually, thousands of visitors and students of architecture flock there to explore the town and study its architecture. This city of 46,000 is ranked 6th in the nation for architectural innovation and design. It offers over 90 buildings and public art pieces by world renowned architects and artists. Columbus, Indiana is that famous and unheard of community.

Columbus is a city in the county seat of Bartholomew County, Indiana. It is a relatively small city, which has provided a unique place for noted modern architecture and public art, commissioning numerous works since the mid-20th century. Located about 40 miles south of Indianapolis, on the east fork of the White River, it is the state’s 20th largest city. It has been ranked 11th on the historic destinations list, describing the city as authentic, unique, and unspoiled.

Columbus is regularly featured in national and international publications. Even if you are not an architecture buff, learning how this small town strives for excellence is both unique and inspiring. Since the early 1940s, some of the world’s finest architects have made Columbus a virtual museum of modern architecture, with works by some of the most notable names in architecture, such as I.M. Pei, Richard Meier, Robert Venturi, Eliel and Eero Saarinen, Harry Weese, and Deborah Berke.

If you are seeking an experience that immerses you in world-renowned architecture, go visit the city of Columbus. It is one of the best cities for architecture lovers and is considered a mecca for its architectural experience. Visitors to Columbus agree that their experience can be considered unforgettable and truly unexpected!

From the ADG Jobsite

Bigger CAN be better! 

ADG 100

by Gerald Olesker, CEO, ADG Lighting





Reading books for Architects

What a great grouping of architecturally related books. As someone who had practiced Architecture 20 years ago, and over the last 20 years been part of the design/ supply and manufacturing trade to some of the top architectural homes, hotels resorts and public projects – I have been blessed to learn from each architect.

So here is the scoop, books on architecture have been great influencers on my right brain activity. BUT there is a unique and commenting divide amongst those architects that have become business leaders and stood out from the rest.

These great architects and masters only rose to the top because of persistence, and sometimes just good publicists. However, the ones that I have respected the most are the ones that have developed great businesses, (ARCHITECTS AS ENTREPRENEURS, copy right 2010 Gerald Olesker). This – from the entrepreneurial side in my opinion comes from business books like “Good to Great”, Jim Collins and “Mastering the Rockefeller Habits”, Verne Harnish . This is a left brain shift.

The second part to my post is uniquely a business proposition to all architects – Left Brain Shift and business switch up.
What makes a great architect. I have had the good fortune to work and design over 900 projects world wide, from the decorative lighting design and manufacturing perspective.. I have met many of you.

With this, I have had the good fortune of learning how to work with architects and designees alike. So many of you are talented and several stand out as great business leaders. Marc Appleton, Grant Kirkpatrick/ KAA and Richard Landry on the west coast have had exponentially great practices. I mention these three in particular because they all have published books. From a selfish perspective, my work stands out in all three. Therefore, I refer back to these books to remember that Greatness, like Jim Collins and Verne Harnish reveal in their books, comes from persistence and planning.

The good will of architects published from a historical point in Sir Banister Fletcher’s “A History of Architecture” gives one of the broadest overviews of where we have been as architects. The buildings we all appreciate are relevant too each in the architects own unique way. The clients choose each one of you because of your unique and experiential method of working with the client.

So to make the great leap over the cerebral divide, Pick up a business book, any one from Jim Collins or go to and practice daily great business habits and your client base will improve.

Gerald Olesker is the chief executive officer of Architectural Detail Group, inc and ADG eco Lighting – where our motto is that we are collaborative group enhancing the built environment through positive relationships. SO thank for including me in you Linked-in group