Columbian Model & Exhibit Works, Ltd.                    312 243 2655                                   Return to Main Page   

“We have worked with Columbian Model & Exhibit Works for decades, on projects ranging from restorations to presentation models for clients, to producing a components of larger models. We have always found them to be extremely knowledgeable, friendly, easy to work with, and quick to anticipate problems or changes that needed to be made in the preliminary stages. We are a practice that champions modelmaking as an important tool in the design process, from conception to construction, and with their keen eye for detail, CM&E are the only model-makers in Chicago that we trust to supplement our in-house abilities.” – February 20, 2017 Schuyler Smith, Shop Co-Director, Studio Gang Architects 

“We have had the pleasure of working with Columbian Models for several years. They take the time to understand the intended purpose for the model and desired level of detail. Columbian builds quality models and are sensitive to schedule pressures. - May 10,2017 ”Terence A. Moeller AIA,Vice President, Director of Architecture Wight & Company

"Columbian Models is one of our most valued partners during and after the design process. Simply put, they just get it and Catherine and her team make the whole experience easy. I have personally worked with them for 30 years and have never found a single reason to go anywhere else.         They are “the best”.   January 30, 2017 James Plunkard, Partner, Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture

“We hired Columbian Model & Exhibit Works, Ltd. to build the scale model for our design for the University of Illinois Assembly Hall Renovations design competition. We were extremely satisfied with their work. Catherine was a pleasure to work with from our very first conversation. Her and her modeling team were professional, flexible, and passionate. They quickly became an integral part of our design team. They delivered an impressive model on an extremely tight schedule. I highly recommend Columbian Model & Exhibit Works, Ltd. for any type of presentation model.” August 2, 2011 Mark Ritz Principal at BLDD Architects

“... As a senior designer at Columbian John Schnell made certain that the product delivered to our client was of unparalleled quality, on time, and competitively priced. His attention to detail and commitment and dedication to his craft is remarkable.” February 17, 2010 
Keith Tyschper, AIA, LEED AP BD+C  Vice Chair East Region Associates Harley Ellis Devereaux 

“John Schnell  is one of the most detail oriented and thorough creators I have ever worked with. His models help us visualize a project that is still developing and they help our clients and buyers visualize their dreams and investments. John's service is an invaluable tool for our process of architecture and development and we will continue to rely on his creative mind and attention to detail.” February 4, 2010
Patrick Borzenski Vice President - Architecture and Design, Magellan Development Group

“I have enjoyed a long and productive working relationship with Cathy and Columbian Model over the many projects that we have worked on together. I heartily endorse ...   and give Cathy one of the highest recommendations.” January 4, 2010  Brian Kidd, Partner Pappageorge Haymes Partners

“Catherine and Columbian Model & Exhibit Works are simply the best model builder's in Chicago. We have worked with them on numerous buildings which we have designed, and in each and every case, we have been thrilled with the results. They have state-of-the-art tools, technology and people. It's nice to work with a group who understands our vision and the importance of detail and design.” January 4, 2010
Howard Hirsch, President, Hirsch Associates LLC

“I cannot choose only three of the attributes above to describe Cathy and her work. She simply is one of the best people I've ever worked with. Her tenacity and enthusiasm for the job she was hired for were the primary reasons we were successful with the project.” December 31, 2009
Charles Stanford, VP of Development at Chicago Architecture Foundation 

“I've worked with Catherine over the past eight years.  We do not trust any other company with this level of detail work. She is very personable, creative, and intuitive when it comes to approaching and completing a project - on time and to our expectations. She is continually adapting her process of model building, with new and clever techniques, with unparalleled results. Each project we do with her is a fun experience, and we plan to continue our collaboration with her.” December 30, 2008
Thomas Pope, Partner at Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture

“Cathy and her team have consistently provided excellent service to many of my developer clients while working under "unreasonable" time line expectations from myself and my clients, she always delivered.  They (CMEW) are able to adapt quickly and efficiently to changes in plan design and often provide experienced direction and insight to a project.” 
January 4, 2010
John Goldsworthy Executive Director of Sales and Marketing at At Properties  

Our Linked in Recommendations:

“After years of hearing about Cathy's company, CMEW, I finally had the opportunity to hire her and . . .  John Schnell, to construct an architectural model of a state-of-the-art proton beam cancer center, and everything went flawlessly
They started with a fee we could afford, gave us workable deadlines for information, invited us to review the results mid-completion, and had it finished early enough that we had plenty time to allow for shipping delays, which never occurred, because she recommended the shipper.
. . . we received a model from Cathy at about a third of the price (of our computer animation), expended a tenth of the coordination time and energy, and the model's impact on the audience was far greater than the animation! We could stand there and point out how this complex procedure worked . . ,
Through the entire process, Cathy and her team were friendly, flexible, professional, and everything was on budget and ahead of schedule. Thanks,” November 1, 2010
Steve Blye, AIA, LEED AP, Principal at RTKL 

“In the Architectural/Construction profession there is an old adage that goes; Quality, Cost and Schedule, pick two. 
Catherine and Columbia Models& Exhibit Works have consistently disproved that saying every time I have had the pleasure of working with them, creating an exquisite product on time and on budget. Her wonderful organization is able to bring life to an architectural model that greatly enhances the marketability of projects and adds a level of excitement, wonder and quality not yet achieved through virtual graphic tools. Columbian Model & Exhibit Works are state of the art, innovative, collaborative, adaptable, good communicators and fun to work with
Simply put, they are the best.”   June 24, 2010
Dan Young Dixon AIA LEED AP, Director National Design at Opus AE Group, Inc

“CHA had a huge architectural model project requiring us to hire the 3 top model makers in Chicago. She was able to provide all of our models on time, on budget, conducted a professional installation and even stored the model afterward. I would hire her in a heartbeat again.” November 24, 2008
James Isaacs, Director for the Office of Development Management for the Chicago Housing Authority.

Letters sent in support of our City of Chicago Model Project:  see all


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