James Edward Sved

 "James is a visionary, and the type colleague everyone should have the privilege of working with in their career. I am proud to say that he became an adviser and trusted confidant. He had no respect of person and treated each citizen with kindness and respect." - S. D. Williams, Government colleague 


Research and practical experience in the continued and evolutionary life of structures and communities; effective methodologies on urbanity, transportation; and integrated technologies for sustainability.

Regarded as one of the top preservation professionals in the US. Under James' direction, the restoration of Main Street Railroad Station, in Richmond, Virginia, was awarded the Restoration Project of the Year. While specializing in restoration and the re-use of historic structures, James has also completed projects for museums, universities, schools, cultural arts centers, educational nature centers, churches, public parks, memorial fountains, hospitality, residences, federal, state, and local governments, and private residences.

James takes a highly technical, hands-on approach to project development, design, and construction, often serving as project manager, site architect of record, and construction administrator. He works first-hand with material selection, material conservation, finish quality, cost control, and code compliance. Restoration, architectural history, design, interior design, historic preservation, historic archaeology, facilities operations, and issue mitigation are all aspects of James' substantial set of skills. Additional experience in the development of medical and research facilities. Successful experience in project management, construction administration, life safety, and uniform building codes.

James received his Master's Degree from the University of Virginia School of Architecture, and studied at the Monticello Archaeological Field School.  He also holds a degree in English from Randolph-Macon College.

A widely published writer and former university lecturer on historic preservation, restoration, architectural history and life safety in the building industry, James is available for speaking engagements.

James meets the US Department of the Interior's qualifications in architectural history, historic preservation, archaeology, preservation planning, and historic architecture.  He has been a champion for the National Historic Preservation Act, and is considered a leading expert in The Secretary of the Interior's Standards.

"Jim has been a major player in preservation in Virginia." - Ethel Eaton, Senior Policy Analyst, Virginia Department of Historic Resources (SHPO).

James has been involved in landmark projects regarding the earliest sites of European occupation in North America, the location of 17th Century English forts, Revolutionary War battlefields, Civil War sites, and structures associated with the Underground Railroad.

Formerly licensed real estate professional experienced in land-use.

Recent Projects

Residential development conversion of apartment buildings into condominiums,

Washington, DC 

Historic Structures Report, Mixed-Use Development

Santa Barbara, California 

Code compliance mitigation for a luxury, 5-star resort

Nassau, Bahamas

Notable Projects

Main Street Station Restoration, Virginia (Awarded Restoration Project of the Year)

Science Museum of Virginia Renovation

University of Virginia (Numerous)

College of William and Mary (Numerous)

Preservation Plan, Town of Palm Beach, Florida

Addison Mizner's Memorial Fountain Restoration, Palm Beach

City of Petersburg Museums

Renovation and capital improvements at numerous churches