Cover image for African-American architects : a biographical dictionary, 1865-1945
African-American architects : a biographical dictionary, 1865-1945
Wilson, Dreck Spurlock.
Publication Information:
New York : Routledge, [2004]

Physical Description:
xviii, 550 pages : illustrations ; 29 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
NA736 .A47 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area-Reference

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African-American architects have been designing and building houses and public buildings since 1865. Although many of these structures survive today, the architects themselves are virtually unknown. This unique reference work brings their lives and work to light for the first time. Written by 100 experts ranging from architectural historians to archivists, this book contains 160 biographical, A-Z entries on African-American architects from the era of Emancipation to the end of World War II. Articles provide biographical facts about each architect, and commentary on his or her work. Practical and accessible, this reference is complemented by over 200 photographs and includes an appendix containing a list of buildings by geographic location and by architect.

Author Notes

Dreck Spurlock Wilson is an African-American architect and holds an M.A. in Urban Studies from the University of Chicago. Wilson has contributed to historical journals and books on African-American history, art, and architecture.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

This alphabetically arranged, 168-entry biographical dictionary contains articles from 250 to 4,000 words in length on African American architects practicing in the late nineteenth and early to mid-twentieth centuries. All articles are internally cross-referenced and extended by photographs of the architects and the buildings they designed. Using the definition of the word architect to mean a person who has created a design and presented it visually such that it could be constructed, the 100 contributors have profiled both licensed and unlicensed individuals. Examples include Julian Francis Able (1881-1950), who designed the Free Library of Philadelphia; William Wilson Cooke (1871-1949), who designed small-town post offices throughout the Midwest; and David Augustus Williston (1868-1962), one of the first African American landscape designers. Biographical entries include a building list for each architect, identifying the client and building name, the address of the building at the time it was built, and the year in which it was built. Also here are entries for nine architectural programs and eight so-called Negro Buildings designed for the most part by African American architects for one world's fair and seven southern regional fairs. The volume concludes with a general bibliography, an appendix listing buildings by state, and an accurate index. The writing is generally clear and easy to read, though at times a little uneven. Most contributors are university or professionally affiliated, but some are relatives of the architects, and their articles tend to be less authoritative in tone. Despite this, there is nothing else comparable on the market, making African American Architects a sound purchase, especially for college and university libraries with architecture programs, though it is also intended for preservationists, architects, and historians. -- RBB Copyright 2004 Booklist

Library Journal Review

This valuable reference, edited by Wilson, an African American landscape architect and historian, chronicles the lives and careers of 168 African American architects who practiced in America, up to 1945. It has a distinctly professional cast, omitting coverage of more than 80 individuals who were alleged to have conducted architectural work but whose records were not professional enough to be included here. This work follows the same format as Scribner's famous Dictionary of American Biography, now in its fifth edition from Gale. Each entry includes a brief, illustrated, two- to three-page write-up, a list of known works (which include Harvard's Widener Library), and a bibliography of published sources. Over 100 contributors, "from sea to shining sea," have helped put this biographical dictionary in order. Funded by a grant from the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in Fine Arts, this work includes 200 black-and-white photos and an appendix of buildings by region. It belongs on the shelves of every academic library and even some architectural firms.-Peter S. Kaufman, Boston Architectural Ctr. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

A gold mine for anyone interested in architecture or African American architects, this work focuses on African American architects who practiced in the US, 1865-1945. Little has been available on this subject, and the editors intend to provide an accessible, thorough resource. The 168 entries, arranged alphabetically, are cross-referenced and supplemented by photos of architects and the buildings they designed. Each entry includes a building list and, where possible, a selected bibliography. The work includes a roster of more than 100 contributors, an alphabetical list of entries, a general bibliography, an appendix that lists buildings by state, and an index. The format is modeled on Concise Dictionary of American Biography. Easy to use and containing scholarly information, this work will benefit general readers through architectural historians. ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. All libraries. D. L. Luce Faulkner University

Table of Contents

AbeleJulian Francis
Alabam State Fair Negro Building (Montgomery)Alexander and Archibald Alphonse
Appalachian Exposition Negro Building (Knoxville, Tennessee)Archer and Romulus Cornelius, Jr. and Bailey and Walter Thomas
BankheadLester Oliver
BanksLouis Harvey
BarnettCarl Eugene and Bartholomew and Joseph Manual, Sr. and Bates and Robert Charles and Bellinger and Louis Arnett Stewart and Berry and Plympton Ross
BirchEdward Eginton
BirchErnest Octavius and Blanche and John Henry and Blodget and Joseph Haygood and Boles and Henry Clifford
BowCyril Garner and Bowman and Charles Sumner and Boyde and Thomas Wilson, Jr. and Brent and Calvin Thomas Stowe and Brent and John Edmondson and Brookins and Sanford Augustus and Brooks and Elizabeth Carter and Brown and Albert Grant and Brown and Georgia Louise Harris and Brown and Grafton Tyler and Brown and Leroy John Henry and Brown and Richard Lewis and Buffins and Robert Lester and Butler and Alberta Cassell and Carlisle and Alma Fairfax Murray Carlisle and Cassell and Albert Irvin and Cassell and Charles Irvin
Century of Progress Exposition in Chicago Negro Building
Claflin University
ColemanWilliam Emmett, Jr.
CookJulian Abele
CookRalph Victor
CookeWilliam Wilson
Cotton States and International Exposition Negro Building (Atlanta)
DecaturWilliam Jefferson
DelanyHenry Beard and Dickinson and Charles Edgar and Drayton and Clyde Martin and Duke and Charles Sumner and Dykes and DeWitt Sanford, Sr. and Edwards and Gaston Alonzo and Elliott and Curtis Graham and Farrar and Daniel J., Jr. and Ferguson and Arthur Wilfred and Ferguson and George Alonzo
FieldsRobert Lionel
Florida A&M
FordWade Alston and Foster and George Washington, Jr.
FryLouis Sr. and Furman and Ethel and Garrott and James Homer and Giles and Lewis Wentworth, Jr. and Giles and Lewis Wentworth, Sr. and Grandy and Jasminius Wilsonni Rudolphus, III
GreeneBeverly and Griffin and Francis Eugene and Hamilton and Calvin Pazavia
Hampton InstituteHancock and Richard Mason and Harris and Clinton Stevens and Hatton and Isaiah Truman and Hazel and William Augustus and Henderson and Cornelius Langston, Sr. and Hill and E. Joseph and Hilliard and Leroy and Hoban and Stewart Daniel, Sr. and Holloway and John Bunyon, Jr.
Howard UniversityHurley and Granville Sr. and Hutchins and James Edward and Ifill and Percy Costa and Jackson and Leon Quincy
Jamestown (Virginia)Ter-centennial Exposition Negro BuildingJenkins and Willie Edward and Johnson and Conrad Adolphus, Jr. and Johnson and Harvey Nathaniel and Jones and George Maceo and Jones and William Thomas
KingJohn Thomas and Lankford and Arthur Edward and Lankford and John Anderson and Lightner and Calvin E. Livas and Henry Lewis and Mackey and Howard Hamilton, Sr. and Madison and Robert Prince and McKissack and Calvin Lansford and McKissack and Moses III and Melby and John Alexander and Meredith and Amaza Lee and Merrick and John and Michael and John Henry and Mickels and Elon Howard and Miller and Edward Charles and Moore and John Aycocks and Moses and William Henry, Jr.
National Technical AssociationNorman and John Clavon, Sr.
North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State UniversityO'Neal and Kenneth Roderick and Parker and Helen and Parker and Joseph and Pelham and Frederick Blackburn and Persley and Louis Hudison and Pittman and William Sidney and Plater and James Alonso and Plato and F. Samuel
Prairie View Agricultural and Mechanical College
PriceHenry James and Pryce and Edward Lyons and Ransom and Leon Andrew, Jr. and Rayfield and Wallace and Augustus and Reese and Lawrence and Roberson and Francis Jefferson and Roberson and Francis Rassieur and Roberts and Walter Lenox, Jr. and Robinson and Hilyard Robert and Robinson and L. Robert and Robinson and J. William and Rosemond and H. John and Rousseve and Ferdinand Lucien and Russell and Charles Thaddeus and Sealey and Roy Anthony and Smith and W. William
South Carolina Interstate and West Indian Exposition Negro Building (Charleston)
Southern University School of ArchitectureSpears and W. Prince and Streat and William Alfred, Jr. and Sulton and John Dennis and Tandy and Vertner Woodson and Taylor and Robert Robinson and Taylor and Robert Rochon
Tennessee Centennial and International Exposition Negro Building (Nashville)
Texas Centennial Exposition Hall of Negro Life (?