Like the timeless parliamentary "Robert's Rules of Order", Robert Beers' lifetime rules were established at a young age and continue to this day.
Bob's interest in architecture started in the early 1950's as a high school junior. He attended a career day where a man by the name of John Haughwout from Lewistown was one of the speakers. Haughwout was a well-known and accomplished architect who designed with the flare of Frank Lloyd Wright. Fascinated by what he heard that day, Bob introduced himself to Haughwout and spoke of his interest in architecture and drafting. Haughwout invited Bob to visit his office to see what architecture was all about! Before long, Bob was the first student to be chosen for his school's work co-op program. It was during this time that Bob designed a house for the Vo-Tech school and entered it in the Ford Motor Company Industrial Arts Award Program. His efforts earned him a certificate of merit, signed by Henry Ford II!
Upon graduation, in 1956, Bob interviewed with two architectural firms - Buchart Associates in York and Haak & Kaufman, a small firm in Myerstown. He chose the latter, in order to get a broader exposure, and started as a young draftsman for $1/hour! After working with the firm for several years, he returned to study architecture under Haughwout. However, in 1961 when the economy slowed, Bob rejoined Haak & Kaufman in Myerstown. This was the start of a long and successful association. Bob would also soon be serving the Myerstown community as chairman of both the zoning hearing board and the planning commission.
In 1973 Bob became a registered architect and partner in the firm. The name was changed to Haak, Kaufman, Reese & Beers. Tragically, both Monroe Haak and Dale Kaufman passed away two short years later. Bob and Jim Reese continued the partnership for another 9 years until they each founded their own firm in 1982. Since that time, Bob's Lancaster based firm has designed numerous outstanding and award winning buildings. A Lebanon branch office, with architect Bob Hoffman at the helm, was opened in 1996. In 2002 the firm's name was changed to Beers & Hoffman, Ltd. Today the Lancaster and Lebanon offices are one of Central PA's most versatile - designing churches, retirement communities, medical, educational and office facilities of every kind. More than 300 churches have been designed by Bob Beers over the past 50 years!
Bob's own home, which he designed in 1996, dramatically embodies his great love of architecture, and as a result has been featured in many magazines and newspapers. He has been married to Elaine for 50 years, is the father of three children, and has six grandchildren. A warm and outgoing man, Bob also enjoys family-like relationships with his staff just as he does at home. Another of Bob's lifetime interests is his passion for flying, and as a private pilot he has followed in the footsteps of his father.
When asked, "What is the best building you've designed?" Bob's answer is, "the next!" This response reveals a great deal about him; including his optimism, good humor and boundless creativity. Bob is one of those special people combining wonderful talent with the grace and dignity of a gentleman--a gentleman with the highest standards of order. After 50 years, Bob continues to work full time, (and then some!) doing what he loves best! His plane will be circling the field of architecture for years to come!