Donut goes to the Hardlines Design Co. office on Indianola Avenue even when his people are on vacation.

Donut goes to the Hardlines Design Co. office on Indianola Avenue even when his people are on vacation.

That's because, company President Charissa W. Durst said last week, she and husband Don Durst board the beagle at a kennel just around the corner. When they're away, Charissa Durst said, one or another of the employees of the architectural and planning firm fetches Donut during the day.

Founded by the Dursts in 1990, the firm now is a woman- and minority-owned firm, according to a recent announcement regarding Hardlines Design selling the cultural resources department to Michigan-based Commonwealth Heritage Group.

Employees affected by the sale won't have to go anywhere, Charissa Durst said. That's because they will continue to work out of office space in the same building where Hardlines Design is located.

That means they still will get to see Donut, who accompanies Durst to the office most days of the week.

"The sale will allow us to focus on architecture, specifically the preservation of historic buildings," Durst said in an announcement. "Architectural history and historic preservation are areas where we excel, and having this as our sole focus will allow us to grow this part of our business."

Commonwealth Heritage Group provides services in the areas of archaeology, architectural history, historical planning, history, preservation planning, landscape architecture, compliance and litigation support, and terrestrial and marine remote sensing, according to its website.

Durst, who bought out her husband and fellow architect a few years ago to become sole owner and president of Hardlines Design, was born in Hammond, Ind., where her father, a structural engineer, was teaching at Purdue University's Calumet campus. She grew up in suburban Boston after her father returned to the University of Massachusetts to complete his doctoral dissertation.

"I always wanted to be an architect ever since I could say that word in English and in Chinese," Durst recalled.

Her undergraduate degree is from the University of Maryland. Durst turned to Ohio State University when she became a graduate student.

Her interest in historic preservation was furthered by a summer job she and her then-boyfriend had with the National Park Service to document old bridges around Ohio.

What would become Hardlines Design Co. traces its origins to April 28, 1990, when the future Mr. and Mrs. Durst were working on another National Park Service project in the Akron area during spring break.

The man from whom they rented a room asked the couple, although not yet licensed architects, to design a three-bay car-repair garage and hobby shop.

"It got built and it looked pretty much the way we drew it," Charissa Durst said. "And it's still standing."

When the couple decided to open an office for their growing enterprise, they considered Washington, D.C., but settled on Columbus because it was so much more affordable.

Hardlines Design Co. participated in the Lincoln Theatre restoration project as well as the preservation and expansion of Stewart Elementary School, along with Schooley Caldwell Associates and other consultants. The latter project received the 2015 Best Historical School award from Heritage Ohio.

"We advocate good design to improve our community, whether it's a restored building or a new one," Durst said.

Donut, nestled on a dog bed underneath Durst's desk, advocated for a scratch behind the ear.

"For a dog, she's got it made," Durst said.