Harriman pursues creative partnerships to design relevant and innovative solutions to human needs. Our work is based on the belief that design is a collaborative human endeavor centered on knowledge, ingenuity, and beauty. Through practicing the art of architecture and the science of engineering, we create environments that honor context, embrace wisdom, and enhance well-being.
Harriman combines the legacy of two design firms into an even stronger, more flexible and robust firm dedicated to enhancing the built and natural environment. Harriman and its urban design and planning studio, formerly known as The Cecil Group, are dedicated to providing clients with thoughtful solutions through distinctive design and innovative strategies. Together we are a more comprehensive integrated, full-service practice in architecture, engineering, urban design, planning, and landscape architecture.
Our firm applies a holistic approach that is based on collaborative teamwork and a commitment to service — an approach verified by the number of repeat clients, and an on-time, on-budget track record. Our architects, engineers, urban designers, planners, and landscape architects work closely throughout all phases of a project, providing an integrated, multidisciplinary approach that delivers creative and cost-effective solutions.
Our clients are able to realize the potential of their buildings, towns, cities, developments, parks and open spaces because they are better planned, better designed, and better engineered. We’re better because our team members in all disciplines share information continually throughout the process — a special advantage with the sophisticated, high-tech infrastructure needed in today’s built environment. Our experience, expertise, and approach result in spaces, places and buildings that are both high performing and aesthetically appropriate.
Our team is able to translate strategic goals into practical plans and designs that are highly responsive to complex economic, regulatory and community considerations. Our emphasis on effective communication allows us to foster cooperation among public and private interests and inspire local pride. As a multidisciplinary team of planners and designers we are better able to deliver the diverse expertise needed in order to successfully “put places together.”
Harriman was founded in 1870 by George Coombs, who passed the firm on to his sons Harry and Fred in 1909. In 1928, Alonzo J. Harriman (George Coombs’ great nephew), joined the firm as a partner. Alonzo (like founder George Coombs) was well known for his expertise in architecture and structural engineering. In 1939, after the death of Harry Coombs, the firm became Harriman Associates.
Our strong A/E heritage continues today. Multi-disciplinary staff collaborates to develop creative, integrated, and resourceful solutions. Our culture values research, dialogue, and debate as a cornerstone of how we interact with each other and our clients.
Over its long history, Harriman and its predecessor firms have been responsible for many of the most important public and private buildings throughout Maine: libraries, schools, city halls, churches, commercial blocks, fire stations, mill buildings, military facilities, courthouses, hospitals, utility buildings, theaters, banks, and hotels. There are few large communities in Maine without a Coombs or Harriman building on its main street. Many have received Maine and National landmark designations.
Today, the firm continues to bear Alonzo’s name and is headquartered in Auburn in a building we designed for ourselves. We also have an office in Portland’s Old Port section, in Portsmouth, New Hampshire and most recently in Boston. Harriman continues to be focused on designing innovative work throughout New England and beyond.