Who, What, Where, Now!
Who Shakes that Egg?
when affordable housing works
Architect Derek Ryan is known for his love of skiing and his presence at live music shows in the Wood River Valley. He the guy who shakes that rattling egg. He’s his own percussion section.
Originally from Manchester on the Sea, Massachusetts, Ryan arrived in Ketchum in November 1999 to join best friend Jeff Williams at his eponymous architecture firm.
“I came from Seattle for work, and for a change of lifestyle,” he said, chuckling. “I’m a stable kind of dude.”
Jeff and Derek have been friends since 1980. In fact, it was at Derek’s first wedding in 1986, that Jeff, the best man, met his future wife, Melissa. (to read their story click here) She and Derek were friends from time spent (during a gap year) in Switzerland in 1972.
“The skiing is a big part of living here,” he said. “If it weren’t for the fact that there is ski area in my backyard, I wouldn’t have moved here for starters. If it disappeared for some reason, I might have to think about moving. It’s significant.”
In his tenth year in the Valley, Ryan was rewarded for his life stability by finally qualifying for affordable housing in Ketchum, through the Blaine County Housing Authority.
“I qualified by moving up on the list since people left town when they couldn’t get loans anymore or lost their jobs,” he said. “And also with the economic downturn my salary dropped and it put me in the right category.”
He moved early this fall into a one-bedroom apartment in a building on Ketchum’s Main Street that also houses the Idaho Independent Bank building. It has huge arched windows facing south and west, and taking in Bald Mountain, Derek’s backyard, as it were.
Not lost on this music-loving, ski-bum architect is the significance of the Housing Authority’s goal to put “working people” into homes at affordable sales and rental rates. He walks or rides his bike to work, is a regular out in town, and contributes to the energy of his locale. His apartment, which he purchased, seems more like a renovated space in a remodeled urban space, until you get a gander at the views.