Historic preservation three enlightens us on the contributions of African American Architects in America. Albert Cassell, an architect who designed Howard University in Washington, DC, a historic Black College. The project was designed as a "city within a city."
Cassell’s design vision, executed with landscape architect David Williston, unified the school in plan and in section, so to speak, atop challenging terrain. The Georgian Revival buildings he designed and constructed continue to form the nucleus of the school. Although some of his contributions have been demolished (such as the armory and gym, both completed in 1925) a dozen remain, including the 1927 College of Medicine, the 1935 Frederick Douglass Memorial Hall, and the iconic Founders Library.
“In one building, he created an architectural and educational symbol for the university,” wrote William Lebovich in Dreck Spurlock Wilson’s seminal dictionary of African American architects, “and in the larger scheme of his work at Howard University, he created a unified whole of which Founders Library was the most visible element.” Confirming Cassell’s lasting impact on Howard’s identity, the library’s clock tower is featured in the university’s logo.
Charles Cassell Courtesy of the AIA
The architect's brother Charles Cassell Courtesy of Cornell University Division of Rare and Manuscript Collection
The entire Cassell family made significant artistic contributions in the field of architecture. Read the full story at the American Institute of Architects (AIA) website.
Next, some of you may know Phylicia Rashad as Ciair Huxtable, form the Cosbys Television series. As a Washington, DC Howard University graduate, she is now (at the time of this writing) engaged in historic preservation work with the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund.
Join Phylicia Rashad, co-chair and brand ambassador for the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund, and Brent Leggs, the program’s executive director, for a conversation about the power of preservation and the Action Fund’s critical work. From personal stories about their connection to places, to the important role that all Americans can play in telling a more inclusive American story, the discussion will amplify the critical importance of preserving African American historic places. http://www.savingplaces.org/action-fund
It is an informative and inspiring talk!
Look for future blog posts on historic preservation!