Six decades of design innovation and positive social impact


Our firm was founded in 1955 by Marvin Goody (1929-1980) with Richard Hamilton (d. 1957) based on their conducting building materials research while teaching architecture at MIT. The most famous project from the 1950s was the Monsanto Plastic House of the Future at Disneyland, incorporating such new devices as a microwave oven and unitized, cast-fiberglass bathrooms, ultimately seen by more than seven million visitors.

1960s – 1970s

John Clancy (1930-2004), one of Marvin’s MIT students and an early employee, became a partner in 1960 and the firm’s name became Marvin E. Goody, John M. Clancy in 1962. Joan Edelman, a Harvard architecture graduate, married Marvin in 1960 and joined the practice shortly afterward. Goody Clancy’s commitment to research and social responsibility deepened during this period. Among the projects completed was the first award-winning, state-subsidized housing for the elderly in Massachusetts

1980s – 1990s

A focus on innovative housing design in the 1980s lead to two internationally recognized, mixed-income Boston projects: Tent City (1988), garnering a U.N. Habitat award among others; and Harbor Point (1990), the model for HUD’s HOPE VI public housing revitalization program. These and other similar projects embodied the firm’s commitment to social responsibility.

Our founders’ MIT connections led to a series of laboratory renovations and, later, to the design of new MIT buildings for cancer, biological, and brain research. The Whitehead Institute in 1984 was the beginning of the firm’s science and technology portfolio.

Another significant project in the early 1980s was the Massachusetts Transportation Office Building. With its unique heating and cooling system that recovers energy from people, equipment, computers, and lights this project helped establish Goody Clancy’s commitment to energy-efficient design and continues to use 30% less energy per square-foot than comparable buildings.

Expanding our Capabilities and Our Reach: From 2000 to the Present

Goody Clancy added civic-minded planning and urban design to our portfolio in the 1990s, and our breadth of work and geographic reach in this area have expanded dramatically over the years, having worked on projects in locations as diverse as Seattle, Karachi, Corpus Christi, Providence, Buffalo, Wichita, Atlanta, and Cambridge.

In 2001, preservation architect Jean Carroon and her staff joined the firm to expand our preservation practice. This has continued as one of the firm’s primary focus areas, with the renewal of buildings from the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. In addition to work on university campuses, our preservation and reuse projects include several major multi-building complexes for state and Federal agencies in Washington DC, New York State, Vermont and Massachusetts.

Building upon the firm’s first fifty years of work, we have greatly expanded our geographic reach, designing buildings for clients in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Texas, South Carolina, North Carolina, Alabama, Washington DC, New York and all of the New England States.

Looking Forward

Goody Clancy has evolved considerably from its roots in the mid-1950s, but our areas of commitment established in our early years remain: social engagement, sustainable design, building renewal and reuse, integrated planning and design, and projects that contribute to the social and economic vitality of communities.