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Decker and Kemp was founded with a splash in August of 1986 by Howard Decker and Kevin Kemp. Howard was a longtime and highly regarded practitioner and educator in Chicago, specializing in historic preservation, Kevin had just finished practicing at SOM's prestigious Chicago office where he had a chance to work in design leadership roles on some of the most important work being done by the firm.
Decker and Kemp became recognized immediately as a leader in the field, gracing the cover of Crain's Chicago Magazine as "The Young Turks" of Urban Planning in Chicago, and quickly acquiring an impressive portfolio of quality commissions from new high-end residential estates to urban design work for many of the region's municipalities. The firm conducted the preservation and rejuvenation of many of the finest north shore estates and designed the iconic Northbrook Village Hall, one of the most distinguished new civic structures in the region.
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