Kate Leggett Mabry '00

Through her dedication to architecture, Kate Mabry ’00 is shaping a refined aesthetic. Her company, MabryArch, creates thoughtful and sensitive designs to inspire and elevate her client’s experience. She harmoniously blends functionality with fresh designs, which has earned her recognition in publications like “Atlanta Homes.” Mabry started her interest in art early but was unsure about choosing it as a career path.

During her time on the Hill, she dedicated countless hours to honing her artistic abilities in the arts department perched above the former bookstore, nestled behind Bryan Library in the late 90s. There she found guidance and inspiration that expanded her horizons beyond art while growing her skills. “David Douglas, John Lisanick, and Kirke Lisk were huge in my art world at Episcopal. They helped me refine my creative skills and fall in love with art,” she said. “Everything that I learned at Episcopal came from my teachers’ passion.”

While attending Washington and Lee University, Mabry had the opportunity to shadow the university architect. “While the expectations of the job were simple, his mentorship meant the world to me,” she shared. “He taught me so much, allowed me to attend meetings with him, and told me exactly what to focus on to become an architect.” The summer after her junior year, she completed an 8-week immersive architecture program at Harvard University. “It excited me, but at the same time, it was grueling,” she said, reminiscing about that summer in Cambridge, Mass. “We pulled all-nighters, we got critiques from Harvard professors and local architects in the area, but I loved every minute of it.”

After receiving her master’s degree, Mabry spent the initial years of her career in large offices working on international commercial projects, namely highend hotels and unique store upgrades for popular retail brands. She transitioned to a more intimate team at Summerour & Associates Architects in Atlanta, Ga., and spent over five years managing single-family residential projects. As a wife to a fellow architect and a mother of three, she was ready for a shift that accommodated the flexibility needed for her family. Now as the founder of her firm, she’s enjoying experiencing architecture through her lens.

Upon starting her company in 2018, Mabry’s first project was the renovation of a former Washington and Lee classmate’s 1940s Georgian house in Atlanta, Ga. For over two years, she orchestrated an extensive renovation which included a kitchen expansion to connect with a 1,000 square foot addition of a family room, garage and mudroom; the renovation of an existing pool in the backyard; and the construction of a pool house to accompany it.

“If it weren’t for this project, I would have never taken that leap of faith to start my own business,” she revealed. “This opportunity landed in my lap, and from there, it started snowballing.” The newly refreshed home has graced multiple publications and remains one of her favorite projects. “When I started MabryArch, I could not have anticipated how many of my high school and college classmates would become my clients,” Mabry said. “Those connections are unforgettable and a major highlight of my work experience.”

Mabry’s clientele also includes several EHS parents and former classmates. In mid-2022, she completed a house addition project for Betsy Watts Metcalf’00 in Atlanta; she is currently working on a mountain house renovation for the mother of Hattie Gruber ’00 in Cashiers, N.C.; and she maintains a close partnership with general contractor Wright Marshall P’25. 

“To collaborate with several members of the Episcopal community is an honor,” said Mabry. “They automatically know my work ethic and what kind of person I am because we spent our formative years together at The High School.”

In the next five years, Mabry would like to attract new talent to her firm while maintaining its intimate roots. “I will remain in a small office because I want to have my hands on every project that comes across my practice,” she said, affirming the preservation of her original plan. “I hope to serve as a mentor to the younger generation, igniting their passion for the industry and inspiring them to foster relationships.”