Russ met his wife, Ellen Longino, 34 years ago at NC State’s School of Design. After graduating from State, Ellen went on to study fine arts woodworking at Virginia Commonwealth University. Ellen received her general contractor’s license in 1985 and has been designing, building and renovating homes in the Triangle ever since. Their son, Jasper, plays piano, trombone and drums. He studies Graphic Design at N.C. State University.
A History of Service
Russ is the son of Col. F. G. Stephenson, US Army (retired) and Phyllis Stephenson, mother of four and award winning teacher of handicapped children in public schools. He holds two degrees from NC State, where he studied architecture and urban design and pursued a strong interest in improving people’s lives through design. He has always been active in the community, including two and a half years of service on the Raleigh Planning Commission .
In local schools he has served as a Board member and volunteer at Raleigh Preschool, a PTA Board member and volunteer at Hunter Elementary School, and a guest lecturer at NC State University and McKimmon Center.
As a Raleigh architect, he has donated time in schools for career days and assistant teaching. He has led walking tours of historic Downtown and Oakwood, managed the Raleigh Arts Commission project to produce the Guide Map to Modern Architecture in Raleigh, and led the effort to create the West Raleigh National Register Historic District.
Russ graduated summa cum laude in Architecture at NC State University and began working on projects for the State of North Carolina and for Triangle county governments and universities. Major projects include the $8+ million Cleveland Elementary School in Johnston County and Sea Island, GA resort projects valued at over $42 million.
Russ’s practice now focuses on historic preservation and urban design. He has currently completed several preservation projects, including the National Register designation and rehabilitation design for a 1925 African-American school in Nash County.