Aston Resident Raymond Perko Responsible for Interior Design of Recognizable Delco Structures
By Loretta Rodgers
There are not many people who can honestly say they love their job. Aston resident Raymond Perko is one of those people.
An interior designer for more than 40 years, Perko has been involved in the interior design of some of the most recognizable buildings in the Delaware County and Tri-State area including the original MacDade Mall, St. Mary Magdalen Church in Upper Providence, the round real estate building in Swarthmore on U.S. Route 320; Clement Communications in Concord Township; the Commonwealth Club at the William Penn Inn; the lobby at Putnum Village in Wallingford; Twelve Caesars in Philadelphia; the Barbizon Hotel in New York City; and the Downingtown Inn, later called the Tabas Inn, made famous by actor Mickey Rooney.
“I have enjoyed my work my entire life,” Perko said. “Design is truly something I love to do and it has taken me all over the world. I have also met some very interesting people along the way.”
Perko’s line of work has taken him to many states and around the world to create the designs for banks and hotel lobbies, churches, apartment complexes and much more.
In addition to local designs, he has traveled to Milan, Italy to design the interior of a mall as well as to many states, including Maryland, where he designed the interior of One National Business Park in Anne Arundel County. The glass structure can be easily seen from the Interstate 95 between Maryland and Delaware.
Working for the KMS group at the time of construction, Perko was the recipient of an architectural award for the interior design of the building.
He has also been featured several times in architectural and interior design publications and was on the cover of the Interior Design Buyers Guide.
Perko was born in Schmokin, Pa. His family later moved to Delaware County and he graduated from Eddystone High School. He is married to Dolores (Dee) Perko and is the father of two children, Jeff and Cindy (McAlinney) and grandfather of eight.
He originally studied engineering at Penn State University and Penn Morton Colleges in Chester, but his focus changed to interior design. Perko graduated from the Philadelphia College of Art with a degree in interior design.
While taking night classes to complete his degree, Perko was employed by the Food Fair Corporation in their architectural department.
“I had my first design show while I was still in school,” Perko said. “I was fortunate to finish first in the state of Pennsylvania. Then my work was submitted nationally, where I took second place in the country.”
Over the years, Perko has been affiliated with some of the most prestigious firms in the area. In addition to the KMS Group, he was partner in Perko, Murphy and Grant and did numerous interior design jobs for the well-known architect Jack Swerman, who Perko refers to as his “mentor.”
Currently, Perko is doing consulting work for DAP Designs based in Aston.
Perko said he enjoys choosing materials for the interior designs and especially likes working with various woods, metals and stone.
“Working on St. Mary Magdalen Church was one of the most rewarding designs I have done,” Perko said. “The stained glass is absolutely beautiful as are the lighting fixtures which are totally retractable. It is a beautiful church.”
For Perko, his life has been filled with the love of family, gift of good friends and a job that “doesn’t even feel like work.”
“God has been very good to me and I am blessed to be doing what I love,” Perko said. “It has been a good, rewarding life.”