posted Feb 24, 2019 by mannda

The 2019 FAIA awards were bestowed on Thomas Fowler IV, Anzilla R. Gilmore, Dominique M. Hawkins, Kevin M. Holland, Darren Lamarr James, Michael W. Johns, Burchell F. Pinnock, and Jimmie E. Tucker. Please congratulate them.

Professor Kermit J. Lee

posted Jan 16, 2019 by mannda

Kermit J. Lee, Jr., 83, died on Tuesday, January 16, 2018 with his devoted and loving wife of 55 years, Lore Leipelt Lee, at his side. Born in Springfield, Massachusetts in 1934 and a Syracuse resident for more than 50 years, Kermit was a Professor of Architecture at Syracuse University and co-owner of Skoler and Lee Architects with the late Louis Skoler.

A 1957 magna cum laude graduate of S.U. with a degree in architecture, Kermit pursued graduate study at Technische Hochschule in Braunschweig Germany as a Fulbright Fellow. While in Europe he also served as Chief of Architecture, a civilian post with the Seventh Air Force AFEX.

His professional accomplishments include: Chairing the NY State Board of Architecture, charter membership on NY State Governor Mario Cuomo’s Cultural Advisory Committee for Times Square and 42nd Street, and investiture as a Fellow, College of Fellows, American Institute of Architects. As the first black graduate of the School of Architecture, he was particularly proud of his mentoring role for minority students.

A stroke ended his teaching career in 1994, but did not diminish his immense intellect, sense of humor, entrepreneurial spirit, or devotion to family. Predeceased by his parents, Kermit, Sr. and Lillian Jackson Lee, Kermit leaves his wife Lore, daughter Karin George (Richard), son Jason A. Lee, two grandchildren, his four siblings, Ronald, William, Judith and Deborah, as well as many nieces, nephews and cousins who will all miss him dearly.

In lieu of flowers, gifts can be made to Syracuse University with “Kermit Lee Scholarship” on the memo line if by check (Send to: Syracuse University, Attn: Jodie Ralston, Womens Building, 820 Comstock Ave. Suite 214D, Syracuse, NY 13244-5040 or at

Mortimer Marshall Jr., FAIA

posted Jun 14, 2018 by mannda

It is with sadness that we share the following news... NOMA has lost one of its original founding members and his supportive spouse. See the message below from the Tuskegee Alumni Association: Remembering Mortimer M. Marshall Jr., FAIA and wife, Betty Laverne Marshall June 14, 2018

With deepest sympathy, we regret to inform our alumni family of the passing of Mortimer Mercer Marshall, Jr. on June 13, 2018. The memorial service will take place in conjunction with the late Betty Laverne Marshall, his beloved wife, who passed away on April 26, 2018. Friday, June 15th, 2018, services will take place at 2 p.m., at The Atrium at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens, 9750 Meadowlark Gardens Court, Vienna, VA 22182.

Mortimer M. Marshall Jr., FAIA, was honored with the Whitney Young Award for his continued dedication to architecture as a vehicle for leadership and service.

CONGRATULATIONS to the first 22 newly licensed architects in 2018

posted Apr 29, 2018 by mannda

1. Talisha Lynn Sainvil 2. Clarence Powell 3. Seyi S. Audu 4. Danielle Dyonne Madyun 5. Jamila Aisha Hazel 6. Timothy M. Stone 7. Cindy Michel 8. Susan Nwankpa Gillespie 9. Justin Taplet 10. Kendal Thomas Bowman 11. Pierre Ramon Roberson 12. Chudi K. Abajue 13. Melanie Ray 14. Lennel B. Hunter 15. Shantee Lee Blain 16. Victoria Rachel Stokes 17. Reginald Marques Truxon 18. Ander Virgilio Hav 19. LaQuinta Lorraine Jackson 20. Curtis Monette 21. Elliot M. Brown 22. Paul L.R. Ferguson

ENR New York Top Young Professionals

posted Feb 23, 2018 by mannda

Danei Cesario Architect brings efficiency to health care projects 31, Project Architect Array Architects New York City

Cesario’s portfolio spans a wide variety of project types, but all are products of superior organization, efficient utilization of resources and interdisciplinary collaboration, from concept through construction.

She played an integral role in the reconstruction and expansion of New York University’s Langone Medical Center’s network of health care sites, some of which were devastated by Hurricane Sandy. She’s also contributed to 60,000 sq ft of revitalized space and three outpatient facilities.

Cesario’s zeal for helping junior staff members advance their careers is matched by her active advocacy for diversity and inclusivity. She’s a leader in the New York City chapters of AIA and the National Organization of Minority Architects, the Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation and Women in Architecture.

“(It’s) vital for my daughters to grow up seeing a mother who is fulfilled and passionate about all of the areas of her life so they can be encouraged to strive for the same.” —DANEI CESARIO, Project Architect, Array Architects

Pascale Sablan. AIA

posted Feb 12, 2018 by mannda

2018 Young Architects Award Recipient

Emerging talent deserves recognition. The AIA Young Architects Award honors individuals who have demonstrated exceptional leadership and made significant contributions to the architecture profession early in their careers.

An articulate architect and mentor, Pascale Sablan, AIA, is only the 315th black female architect to receive licensure in the United States. With a passion for design that took root long before she began to practice, Sablan seeks excellence and humanity in all of her projects while providing a resounding voice for the issues facing women architects and architects of color.

Last year Sablan joined New York City’s S9 Architecture as a senior associate. Previously she had been an associate at the New York’s FXFOWLE Architects for more than a decade. As a member of FXFOWLE’s design team, she contributed to a number of commercial, cultural, and residential projects in the U.S., Asia, and the Middle East. In Boston, Sablan played a critical role—from concept through construction administration—for 888 Boylston Street, a 425,000-square-foot addition to the Prudential Center Complex. The LEED Platinum building is a landmark in sustainability and the highest-performing speculative office building in New England.

Sablan’s work has garnered a number of awards and honors, including the AIA New York/Center for Architecture Emerging Professional Award in 2014. A year later she was named National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA) member of the year. Through her guidance as president in 2016, the New York Coalition of Black Architects was named NOMA Chapter of the Year and has since enjoyed a membership increase of more than 25 percent.

Throughout her involvement with NOMA, Sablan has developed programs to educate and empower minority architects. Her chapter’s Project Pipeline introduces elementary school students to architecture, sending design professionals to visit New York City schools. The program also offers financial assistance to one student and one recently licensed professional each year. Additionally, Sablan revamped NOMA’s collaborations with AIA New York’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee, the results of which were illustrated in the recent exhibition Sablan curated at the Center for Architecture, “Say It Loud: Distinguished Black Designers of NYCOBA|NOMA.”

Deeply committed to strengthening the profession and ensuring its future success, Sablan lectures regularly at colleges and universities, including Columbia University, Georgia Tech University, Pratt Institute, and Parsons School of Design. A regular participant in the ACE Mentor Program, she worked with students to design a new school campus in Cap-Haïtien, Haiti, replacing what was devastated in the 2010 earthquake. Their efforts there were recognized with a NOMA Prize for Excellence in Design (Unbuilt).

Dedicated to developing a more humane society, Sablan has a passion for architecture and social responsibility that is unsurpassed. While her many accomplishments speak for themselves, her prominent voice for women and architects of color is perhaps the most important one.

Sandra Madison AIA

posted Jan 25, 2018 by mannda

Featured Member - Sandra Madison, AIA

As the CEO and chairperson of a Cleveland firm started by her uncle-in-law, and with a daughter pursuing licensure in New York City, Sandra Madison is part of an architectural legacy.

Like many others, Sandra Madison, AIA, started training for being an architect as a child, without even knowing what one was. Now, she’s the CEO and chairperson of Robert P Madison International in Cleveland, a firm founded by her uncle-in-law. Robert Madison started the firm in 1954 when few would hire a black architect; Sandra now carries on his legacy by striving to make the world a better place for all through design.

I grew up in a disadvantaged neighborhood in Baltimore. There was poverty, boarded-up houses, and asphalt and concrete paving, but all I could see was what the neighborhood could be versus what it was. My mom was very active in the community, trying to raise money to beautify our surroundings. I was always there with her, ready to paint and plant flowers; the housing department would always give us free paint. Even though the paint was the wrong color, it was free and we made it work.

Designing was always a passion of mine. I had little sisters and I would design Barbie houses out of cardboard boxes or I was sketching or redesigning my clothing—anything creative. In my final year of high school, my counselor asked what major I wanted to pursue in college. I replied, as many students do, “I don’t know.” She said, “You excel in math, you’re great at art; why don’t you try architecture?” I asked, “What do architects do?” I had never in my life met one.

When I went to the University of Maryland, College Park in the mid-1970s, there was not a lot of diversity. Out of the 80 students entering the School of Architecture in my sophomore class, there were five black students that I could remember—three females and two males. By the end of my third year, I was the only one remaining. I personally never felt any outward discrimination. My goal was to keep moving forward and get where I wanted to be.

“To any aspiring minority female or male architect, don’t let the lack of diversity deter you. Stay positive and never give up.” Growing up in an impoverished neighborhood made me want to be that person that made a difference. I wanted to connect to the community, to design, to make things better for the people around me. My mom was amazing in that regard; she would say, “All of you to my five siblings and me are going to get your college degrees and become contributing members of society.” And we all got our degrees, and we’re all in professions that serve our community.

My daughter is now pursuing licensure in New York City, but she didn’t leap into architecture. She saw the hours my husband and I both worked as architects and doubted if she would have the same passion. But she has a natural ability inherited from her parents, her grandfather, and granduncle – all architects. I said to her, “You have a gift. I can’t guarantee that you will like architecture, but I guarantee you will know by the end of your first year, because you won’t want to pull the all-nighters.”

She didn’t quite understand what I meant at the time, but of course she loved it. I didn’t say “I told you so,” but I knew she would. Even though she didn’t grow up in the same environment as I did, she has the same sense of wanting to help others. She’s now mentoring students in New York; it makes me proud to see her accomplishments.

To any aspiring minority female or male architect, don’t let the lack of diversity deter you. Stay positive and never give up. It’s all about what you want and who you are; you have the power to accomplish your goals despite any obstacles that may arise. Acknowledge the obstacles and find a way to conquer them. —As told to Steve Cimino

Architecs born outside of the US

posted Jan 12, 2018 by mannda

We are very proud that we list 332 (15.3%) African American Architects (of 2166) who were born outside of the American mainland. The majority were born in nearly every sub-Saharan African country as well as many Caribbean countries .

Kwesi Daniels

posted Aug 3, 2017 by mannda

Kwesi Daniels selected as head of architecture department at Tuskegee University

Kwesi Daniels, a 2002 graduate of Tuskegee University, has been selected to head the university’s Department of Architecture in the Robert R. Taylor School of Architecture and Construction Science.

Daniels’ 15-year career has included teaching architecture and sustainability principles at the university level at Tuskegee University, Columbia University, the University of Illinois at Chicago, Temple University and New York University. Through his professional practice, he has garnered expertise in the areas of affordable housing development, historic preservation, sustainability, community outreach and urban design.

“Mr. Daniels’ dissertation research will be a major asset for our school’s efforts to employ strategies helping make our campus and the surrounding community more socially sustainable,” said Carla Jackson Bell, the school’s dean. “We look forward to his contributions, which I trust will build on the department and school’s rich legacy of excellence.”

After Daniels earned a bachelor of architecture degree from Tuskegee, he completed a master’s degree in architecture at the University of Illinois at Chicago and a master’s degree in sustainability management at Columbia University. He currently is finishing a Ph.D. in geography and urban studies at Temple University.

Roger Courtney Lewis

posted Jul 13, 2017 by mannda

We are saddened to learn of the passing of architect Roger C. Lewis, father of R. Steven Lewis, FAIA. Mr. Lewis passed on July 10, 2017. His joy in life was his family who he adored and was very proud of each of his children and their many accomplishments. He will be missed.

Lolalisa King

posted Jun 16, 2017 by mannda

Lolalisa King died unexpectedly in Houston this week. The arrangements for Lolalisa King's Memorial Service will be held Thursday, June 22, 2017 5 - 9 PM at (Ivy Beyond the Walls) Forest Park Westheimer Funeral Home 12809 WestheimerRoad, Houston, TX 77077 and Monday June 26, 2017 5:30 to 8 PM at Mt. Pilgrim Baptist Church 9700 Scenic Highway, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70807. Our condolences To Lolalisa's family, friends, and colleagues.

Milton S.F. Curry

posted Apr 12, 2017 by mannda

Milton S. F. Curry has been named dean of the USC School of Architecture, effective July 1. He will hold the Della and Harry MacDonald Dean’s Chair in Architecture. Curry comes to USC from the University of Michigan Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, where he is associate dean for academic affairs and strategic initiatives. Chosen after an extensive national search, Curry is at the forefront of disciplinary areas on race, architecture and urbanism that engages cultural theory and humanities research. “We are honored and excited to welcome Professor Curry to the USC School of Architecture,” said Provost Michael Quick. “Architecture has a profound impact on our culture. It is a profession and an art, local and global, and extremely creative. We know that Professor Curry will lead our students, faculty, research and practice to new heights.” Curry is founder of CriticalProductive Journal, an academic journal focused on scholarship and creative work on architecture, urbanism and cultural theory; and was co-founder of Appendx Journal in the early 1990s. As an architectural designer, he has engaged in strategic projects including an invited exhibition project at the Studio Museum in Harlem, speculative large-scale urban real estate and redevelopment work in Oakland, California, and speculative work for DefJam entertainment company, among others. Curry obtained a bachelor of architecture degree from Cornell University and a master in architecture post-professional degree with distinction from Harvard Graduate School of Design. His concentration was architecture theory.

Victor H. Wilburn

posted Mar 10, 2017 by mannda


Of Washington, DC passed away peacefully on May 26, 2015. He was the only son and youngest of three children born to the late Victor and Katherine Wilburn on January 23, 1931 in Omaha, Nebraska. He received a Master in Architecture from Harvard University. In 1962, he started the architectural and planning firm, Victor H. Wilburn & Associates, with offices in Philadelphia, PA and Washington D.C. He was a member of Episcopal Church of Our Savior and several different civic organizations. He is survived by his wife, Cheryl Daves Wilburn; six children: his sister Katherine Cunningham; seven grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, and a multitude of family members and friends. The Memorial Service will be held at the Episcopal Church of Our Saviour, 1700 Powder Mill Road, Silver Spring, Maryland, on Thursday, June 11, 2015, at 11:00 am. Memorial gifts in lieu of flowers may be made in Victor H. Wilburn's name, payable to Parkinson's Foundation of the National Capital Area Gift Fund (PFNCA) and mailed to: PFNCA, 7700 Leesburg Pike, Suite 208, Falls Church, VA 22043; or payable to: Harvard School of Design; (GSD Fund/In memory of Victor Wilburn), and mailed to: Office of the Recording Secretary, Harvard University, 124 Mt. Auburn Street, 4th Floor, Cambridge, MA 02138. - See more at:

Recent Passings

posted Feb 10, 2017 by mannda

We regret to inform you that our research has uncovered the passing of the following architects: Mr. Preston Chandler Moore NJ; Mr. Ambrose Jackson, Jr. NE; Mr. James G. Randle MO; Mr. Curvin H. Hollimon, PA

Mr. Howard Sims

posted Apr 3, 2016 by mannda

Howard Sims, known for both his iconic Detroit buildings and his trailblazing efforts to diversify the fields of architecture, planning and design, has died at age 82, according to a family spokesman.

Mr. Sims passed away early Thursday in Detroit due to complications from a heart attack, said David Rudolph.

In 1964, Mr. Sims founded his Detroit firm, Sims and Associates, which today is known as SDG Associates, downtown. It is Michigan’s oldest black-owned architecture firm, Rudolph said.

Mr. Sims played a key role in designing the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, the renovated Cobo Center, the Millender Center apartments, the Detroit Wayne County Port Authority Public Dock & Terminal and the Wayne County Community College main campus.

Elsewhere in Michigan, some of his notable projects include the School of Social Work at the University of Michigan and facilities at the Detroit Metropolitan Airport.

He and his wife, Judith, established several scholarships, intended for students of color pursuing architecture and planning careers, at the University of Michigan and Lawrence Technological University.

One of the scholarships set up at Lawrence Tech honors a former student from

Tarlee W. Brown, Architect

posted Jan 28, 2016 by mannda

Mr. Tarlee Brown recently passed. His obituary and summary of his career can be found on the following website: Our sympathies go to his family.

Desiree Cooper

posted Nov 15, 2015 by mannda

A story from PennLive about Desiree Cooper's life.

Fred Clement

posted Nov 6, 2015 by mannda

Fred James Clement Nov. 6, 1940 - Oct. 26, 2015 Resident of El Sobrante Fred Clement was born in Arkadelphia, Arkansas to Sam and Eldora Clement. Cultivated in West Oakland, Fred graduated from McClymonds High School in 1958. As a young man, his artistic abilities were recognized by his father. He began his career working with his father, who owned a construction company, and eventually graduated from UC Berkeley, earning a Bachelor's degree and Master's in Architecture. In the process of pursuing his career, he married his loving wife June Irvin in 1966, who preceded him in death. He lived a life devoted to his family, and stressed the importance of education. His professional career as a practicing licensed architect spans over 34 years, including working with the City of Richmond, and as a member of various professional organizations. He served as Head Deacon as a member of Hosanna Church of God and Christ located in Oakland. He departed from us after battling cancer. He will be deeply missed. He is survived by his children: Toni, Desiree, April, Frederick, and Todd Clement; 11 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Quiet hour at Fouche Hutson 11/5/15 at 6-7pm. Services will be held at Mingleton Temple/Oakland 11/6/15 at 11am.

View the online memorial for Fred James Clement Published in Contra Costa Time - See more at:

Norcell Haywood

posted Aug 3, 2015 by mannda

Mr. Norcell D. Haywood passed on June 16, 2015

Norcell D. Haywood’s life journey began on January 23, 1935 in Bastrop, Texas, where he was born to the late Roy Haywood, Sr. and Amanda Green Haywood, and ended on June 15, 2015, in San Antonio. He professed his faith at an early age and was a member of Second Baptist Church in San Antonio.

Norcell was one of the first four African-American students to be admitted to the University of Texas, and was the second African American to graduate from the UT School of Architecture in 1960. After graduation, he taught at Prairie View A&M University’s School of Engineering, followed by employment at the City of Austin Planning Department. In 1968, Norcell became the first licensed African-American Architect in San Antonio. He founded Norcell D. Haywood & Associates in 1965. In 1971, Haywood Jordan McCowan SAT Inc (HJM) was founded, with offices in San Antonio, Houston, and Dallas. HJM was the recipient of the numerous awards, including the prestigious Merit Design and Honor Awards. Major projects included the University of Texas–Dallas Student Union Center; various churches, including Second Baptist Church, in San Antonio. Also notable was the Texas Southern University Physical Education Building, and Business Technology Building in Houston; Lincoln Magnet High School in Dallas; the Alamodome Stadium, and completion of the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio. Norcell’s profes¬sional memberships included the American Institute of Architects. He was also a lifetime member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity. As the first African-American to be appointed to the Texas Board of Architectural Examiners, he served as Vice-Chairman of the Board. He was also a delegate to the White House Sub-Committee on Small Business in 1995.

“I am not a civil rights person, I am an architect who is civil-minded,” Norcell once stated. He believed that architecture could have a healing effect on the community. Passionate about early childhood development, Norcell actively supported the YMCA, Boys’ and Girls’ Club of San Antonio, was an NAACP life member, and was cited with awards for his humanitarian and civic duties.

Norcell was preceded in death by his parents; his stepmother, Ethel Haywood; aunt, Bertha Hatch; two sisters, Vallie Mae Haywood, Lalavane Haywood Johnson; and three brothers, Roy Haywood Jr. (Bo), Turner George Haywood (Dooney), and Marshall Lee Haywood (Big Boy); sister, Bertha Mae Clark; and niece, Mary Ann Young. Loving memories will be forever cherished by his sons, Michael Obershan and David Norcell Haywood; his daughters, Natalie Dawn Haywood and Nan Deliah Haywood; his grandchildren, Erica Haywood, Terrence Littlefield II, Marcus Obershan, Elizabeth Littlefield and Maya Haywood; his great grandchildren, Marckus Haywood and Maliyah Blackmon; aunt, Lula Mae Haywood; sister, Annie Middleton (Poncho); sister-in-law, Henrietta Haywood Vinsen, and family. Norcell will be truly missed by his family, friends and many people whose lives he touched.

Roger Margerum

posted Jul 11, 2015 by mannda

MARGERUM ROGER W. Beloved husband of Frances and father of Michael and Kim passed away at age 85 on June 21. He is survived by his brother, Charles, as well as grand and great- grandchildren. Roger opened one of the first independent minority owned firms operating in the mid seventies and he was a founding member of the National Organization of Minority Architects and was honored in 2008 with the Detroit Lifetime Achievement Award. He was awarded the AIA Detroit Gold Medal in 2011. His last project was the 45 degree angle house, built for his late wife, Fran. Roger was born and grew up in Chicago and graduated from the University of Illinois in 1956 with a BA in Architecture. He moved to Detroit in 1965, making it his home until he moved to an independent living apartment in Henry Ford Village two years ago. A Memorial Service will be in July; specifics to be finalized. - See more at:

New Competition

posted Mar 27, 2015 by mannda

The Peace Corps Commemorative Foundation (PCCF) announces an open, two-stage, national design competition to select an artistically exceptional design concept for a permanent commemorative work in Washington, D.C. The commemorative work will honor the American ideals expressed and embodied in Peace Corps service. The competition provides designers from all across the United States an opportunity to create a compelling, truly unique commemorative work of public art that is bold and inspirational.

Information on the competition can be found at: Stage I of the design competition began Monday March 9, 2015, with the launch of the design competition website, The deadline for Stage I registration and design concept submissions is Friday, June 12, 2015.

High School Career Day

posted Dec 9, 2014 by mannda

June Grant, an architect in Oakland, CA is collecting images for High School Career Day in Oakland. The link below explains everything. PLEASE SEND HER IMAGES OF YOUR WORK + any identifying info.

Percent of Women

posted Jun 10, 2014 by mannda

According to the AIA 17% of all AIA members are female. Our Directory shows that 16.3% of African American architects are women - major progress in the last ten years. Still more to go.

Harold Varner

posted Jan 6, 2014 by mannda

Detroit Architect Harold Varner Dies at Age 78 . Associated Press - Harold Varner, an architect on the design team for Detroit's Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, has died at age 78.

Varner died Saturday at Harper Hospital in Detroit after a long illness, his daughter, Kimberly Varner Tandy, told The Associated Press Wednesday.

One of Detroit's most noted architects, Varner was part of Sims Varner Associates when the firm was hired to design a building for the museum. Being able to design it was an incredible honor for him," Tandy said. "The rotunda is an example of things he had experienced as we traveled to Africa. He wanted it to be more of a gathering place than a museum. That's really what he was trying to impart into that building a place to come and experience the culture as well as celebrate our heritage.

The 125,000-square-foot museum opened in 1997 just north of downtown Detroit. It houses more than 30,000 artifacts and archival materials. It also serves as a repository of documents of Detroit's labor movement. It served as the location for visitation during memorial services for civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks in 2005. He was hands-on in making sure it was completed properly," curator of exhibitions Patrina Chatman said of Varner's work on the design. "He also continued to support this institution until his death. He just really loved it. Some people come and build and never come back. He was always here. Varner also was an American Institute of Architecture fellow. He's survived by his wife, Nancy; daughters Kimberly Varner Tandy and Stacy Varner Jackson; two sisters and a brother. Visitation is scheduled from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday at Swanson Funeral Home in Detroit. A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Monday at the museum.

Edward Buckner Norris

posted Nov 19, 2013 by mannda

NORRIS, EDWARD B. Age 86, a resident of Albuquerque, died Thursday, November 14, 2013. He is survived by his wife, Luz L. Valdes-Norris of Albuquerque, NM. Mr. Norris was preceded in death by his parents, Edward and Mary. Edward served his country proudly for the United States Army during WWII. He received his Architectural Degree from Howard University in Washington, DC. Edward worked as an architect for over 20 years in Boston, MA and Buffalo, NY. Then Edward and Luz moved to New Mexico in 1978 where he began teaching at UNM at the School of Architectural and Planning. He was the Director for The Design and Planning Assistance Center for over 20 years. He was a member of St. Joseph on the Rio Grande Catholic Church. Edward was a 4th degree of the Knights of Columbus. Edward will always be remembered as a kind, gentle and a person with a sense of humor. Rosary will be recited Wednesday, November 20, 2013, 7:00 p.m., at FRENCH - Westside. Mass will be celebrated on Thursday, November 21, 2013, 9:00 a.m., at St. Joseph on the Rio Grande Church, 5901 St. Joseph Dr. NW, Albuquerque with Monsignor Luna as Celebrant. Should friends desire, memorial contributions may be made to your favorite charity. Please visit our online guest book for Edward at

Edwin A. Gibson (1925-2011): Indiana's First African American Architect

posted Oct 16, 2013 by mannda

It is with great sadness we heard the news that architect Ed Gibson died last week. He was a man of many firsts--first African-American architect registered in the state of Indiana, first African-American architect to hold the position of Indiana's State Architect, and the first African-American architect to have his own architectural firm in Indiana. To say he broke new ground in Indiana is an understatement.

A graduate of Crispus Attucks High School in Indianapolis, Gibson went on to the University of Illinois where he received Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in Architectural Engineering.

His long career, which spanned from 1945 to 2002 included work in both the public and private sectors. Some of the buildings he designed or renovated were located at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis, Evansville State Hospital, Central Elementary in Plainfield, Broad Ripple Library, renovations at Central Library in Indianapolis, IUPUI, IU Bloomington, including renovation of Ernie Pyle Hall, Hudnut Plaza and other HUD projects throughout Indiana.

When Gibson closed his private practice in 1987 to work exclusively for Methodist Hospital, the Drawings + Documents Archive received a small collection of drawings that were left. Unfortunately most of the drawings in the office had already been discarded. But today we are glad to have a small but representative collection of the work of a man who broke tremendous ground and altered our built environment.

Jumaane Stewart

posted Aug 1, 2013 by mannda

Dear Roberta (Washington),

My dear husband, Jumaane Stewart died Tuesday of a heart attack. He was only 39. Survived by myself and our two children, N'Kosi (2) and Nandi (4.5 months).

There will be a viewing Monday, August 5th from 2:00PM - 6:00PM followed by the service from 6:00PM - 8:00PM. This will take place at R. Steven LeGall Home for Funerals, 169 Empire Blvd (Between Rogers Ave & Bedford Ave), BROOKLYN. Interment is Tuesday, August 6, at Pinelawn Memorial Park & Cemetery, Farmingdale, New York.

Per his wishes, the attire will be all white (if you don't have all white please wear a white top and sneakers) and there will be a DJ. He didn't want his passing away to be a somber affair, more a celebration of his life.

Mrs. Jumaane Stewart

Halevy Simmons

posted Apr 19, 2013 by mannda

Halevy Simmons, who died last week at age 83, was one of the principal architects on one of downtown St. Louis major hotels, the Adams Mark. His first job, while still studying architecture at Howard University, was as a draftsman for the government during the early 1950s. Government officials hired him on a written application without an interview. Not until he reported for work did they see him in person.

They told him to go home and come back the next day, Mr. Simmons family recalled Thursday.

When he returned, his bosses assigned him to an office high up in a building where he could look down on the other draftsmen. At first, he wondered why he was getting the penthouse treatment.

He soon realized that he was the only African-American in the office and that he was alone, separated from the white workers, he told his family.

An African-American architect was a rarity then.

Mr. Simmons finished his drafting work, graduated from Howard and started on a career that led him to design buildings in St. Louis and across the country.

Halevy Hal Hercules Simmons died April 9, 2013, at his home in Creve Coeur. He had been diagnosed with heart disease, his family said.

He wanted to be a builder. His father was a carpenter in Brooklyn who had immigrated from the British West Indies. His mother was a housekeeper who had immigrated from Barbados.

In high school, one of his teachers told him there was more to building than carpentry. He became interested in architecture.

At Howard University, he met Shirley Herbert while both were students in a nude-model art class. Mr. Simmons came from a humble family, in integrated New York City; she came from a highly educated family in segregated Washington, where she was forbidden to eat in certain restaurants or shop in certain stores.

They married in 1955.

Mr. Simmons operated his own architecture shop in New York and Montclair, N.J. He earned extra income from a restaurant and bar he owned, but they went out of business during the mid-1970s, and his design work dried up. He moved his family to St. Louis figuring it had more opportunities for a builder.

He met Fred Kummer, president, CEO and owner of HBE, a major designer and builder of hotels, hospitals and medical buildings. There were few, if any, other black architects in St. Louis then, Mr. Simmons family recalled.

Mr. Simmons applied through the personnel department and eventually ended up face-to-face with Kummer, the founder. They were two strong-willed individuals, who found that they shared a love of design.

He was a talented guy, Kummer said this week. He made Mr. Simmons one of the lead architects on the Adams Mark and other projects.

Perhaps the biggest challenge was that Kummer decided to build his hotel on top of an existing office building.

A lot of people would have torn the office building down and started from scratch, recalled Gene Mackey, past president of the American Institute of Architects-St. Louis. But Kummer felt the existing building was an asset, Mackey said. The designers job was to make it work.

The hotel opened in 1985. All of the rooms have a wonderful view of the river and the Arch, Mackey said.

Mr. Simmons quit after about 10 years to become an independent architect. He and Kummer disagreed over a technical issue, the details of which Kummer says he no longer remembers.

I wanted to do something one way, and he disagreed, Kummer said. He was a very independent man with a mind of his own.

Among his later projects, Mr. Simmons restored buildings for the St. Louis School District.

When you observe the completed buildings, note with a gleam that there is a little bit of you represented there, schools Superintendent Jerome B. Jones wrote to Simmons in 1990.

Mr. Simmons helped steer needy youths toward college. He played tennis regularly with Dr. Jerome Williams and Dr. Les Bond, two physicians who were involved in civic and civil rights affairs. Both died last month.

Visitation will be at 10 a.m. today at Austin Layne Normandy Chapel, 7733 Natural Bridge Road in Normandy, followed by a funeral service at 11 a.m. The body will be cremated.

Among the survivors are his wife of 57 years, Shirley Simmons of Creve Coeur; a daughter, Tracey Simmons Fisher of Dacula, Ga.; two sons, Stephen Halevy Simmons of Seattle and Scott Herbert Simmons of Creve Coeur; and six grandchildren.

Barbara G. Laurie

posted Feb 15, 2013 by mannda

Professor Barbara G. Laurie, AIA, NOMA 1961-2013 The School of Architecture and Design regrets to inform you of the passing of Barbara G. Laurie, AIA. Professor Laurie was a 1985 graduate of the Universitys Bachelor of Architecture professional degree program. Over the period of her relationship with the architecture degree program, initially, she served as a part-time member of the faculty. After a probationary period, she was promoted to associate professor with tenure. Her contributions to the school and department included serving as the coordinator for the Intern Development Program, National Organization of Minority Architects and Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture. Her work as a teacher was instrumental in guiding the studies of a generation of architecture students. Beyond her performance as a teacher, she was the trusted and loyal mentor to many throughout their careers. Professor Lauries landmark work, 200+, provided focused visibility for African American women in architecture. Through conferences and workshops, she galvanized the interests of those professionals and encouraged research in their lives and careers. After a design award winning association with Devrouax + Purnell, she had recently organized DP + Partners, LLC. She was the managing principal of this new practice entity. In the Washington, DC architectural community she was president of the DC Chapter of the American Institute of Architects and Chair of the DC Architectural Foundation. She served on the boards of the DC Preservation League and the Howard University Math and Science Charter School. In 2012 AIA/DC presented her with the John "Wieb" Wiebenson Award for Architecture in the Public Interest. A memorial service for Barbara Laurie will take place Saturday, February 16, 2013 at 11:00am, Andrew Rankin Chapel, 6th and Howard St., NW, Washington, DC 20059. A repast will immediately follow the service, across from Rankin Chapel at the School of Architecture and Design, Howard H. Mackey Building, 2366 6th St. NW, Washington, DC 20059. The Barbara G. Laurie Memorial Scholarship Fund has been established to receive gifts supporting students in the Howard University Department of Architecture. Contributions may be sent to the Howard University Department of Architecture, Edward D. Dunson, Chair, Howard H. Mackey Building, 2366 6th Street, NW, Washington, DC, 20059. February 7, 2013

Barbara G. Laurie

posted Feb 13, 2013 by mannda

Below is memorial service information for our friend and colleague, Barbara G. Laurie.

Viewing Friday, February 15, 2013 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm McGuire Funeral Home 7400 Georgia Avenue, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20012

Memorial Service Saturday, February 16, 2013 11:00 am Andrew Rankin Memorial Chapel Sixth Street & Howard Place, N.W. Washington, DC 20059

Repast immediately following at the Howard University School of Architecture and Design Howard H. Mackey Building 2366 6th Street, N.W. - Washington, D.C. 20059

Total Number of Resident Architects

posted Oct 22, 2012 by mannda

The 2012 survey of U.S. architectural registration boards by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) indicates that there are currently 105,596 registered architects in the United States. This represents a 1.2 percent increase in licensed architects from last years survey. Data was collected in August 2012 from the jurisdictions and reflects July 2011 through June 2012.

!.76% of licensed architects are African American.

Harvey Gantt

posted Sep 6, 2012 by mannda

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) For all of his firsts first black student admitted to an all-white South Carolina college, first African-American mayor of Charlotte Harvey Gantt is perhaps best known for what he failed to achieve.

In 1990 and again six years later, the son of a carpenter took on the father of Southern racial politics: U.S. Sen. Jesse Helms. Gantt lost both times, but his determination inspired countless others, including a young Barack Obama.

He was a trailblazer, says the Rev. Joseph Lowery, the 90-year-old co-founder of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. He dared walk where others feared to tread, and to challenge the king of the hill, Jesse Helms.

Obama is the heir to what folks like Harvey Gantt and folks of his generation did, says Kareem Crayton, an associate professor of law at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. You cant get a Barack Obama if you dont have a Harvey Gantt.

Gantt was expected to take center stage briefly Wednesday to address delegates of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte the place that he, as both a politician and an architect, helped shape as a modern Southern city.

But his speech, designed to introduce a short film about Democratic political leaders who have died over the past four years, was pushed back until Thursday in the interest of time and due to extended applauses following other speeches, the convention press office said.

Born in 1943, Gantt grew up in segregated Charleston, S.C. His father, Christopher Gantt, was a member of the local NAACP, and Harvey would later join the organizations Youth Council.

Gantt was interested in studying architecture, and the only school in the state that offered a degree was Clemson College, as it was then known. But Clemson did not admit blacks at the time.

The South Carolina Regional Education Board agreed to help pay for Gantt to attend Iowa State University instead, but Gantt really wanted to be in his home state. The following year, when Gantts application to transfer to Clemson was rejected, his father filed a federal civil rights lawsuit on his behalf.

It would take another two years and a ruling from the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, but in January 1963, Gantt enrolled peacefully at Clemson an event the school proudly refers to as integration with dignity.

Gantt graduated from Clemson with honors in 1965, then moved to Charlotte to join Odell Associates becoming that firms first black architect. He received a masters degree in city planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1970, then returned to Charlotte the following year to open his own firm, Gantt Huberman Architects.

His first foray into politics was in 1974, when he was appointed to fill the seat being vacated by the Charlotte city councils only black member. Nine years later, he became the Queen Citys first black mayor.

To win that race, Gantt forged a coalition with white voters, Crayton said. Gantt won re-election to a second term before losing in 1987 to Republican Sue Myrick, now in Congress.

Three years later, Gantt shocked many when he announced that he would be challenging Helms. Even more shocking was how close Gantt came to knocking off Senator No.

It was a hard-fought campaign and toward the end, Helms ran what has come to be known simply as the hands ad.

The television spot depicted a pair of white hands folding up a job rejection letter. You needed that job, and you were the best qualified, the narrator said. But they had to give it to a minority, because of a racial quota. Is that really fair?

Helms won that race 53 percent to 47 percent. On election night, a 29-year-old Harvard Law student named Barack Obama watched the returns in a classmates apartment and posed for a photo with his Harvey Gantt for U.S. Senate T-shirt, according to a story this week in The Charlotte Observer.

He gave Jesse Helms one heck of a fight, Lowery said. Harvey Gantt came as close as anybody to giving him a real scare. And he cant be overlooked in the annals of North Carolina, Southern and American politics. (Gantt lost by a similar margin in his 1996 rematch against Helms.)

In his concession speech, tears welling in his eyes, Gantt said: I wanted to tell the young people that there are second and third chances in life. If you fail, try again.

He had failed. But he had made his mark.

I think what stands out is that he fought hard, but with grace and dignity in those campaigns, says Ferrell Guillory, director of UNCs program on Southern Politics, Media and Public Life. Helms won, but Harvey emerged as something of an icon of resistance to the Helms type of politics.

Hell be remembered as a hero someone who challenged probably the most conservative politician in North Carolina, and who nearly beat him, says Emory University political scientist Merle Black. He won by losing.

Perhaps the greatest testament to Gantts influence is a photo that hangs in Gantts home. Its a picture of Obama, showing off that T-shirt.

The inscription reads: To Harvey an early inspiration! Barack Obama.

Harvey Ezekiel

posted Aug 19, 2012 by mannda

Harvey L. Ezekiel DARLINGTON - Harvey L. (Pee Wee) Ezekiel, age 65, died April 11, 2010 after a long and courageous battle with cancer. Mr. Ezekiel graduated from Mayo High School and attended Howard University. He graduated from the Yale School of Architecture and worked around the world. He was employed by Eastman Kodak, served as vice-president of AEA in Columbia, and later worked at ARAMCO in Saudi Arabia. He designed structures in Bahrain, where he and his family resided until their return to Darlington in 1997, at which time he created his own architecture firm. His designs are notable across the state and around the world. He will be memorialized in many of his designs. He was a member of the American Institute of Architects and enjoyed travel around the world and experiencing different cultures throughout his adult life. Mr. Ezekiel was born in Darlington to the late Clarence and Catherine Ezekiel. He was also preceded in death by sister Amanda Wright, and brothers Lincoln Sr., Lessie, Wiles and Burnett Ezekiel. Surviving are his wife of 31 years, Lesa Pease Ezekiel and daughters Hailey Simone age 24 and Faith Noelle age 22. Also, Siblings Clarence (Dorothy) Ezekiel Jr., Eliza (Samuel) Graves, sisters-in-law Oceana and Charlena Ezekiel, and brother-in-law Charles Wright Sr., as well as numerous beloved nieces and nephews. The family will receive visitors at their home in Darlington, Thursday. Apr. 15 from 6-8 P.M

John Chase, FAIA

posted Apr 3, 2012 by mannda

John Saunders Chase was born in Annapolis, Maryland, on January 23, 1925. At the blessed age of 87 years old, Chase went to his final rest on March 29, 2012. From 1944 to 1946 he served in the United States Army in the Philippine Islands where he saw combat in the Asian theater. He was decorated with the American Theater Ribbon, the Asiatic Pacific Theater Ribbon, the Philippine Liberation Ribbon and the World War II Victory Ribbon. In 1948, he earned a Bachelor of Science in Architecture at Hampton University. He went on to become the first African American to enroll in the University of Texas at Austin School of Architecture. He graduated in 1952. His professional career began that same year when he was appointed assistant professor of architectural drafting at Texas Southern University and founded John S. Chase, A.I.A. Architect, Inc. His early designs included churches, schools, homes and small public buildings. Chase achieved a number of impressive firsts. He was the first African American licensed to practice architecture in the state of Texas and later was the first African American admitted to the Texas Society of Architects and the Houston Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA). He also co-founded the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA) along with 12 other black architects at the AIA convention in Detroit in 1971. When President Jimmy Carter appointed him in 1980, Chase became the first African American to serve on the United States Commission on Fine Arts. His service on the commission included the creation of the Vietnam War Memorial. His architectural imprint can be seen globally. He was commissioned to design the United States Embassy in Tunis, Tunisia. He collaborated on the design of the George R. Brown Convention Center and designed the Washington Technical Institute, Links, Inc., National Headquarters, Delta Sigma Theta National Headquarters, and the Harris County Astrodome Renovation. On the campus of Texas Southern University, he designed the Thurgood Marshall School of Law, Sterling Student Life Center and the Martin Luther King, Jr. School of Humanities. Chase was elected to the AIA College of Fellows, was awarded the AIA Whitney M. Young Citation, and was the recipient of the NOMA Design for Excellence Award for four consecutive years. He received the commendation for Meritorious Service by the Houston Independent School District and the Honor Award for Architectural Excellence in School Design by the Texas Association of School Boards for the design of the Booker T. Washington High School. Chase was a member of the CIAA hall of fame for both wrestling and football and he was an avid golfer. He was also a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity and the Nu Boule chapter of Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity. Chase served his community on numerous boards; Hampton University, University of Texas Health Science Center, Hermann Hospital, and Golden State Life Insurance Company. He also served as President of the Houston Club and of the University of Texas Exes. Chase is survived by his wife Drucie Rucker Chase and his three children John S. Chase, Jr. (Brenda ), Anthony R. Chase (Dina) and Saundria Chase Gray (Jerome); grandchildren Asa Davis, Chase Gray, Jordan Chase, Grace Gray and Abyssinia ("Kat") Chase and nieces and nephews Laura Farley, John Farley, Michael Farley and William Farley. Visitation will be from 7:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. on Tuesday, April 3, at Antioch Missionary Baptist Church, 500 Clay Street, Houston, Texas. The funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m., Wednesday, April 4, at Antioch Missionary Baptist Church. In lieu if customary remembrances, the family suggests memorial contributions be directed to the John S. Chase endowed scholarship fund at the University of Texas, School of Architecture, 1 University Station B7500, Austin, TX 78712-0222 or Hampton University, Hampton , VA 23668.

Norma Sklarek

posted Feb 10, 2012 by mannda

Norma Merrick Sklarek, the first African American woman in the country to become a licensed architect, who helped produce Terminal 1 at Los Angeles International Airport and the American Embassy in Tokyo, died Monday at her home in Pacific Palisades. She was 85.

The cause was heart failure, said her son, David Merrick Fairweather.

Sklarek broke barriers from the beginning of her career when she passed the New York state exam in 1954 to become the first African American woman to earn an architect's license. She was the first black woman to earn a license in California, in 1962, and the first to be elected a fellow of the American Institute of Architects, the highest designation bestowed by the professional group, in 1966.

She spent two decades at Gruen Associates, the Los Angeles firm known for designing large shopping malls, and rose to head the architecture department. Known for her skill at managing complex undertakings, she later was a project director at Welton Becket Associates in Santa Monica and the Jerde Partnership in Venice.

"She was excellent at putting the whole package together," said Marshall Purnell, a past president of the American Institute of Architects.

She did not design most of the huge projects she supervised, "not because she wasn't capable," Purnell noted, but because when she started out in the 1950s "it was unheard of to have an African American female who was registered as an architect. You didn't trot that person out in front of your clients and say 'This is the person designing your project.' She was not allowed to express herself as a designer. But she was capable of doing anything. She was the complete architect."

The only child of a doctor and a seamstress, Norma Merrick was born in Harlem on April 15, 1926. Artistic but also an exceptional math student, she attended Hunter High School, a selective public girls school, and Barnard College before entering Columbia University's architecture school in 1945. She was one of only two women to earn a bachelor's degree in architecture from Columbia in 1950.

After graduating, she applied for jobs but was turned down 19 times. "They weren't hiring women or African Americans, and I didn't know which it was against me," she told the Palisadian-Post in 2004.

She finally found a position with the city's engineering department. On her first try, she passed the four-day state licensing exam and, in 1955, was hired at Skidmore, Owings, Merrill, a leading architectural and engineering firm.

In 1960 she moved to California and joined Gruen Associates. She quickly noticed that she was treated differently from her white male co-workers, one of whom gave her a ride to work but was always late.

"It took only one week before the boss came and spoke to me about being late. Yet he had not noticed that the young man had been late for two years," she told California Architect magazine in 1985. "My solution was to buy a car since I, the highly visible employee, had to be punctual."

Sklarek rarely talked about such experiences. "She was mentally the strongest person I knew in the profession because of what she went through," Purnell said. "Yet she was also one of the most pleasant people."

As Gruen's director, Sklarek was responsible for hiring and overseeing the staff as well coordinating the technical aspects of major projects, including the California Mart, Pacific Design Center, Fox Hills Mall, San Bernardino City Hall, Leo Baeck Temple and the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo.

"You didn't joke around with Norma. She was the one who got the job done, on time and with excellence, and who then went home at 5:30 to pursue her other interests," said Roland Wiley, who was hired by Sklarek and now runs his own architectural firm downtown.

In 1980, Sklarek moved to Welton Becket as project director for a $50-million domestic passenger terminal at LAX. Terminal 1 was completed in January 1984, well ahead of the millions of tourists expected for that summer's Olympics.

In 1985 she became a founding partner of Siegel-Sklarek-Diamond, one of the largest all-women architectural firms in the country. She joined the Jerde Partnership in 1989 and retired in 1991.

She married Rolf Sklarek, a Gruen architect, in 1967; he died in 1984. A son from a previous marriage, Gregory Merrick Ransom, died in 2006. In addition to Fairweather, she is survived by her husband, Dr. Cornelius Welch, whom she married in 1985, and three grandchildren.

Every spring, Sklarek hosted a garden party when her collection of 200 epiphyllum orchids bloomed. Her husband is "planning Norma's last epiphyllum party" to celebrate her life.

An Honor for Robert T. Coles, FAIA

posted Sep 13, 2011 by mannda


Buffalo, NY

The Director of the National Park Service has announced that the Robert T. Coles House and Studio in Buffalos Hamlin Park neighborhood has been added to the National Register of Historic Places. Designed by Coles for his primary residence and architectural studio in 1961, the Modern-styled building has been home to Coles and his wife Sylvia for 50 years. The National Park Service has recognized its pioneering and innovative architectural style.

Throughout his career, Coles has designed many significant structures including the University at Buffalos Alumni Arena (1983), transforming the former War Memorial Stadium into the Johnnie B. Wiley Amateur Athletic Sports Pavilion (1993), and the Frank E. Merriweather Library (2006).

Coles has received many awards throughout his career, including an American Institute of Architects Award of Merit, received in 1963 for his residence. Coles was also been honored by the AIA New York State Chapter in 2004 for his lifetime service as an architect. The American Institute of Architects designated him a Fellow, its highest honor, and he has served as a Chancellor of the College of Fellows. Coles is also nationally recognized for encouraging African-Americans and women to become architects.

The nomination was prepared by Architectural Historian Jennifer Walkowski and Clinton Brown, FAIA, of Clinton Brown Company Architecture. Clinton Brown Company Architecture is upstate New Yorks leading full-service historic preservation architecture firm, with over 20 years of experience in preservation architecture and grant writing.

Walter R. Livingston, Jr., FAIA

posted Jun 14, 2011 by mannda

Please see the obituary for Walter R. Livingston, Jr., FAIA.

Henry "Dickie" Thurman

posted May 11, 2011 by mannda

Please see the following article on the passing of Architect and Professor Henry "Dickie" Thurman. Our condolences to his family.

Design Gets More Diverse

posted Mar 26, 2011 by mannda

Interesting article on African American designers in the NYTimes. See

Data on Other Professions

posted Aug 6, 2010 by mannda

Source: Labor Force Characteristics by Race and Ethnicity, 2008. US Department of Labor, US Bureau of Labor Statistics, November 2009 (Report 1020)

Blacks/African Americans represent 3.3% of Dentists, 20.3% of Dietitians/Nutritionists, 1.2% of Occupational Therapists, 8.7% of Pharmacists, 6.2% of Physicians/Surgeons and 10% of Registered Nurses.

Katherine Williams Blog

posted Jul 24, 2010 by mannda

Black Architects over the years. The following blog traces the growth of licensing of Black architects. Please comment on Katherine's blog.


posted Jul 16, 2010 by mannda

Seventy eight percent (78%) of the licensed African American architects listed in the Directory are registered in twelve states* and the District of Columbia which means that only twenty two (22%) are registered in the other the other thirty eight states.*(We calculate this percent using only their Home State of registration although some are licensed in more than one state).

State Numbers

posted Jul 13, 2010 by mannda

The three states with the most African American architects are New York (217), California (180) and Georgia (130).


posted Jul 1, 2010 by mannda

For those of you who wish to present a lecture with slides here is an excellent web site:

Kathryn Prigmore

posted Feb 20, 2010 by mannda

Read an excellent summary of Kathryn Prigmore's career in architecture at

2009 Additions

posted Jan 29, 2010 by mannda

Fifty four new names were added to the Directory in 2009. 65% were male and 35% were female.


posted Mar 6, 2009 by mannda

In the last two years we have added 91 newly registered architects to the data base. Of those 91 new architects 33 have been women. This represents 34+%!

Phil Freelon

posted Jan 27, 2009 by mannda

The 2009 AIA Thomas Jefferson Award for Private-sector architects: Philip Freelon, FAIA, founder of the Freelon Group in Durham, N.C., is a native of Philadelphia. He graduated from North Carolina State University's College of Design with a bachelor of environmental design (architecture) and top design honors, and then earned his master of architecture degree from MIT. In 1989, Freelon was the recipient of the Loeb Fellowship and spent a year of independent study at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. Freelon currently serves as a visiting lecturer at MIT in the School of Architecture and Planning. Founded in 1990, The Freelon Group has grown to 65 total staff members, including 21 licensed architects. Focusing on college/university, transportation/aviation, and museum/cultural center projects, Freelons firm has successfully delivered award-winning building design within a collaborative and innovative studio environment and has won dozens of regional and local design awards. The firm has completed major museum projects in Baltimore and San Francisco and recently was selected (along with Davis Brody Bond of New York) by the Smithsonian Institution to lead the pre-design and programming team for the new National Museum of African American History and Culture to be located on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. University clients include the University of North Carolina, Duke University, Yale University, MIT and Morgan State University.

How Comprehensive is the Directory?

posted Nov 13, 2008 by mannda

While our goal is for the Directory to be 100% comprehensive in the listing we know this is not possible? Why? First, because we know that everyone is not aware of the web site and second, because our network is not as broad as we would wish. For instance we currently have a list of nine people who we will add as soon as we can get more information. SO IF YOU KNOW THEM please direct them to the web site and the PLEASE ADD ME link at the top of the home page. Those people are: Ganiyu Oyinade Abdul (NY); Avant Jones, Jr. (Cornell grad.); Colin Mitchell (DC in Jamaica?); Karen D. Murrell (GA); Nicholas Nganga (CA); Mark A. Saunders (TX).

Stephen A. Kliment, Architect and Writer

posted Sep 21, 2008 by mannda

Stephen A. Kliment, FAIA, an architect and writer whose work influenced what was built and how buildings were received, died on September 10, while traveling in Ebersberg, Bavaria. He was 78. The cause was cancer, his wife Felicia Drury Kliment said.At the time of his death he had been working on a book on African-American architects, representing a long-time commitment to making the architectural profession more diverse and inclusive. He was an honorary member of NOMA, the National Organization of Minority Architects. NOMA President-Elect R. Steven Lewis, AIA, said, He will certainly be missed by all who came to know him and to appreciate the support that he gave as a champion of black architects.

Stephen A. Kliment, Architect and Writer

posted Sep 21, 2008 by mannda

Stephen A. Kliment, FAIA, an architect and writer whose work influenced what was built and how buildings were received, died on September 10, while traveling in Ebersberg, Bavaria. He was 78. The cause was cancer, his wife Felicia Drury Kliment said.

Tribute to Wendell J. Campbell, FAIA

posted Jul 24, 2008 by mannda


I attend too many memorial service and funerals these days, but I am inspired by the sermons that describe the lives of the people that I will so sadly miss. One service that stays in my mind is The Dash-- what is important in ones life is not the date of your birth or the date of your death, but The Dash that connects them, and what you did with The Dash.

Wendell Jerome Campbell was the gentle giant who led the formation of what I feel is the most creative thing that African American Architects have done the formation of the National Organization of Minority Architects, in 1972. He served as its first President and led the organization as it struggled with its nameBlack Architects or Minority Architects, its financial viability, and its stability. For his efforts, he became the third recipient of the AIAs Whitney M Young, Jr. Citation in 1976, the second highest award of the American Institute of Architects, and in 1979 was elected Fellow, the 17th African-American architect to achieve the AIAs highest membership category.Paul R. Williams, FAIA, was, of course, our first in 1957.

I recall helping put together Wendell Campbells application for the 1976 Whitney Young Award as the AIAs First Deputy Vice President of Minority Affairs in 1974-1976. It was a labor of love as Wendell would bring me pieces and snippets of his remarkable life, and I would try to weave them into the document that finally became his Whitney Young application. In working with him on that document, I really got to know and love Wendell, the Gentle Giant, and his achievement in life and in architecture.

Between 400 and 500 people crowded into the Gothic cathedral of the First Unitarian Church of Chicago, in Hyde Park, near the campus of the University of Chicago, to honor the life of Wendell Jerome Campbell. It is a block away from the Frank Lloyd Wrights Robie House, and the Rockefeller Chapel where the Investiture of Fellows was held during the Chicago Convention of 2004. That may have been the last time that I saw Wendell alive.

I met Wendell in 1971 when we attended the AIA Convention in Detroit, where for the first time, a sizable number of African-American architects attended.. At the AIA Convention in Portland in1968 where Whitney Young spoke, only six African-American architects attended, but it was in Portland that the seeds of growth were planted for us, led by Robert Johnson Nash, FAIA who later became the AIAs first African-American Vice President. In Detroit, the African- American architects caucused in the office of black architect Nathaniel Johnson to discuss their unique concerns in practices that were primarily focused on housing and churches, as opposed to the corporate and private practices that their white counterparts had. Several members of the group decided to meet in Nassau in the fall of 1971,

To analyze the contribution of practicing Black architects in American might make toward assisting to resolve resolve problems which affect the economic, civic and social environment.

As a result of the Nassau meeting, a group of African-American Architects met in Chicago in March 1972-- in the Playboy Club, of all places. probably Wendells choice -- to give birth to the National Organization of Black Architects, whose name was later changed to the National Organization of Minority Architects to embrace all people of color in the profession.

The service for Wendell was impressive with a subdued now infamous Rev. Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright, Senator Barack Obamas former pastor and June Campbells Pastor leading the processional and the recessional, and giving the main sermon. Both of his daughters, the oldest who is a graduate from architecture school, spoke at the service. Afterwards, congregating in front of the First Unitarian Church and later at the reception at the nearby Quandrangle Club were most of Chicagos African American Architects and Fellows. 2008 President Marshall E. Purnell, FAIA, the first African-American President of the AIA, was in attendance as were elusive Chicago Architects Andrew Heard, FAIA, and future Fellow Vernon Williams who led early AIA advocacy efforts. Carolyn Armenta Davis, who curated the exhibit, Black Architects and International 1970-1990 during the Chicago Convention in 1993, where gentle giant Wendell Campbell, FAIA, hosted Olufemi Majekodunmi, The Nigerian President of the Union of International Architects, in a city that he truly loved. Wendell J Campbellyour dash was a wonderful and inspiring adventure. We will miss you. Robert T. Coles, FAIA , July 17, 2008.

Interview with David Lee

posted Jun 13, 2008 by mannda

Please go to the following web site for an interview with Boston architect and urban designer David Lee. It is an article that both aspiring students and practitioners ought to read.

Unlisted Licensed Architects

posted May 14, 2008 by mannda

I have a short list of architects who are (or were) licensed but not yet listed. I can't list them because I don't have enough info. They are

Mark A. Saunders (licensed in Texas) Avant Jones, Jr. (lapsed license in DC but in Philadelphia area) Ganiyu Abdul (licensed in New York) Colin Mitchell (lapsed license in DC) in Jamaica

If you know any of these people, please let me know or ask them to Email me (

Building a Legacy: John Chase

posted Apr 28, 2008 by mannda

See for a story on John Chase's life and career.

Steve Lewis

posted Feb 11, 2008 by mannda

See the Feb. 8, 2008 AIArchitect story on the incoming NOMA President;

Current Statistics

posted Nov 21, 2007 by mannda

Overall Totals of Where (at least one) Professional Degree Was Granted

HBCUs* 573 34.3% MAJORITY SCHOOLS only 968 59.6% NO DEGREE (or Assoc. degree) 54 3.3% INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITY Only 22 1.4% UNKNOWN 6 0.4%

TOTAL Number Licensed 1623

Male 1414 87.1 % Female 209 12.9 %

  • We included North Carolina A&T, Tennessee State, Central State, and Lincoln University in these totals.

Interesting Web Site

posted Aug 1, 2007 by mannda

A student of ours at Cincinnati came upon this excellent reference web site. Have a look.

Sweet Auburn Avenue

posted Jun 3, 2007 by mannda

The following article in Sunday June 3 NY Times discusses the revival of the Sweet Auburn Avenue neighborhood of Atlanta. J.W. Robinson, architect and principal of J.W. Robinson & Associates is featured in an interview.


Statistic Update

posted Apr 24, 2007 by mannda

Overall Totals of Where Professional Degrees were Granted

HBCUs* 556 34.9% MAJORITY SCHOOLS only 956 60.1% NO DEGREE (or Assoc. degree) 54 3.4% INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITY Only 21 1.3% UNKNOWN 6 0.4%

TOTAL Number Licensed 1593

Male 1390 87.2 % Female 203 12.8 %

African American Women

posted Mar 30, 2007 by mannda

The March issue of ARCHITECT Magazine has an excellent article on the increase in the number of African American women in the profession of architecture. Raye McDavid, a young New York architect, is featured on the cover of the magazine. The link is

June Grant and Zevilla Jackson Preston

posted Mar 16, 2007 by mannda

In an AIArchitect article entitled "Young African American Women Architects Sharpen Ties to their Communities" Author Stephen Kliment interviews June Grant and Zevilla Jackson Preston. The link is


posted Mar 8, 2007 by mannda

At least 190 of the 1286 (12%) architects listed on our web site were born outside of the USA with a large majority from Nigeria.