Tyson and Billy Architects

Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake Bars

I must say these are a rating of 5 out of 5 for me, they are delicious!

While I won’t tell you how many I ate, you’ll have to make them and see how fast they disappear. Enjoy!


For the base:

  • Butter, for greasing
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 9 graham crackers
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted

For the filling:

  • 16 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 lemons, zested and juiced
  • About 1/2 cup sugar, eyeball it
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
  • Powdered sugar, for dusting


Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

For the base:

Grease the bottom of a 9 by 9-inch baking pan with butter.  Then place parchment paper over the top, pressing down at the corners.

In a food processor, process the sugar, cinnamon and graham crackers until you have the texture of bread crumbs.  Add the melted butter and pulse a couple of times to fully incorporate. Pour into the lined baking pan and gently pat down with the base of a glass. Bake in the oven for 12 minutes until golden. When done set aside to cool.

For the filling:

Add cream cheese, eggs, lemon zest, lemon juice and sugar to the food processor and mix until well combined. It should have a smooth consistency. Pour onto the cooled base and then cover with blueberries.

They will sink slightly but should still be half exposed - as the cake bakes they will sink a little more and break down.

Bake in the oven for 35 minutes or until the center only slightly jiggles. Remove from the oven and cool completely before refrigerating for at least 3 hours. Once set, remove from pan using the parchment lining and slice into 10 rectangular bars. Dust with powdered sugar.

~ Lori

Lori approved recipe courtesy of the Food Network, beautiful images by the Epicurean Mom.




AIA 2012 in Washington D.C.


If you've been following our Facebook Page you know Ron Billy (Our President) was at AIA 2012 in Washington D.C. last week.

As architects our field is always advancing. Our focus is to connect with continuing education and learning opportunities to stay on top of what's new, changing, and improving in the field of Architecture.

Ron did take some time between classes to catch a baseball game at Nationals Park through a AIA hosted event, and a quick tour through the National Mall in Washington D.C.

Here are the pictures he brought back, enjoy!

Nationals Park

Nationals Park is the nation's first major professional stadium to become LEED Silver Certified by the U.S. Green Building Council. The project incorporates a variety of sustainable design elements.

AIA Exhibitor's Hall

General Assembly & Key Note Speakers

Notable Art from the Exhibitor's Hall: barstools, bikes, and kayaks!

Tile Boots

Beautiful Sculptured Stone Fixture at the Washington Convention Center

 ~ Pictures and a little bit of history from Ron's National Mall tour ~

The Treasury Department

The original Treasury building was located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and partially destroyed by fire in 1801. In 1836, Congress authorized the construction of a "fireproof building", and commissioned architect Robert Mills (also the architect of the Washington Monument and the Patent Office Building).

Impressive fact:  the original 30 columns are 36 feet tall, and carved out of a single block of granite!

After many years of additions the design intent "to leave unobstructed the view from the White House to the Capitol" was lost along the way.  Still it is very stoic with its beautiful Greek Revival architecture.

The White House

History on the architect: The White House was designed by Irish-born James Hoban, and built between 1792 and 1800 of white-painted Aquia sandstone in the Neoclassical style.

Old Executive Office Building / Dwight D. Eisenhower Administration Building

This building was originally called the State, War, and Navy Building because it housed those departments. It was built between 1871 and 1888 in the French Second Empire-style by Alfred B. Mullett.

World War II Memorial

This Memorial honors the 16 million who served in the armed forces of the U.S., the more than 400,000 who died, and all who supported the war effort from home.

Symbolic of the defining event of the 20th Century, the memorial is a monument to the spirit, sacrifice, and commitment of the American people.

Korean War Veterans Memorial

This memorial is in the form of a triangle intersecting a circle with walls 164 feet long, 8 inches thick representing more than 100 tons of highly polished "Academy Black" granite.

Within the walled triangle are 19 stainless steel statues designed by Frank Gaylord. Each stature ranges between 7 feet 3 inches and 7 feet 6 inches tall and weighing nearly 1,000 pounds.

More than 2,500 photographic and archival images are sandblasted onto the wall which represent the land, sea and air troops who supported those who fought in the war.

The figures represent a squad on patrol, drawn from each branch of the armed forces; fourteen of the figures are from the U.S. Army, three are from the Marine Corps, one is a Navy Corpsman, and one is an Air Force Forward Air Observer. They are dressed in full combat gear, dispersed among strips of granite and juniper bushes which represent the rugged terrain of Korea.

Lincoln Memorial

The Lincoln Memorial honors the nation’s 16th president, Abraham Lincoln. Dedicated in 1922, architect Henry Bacon designed the Greek-inspired temple.

The Lincoln statue, which tops out at 19 feet, was sculpted by Daniel Chester French, the chairman of the Commission of Fine Arts.

Architecture at the Lincoln Memorial

Washington Monument

Did you know  the Washington Monument was built as a tribute to our first president, George Washington?

Architectural tidbit: The marble monument was made to look like an Egyptian obelisk. The Washington Monument has two different shades of white as construction halted during the Civil War when funding ran out. When it resumed in 1879, marble was imported from a different state.Parts of the Washington Monument are under construction for renovations as a result of earthquake damage in August 2011

Vietnam Veterans Memorial

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall is dedicated to honoring those who died in the Vietnam War.

Design by Maya Ying Lin the Memorial Wallis made up of two gabbro walls 246 feet 9 inches long.

When a visitor looks upon the wall, his or her reflection can be seen simultaneously with the engraved names, which is meant to symbolically bring the past and present together.

Smithsonian Castle

The Smithsonian's first building is a grand structure built in 1855, which now houses most of the museum's administrative offices.

The Smithsonian Castle was designed by Mr. James Renwick, Jr. (also known for New York's St. Patrick's Cathedral).

The design is Norman in style, described as "a 12th-century combination of late Romanesque and early Gothic motifs".

View down Pennsylvania Avenue

As we approach Memorial Day Weekend, I find it a appropriate time to remember our Nation's History and reflect on those these monuments and memorials give tribute to. For their greatness and bravery we know freedom.

~ Kelly


Nationals Park, Treasury Building, The White House, Dwight D. Eisenhower Administration Building, WWII Memorial, Korean War Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, & Smithsonian Castle.


Tyson and Billy & Life Services Network


For those of you looking for Ron and Kelly the past few days and found them missing … they were at our annual trade show for Life Services Network (LSN) at Navy Pier.

Tyson and Billy Architects is a proud member of LSN which is the largest eldercare association in Illinois. LSN is a complete continuum of services for older adults, and community based services.

The past 40-years of our 93 year design history has been largely dedicated to Long Term Living and Senior Housing design. Through offering full service Architecture and Interior Design we are able to interlace each detail of the project together for results that say “welcome home” to each and every resident.

Nationwide we have designed senior living facilities with the belief that design has the power to evoke a sense of belonging, wellbeing, and community vital to senior living.

Lutheran Social Services of Illinois •  Spring Ridge Independent Senior Living Facility •  Rockford, IL

Tyson and Billy Architects Senior Living Design:

  Our Mission

As Architects, Designers, and Developers we strive to build long term living facilities that bridge your community's needs with beautiful living environments that evoke a sense of belonging and wellbeing.

Our Values:

“Success lies in the philosophy that we can reach the end users and change their lives in a positive way”

            – Ronald G. Billy, Jr., AIA, LEED AP BD+C

 Our Services

Architecture • Interior Design • Planning • Development

Long Term Living Experience

  • Independent Senior Living
  • Assisted Living Facilities
  • Skilled Nursing and Immediate Care Facility
  • Market Rate Housing
  • Supportive Living Facilities
  • Independent Housing for Persons with Disabilities
  • Community Living Facilities
  • Intermediate Care for the Developmentally Disabled
  • Sheltered Care Facilities
Lutheran Social Services of Illinois •  Spring Ridge Independent Senior Living Facility •  Rockford, IL

The housing industry is not just our expertise, but our passion and we hope to have the opportunity to share both with you.

Thanks to all those that visited our booth at LSN this year! We look forward to seeing you again next year.

~ Kelly

For more information on Life Services Network visit them here.