Murphy & Dittenhafer Architects has been commissioned by St. John the Evangelist Church and the Archdiocese of Baltimore to provide architectural design services for a new parish activities center addition for the church, located in Severna Park, Maryland. The firm was selected in conjunction with general contractor Stewart & Tate, as part of a design-build project delivery team.

The new, 14,500-square foot addition will serve multiple functions with a new fellowship hall/gymnasium, pre-function lobby gathering space, offices, storage, restrooms, and mechanical and utility spaces. The addition will provide expanded space to support the needs of the congregation of St. John the Evangelist Church, the students of St. John the Evangelist school, members of St. John’s Athletic Association, and the surrounding community.

The project, considered phase one of a planned series of building projects, must meet current needs while offering flexibility for projected uses and future academic building expansions. Murphy & Dittenhafer’s design will fit within the context of the existing facilities, which have been built and modified over the last fifty years, while creating a modern aesthetic. The architects’ vision is to achieve a spirit of inspiration and fellowship, reflect the identity of the Catholic Church, and incorporate sustainable materials and features.

Murphy & Dittenhafer expects to complete the design work for this $4 million project in October 2016.




Murphy & Dittenhafer Architects designed the recently-completed expansion and enhancements for the Reid Menzer Memorial Skatepark in York, Pennsylvania.

The firm worked with the skatepark committee, local skaters, municipal officials, and community leaders for several years to design an expansion that addressed the specific needs of skaters who use the regionally popular venue.

The park, which was built completely through donations (including donated materials and labor), opened in 2008 on land provided by the City of York within Memorial Park. It’s been built and maintained in honor of Reid Menzer, a 14-year-old York City resident who was killed when he was struck by a car while riding his homemade street luge in 2006.

An estimated 20,000 visitors per year ride the park. It has become a regional destination and usage is high year-round. There is high demand for expanded hours, additional seating, and increased obstacles and areas so that a wider range of ages and skill levels can safely coexist. Heavy usage and weather damage had also eroded the park perimeter over time.

The 13,000-square foot expansion provides an area for beginner-level skaters and has stabilized park perimeter edge conditions with skateable and non-eroding surfaces. The expansion incorporates a variety of skateable concrete structures, steel rails, and ramps. Edges have been “cleaned up” with the installation of found objects, including granite curbing, concrete slabs, and brick pavers from municipal scrap piles and manufacturers’ overstock.

New lighting throughout the park allows for safe nighttime use. One 60-foot central light pole with 10 fixtures provides 90% of the skatepark lighting, with supplemental LED lighting at a few locations to provide full coverage. The addition of a 12-foot diameter, 21-foot-long section of an oil storage tank for skaters to pass through reinforces the theme of reuse. Local graffiti artists will eventually paint the steel surfaces of the 60-foot light pole and the oil tank.

“The expansion will provide new space and features for the thousands of skaters who use the park year-round,” said Eric Menzer, a member of the skatepark committee and Reid Menzer’s father. “The fact that it is so popular is a wonderful testament to the city who embraced adding a skatepark to Memorial Park, and the generous people who made it possible to both build the original park and do this expansion. Providing a safe and legal place for people to skate is what it’s all about.”





Murphy & Dittenhafer Architects was commissioned by Harrisburg Area Community College (HACC) to design a new student commons area within the Governor George M. Leader Building at their York campus.


The project creates a space for students to congregate between classes. It will be an anchor for the building, with several seating areas and a Subway sandwich franchise. The 3,000 square foot student commons includes a high, countertop seating area made from recycled glass, banquette seating along a wall with reed product panel backing, new booth seating, and clusters of tables and chairs. The ceiling is a combination of inlaid tile and exposed ceiling. A hanging cork element floats over the high counter, while a zig-zagging bulkhead sits around the food service area.

The $700,000 improvement project began in August 2015 and will be completed this month.