Paul Steinbrecher, AIA

Principal – Architect

Paul joined IDEA in 1997 with a deep skillfulness in civic architecture and historic preservation as well as extensive experience with libraries, academic, cultural and religious institutions. He is a sought-after teacher and lecturer for organizations including the Chicago Architectural Foundation, American Library Association, Chicago Public Library, Chicago Public Radio, Chicago Opera Theatre and Chicago Historical Society among many others.

Paul is a visiting critic in the Master’s in Architecture degree program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and is a member of the Society of Architectural Historians. He is a Trustee and member of the Executive Committee of the Disciples Divinity House of the University of Chicago and a former Director of the Royal Oak Foundation, the American chapter of the National Trust of England, Wales and Northern Ireland. He is a dedicated meditation practitioner, and travels widely to collaborate in practical applications of mindfulness.

Selected Experience

  • Heritage Strategy Building Documentation Reports, The University of Chicago
  • Milwaukee Federal Courthouse Renovations, General Services Administration
  • Chicago Theological Seminary Consulting Architect
  • Disciples Divinity House, The University of Chicago
  • Fourth Presbyterian Church of Chicago Renovations
  • West Town Branch Renovation, Chicago Public Library
  • Wilmette Public Library Renovations
  • Skokie Public Library Renovations
  • Montague Branch Addition and Renovation, Rockford Public Library
  • YOUmedia Teen Space Renovations, Chicago Public Library
  • New West Entry and Train Station, Lincoln Park Zoo
  • Harris Family Black Rhino Exhibit Renovation, Lincoln Park Zoo
  • Farm-in-the-Zoo, Lincoln Park Zoo
  • Bolingbrook Farm, Village of Bolingbrook
  • Washington Block Façade Restoration, MARC Realty


Master of Architecture
University of Illinois, Chicago

Bachelor in Classical Languages & Spanish
Grinnell College


Licensed Architect
State of Illinois, 1988