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Anderson, Carey L, Jr.
Birth Year : 1950
Anderson was born in Louisville, KY, and earned a B.A. in architecture at the University of Kentucky in 1973. In 1977, he became the first African American architect licensed in Kentucky and by 1980 was the first in the state to establish an architectural firm, Anderson Associate Architects. For more see Who's Who Among African Americans, 1980-2006.
Subjects: Architects
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Birch, Ernest O. and Edward E. [Birch Bros.]
The Birch brothers, Ernest (1884-1951) and Edward (1887-1974), were born in Winchester, KY. They were the youngest two sons of Jane and Samuel Birch, who was a barber. Their oldest brother was Arthur Birch, he was a hotel porter, according to the 1900 U.S. Federal Census. The family of five lived at 125 E. Third Street in Winchester. Ernest and Edward Birch would go on to create a partnership in 1908 known as Birch Brothers, an architecture business in Cincinnati, OH. They were not licensed in Ohio, but are recognized as two of the earliest African American architects in the city. Ernest Birch was a graduate of Kentucky Normal and Industrial Institute for Colored Persons [now Kentucky State University], where he first studied to become a teacher, and later switched to carpentry. Edward Birch studied architecture engineering at Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute [now Hampton University]. According to the 1910 census, the two brothers were managing their business and were lodgers at the home of William and Eliza Ford on West Canal Street [Eliza Ford was b.1867 in KY]. By 1920, Ernest was the husband of Corenna Birch, b.1891 in KY, and she is also listed as Ernest's wife on his WWII Draft Registration Card in 1942, a period when Ernest was employed by the Rubel Baking Company. He is listed as an architect at 3146 Gaff Avenue in the 1946 William's Cincinnati (Ohio) City Directory. Also in 1920, Edward Birch was the husband of Susie B. Whittaker, b.1890 in KY, and Edward was employed as a Pullman Porter. The couple and Susie's sister lived on Mountfort Street in Cincinnati. Edward Birch was previously married to Eva Downey, b.1890 in KY, and they had a son named Augustine E. Birch, b.1908 in KY. The couple divorced in 1916, and Eva and her son Augustine are listed as living in Winchester, KY in the 1910 census and 1930 census. Edward Birch is listed as a draftsman at 1123 Yale Avenue in the 1936-1937 William's Cincinnati Directory. He is credited for designing the Brown Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church. For more see the Ernest Octavius Birch entry and the Edward Eginton Birch entry, both in African American Architects, 1865-1945 edited by D. S. Wilson.
Subjects: Architects, Barbers, Businesses, Migration North, Pullman Porters
Geographic Region: Winchester, Clark County, Kentucky / Cincinnati, Ohio

Bond, J. Max, Jr.
Birth Year : 1935
Death Year : 2009
J. Max Bond, Jr. was born in Louisville, KY. He was an internationally recognized architect and a fellow in the American Institute of Architects (AIA). He earned both his bachelor's and master's degrees in architecture at Harvard University. His designs include the Bolgatanga Library in Ghana, Africa, and the Birmingham Civil Rights Museum in Alabama. Bond established and became director of the Architects Renewal Committee of Harlem and from 1980-1986 was commissioner of the New York Planning Committee. He taught at and was a former dean of the architecture school at the City University of New York (CUNY). Bond was the co-author of New Service Buildings, Harvard University... and was co-author of the newspaper Harlem News. He was the son of J. Max Bond, Sr. and Ruth E. Clement Bond and the grandson of James M. Bond. For more see Who's Who in America, 47th ed. - 52nd ed.; L. Duke, "Blueprint of a life, Architect J. Max Bond Jr. has had to build bridges to reach ground zero," Washington Post, 07/01/2004, p. C01; and D. W. Dunlap, "J. Max Bond Jr., Architect, Dies at 73," New York Times, 02/19/2009, Obituary section,p.20. See also The Directory of African American Architects, sponsored by the City for the Study of Practice at the University of Cincinnati.

Access Interview Read about the J. Max Bond, Jr. oral history interview available at the University of Kentucky Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, item record in the SPOKE Database.
Subjects: Architects, Authors, Education and Educators, Migration North
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / New York

Brazley, Michael D.
Birth Year : 1951
Brazley was born in Louisville, KY, to William and Gwendolyn Brazley. He is a graduate of the Howard University School of Architecture, and the University of Louisville School of Urban and Public Affairs (Ph.D.). Brazley is an assistant professor in the School of Architecture at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. He is author of the article "Moving toward gender and racial inclusion in the design profession," which is part of an ongoing longitudinal study that Brazley presented at the 2006 Diversity Conference in New Orleans. For almost 20 years Brazley has also been the President and CEO of Brazley & Brazley, Inc., located in Louisville, KY. He is a licensed architect in Illinois, Kentucky, Indiana, and Ohio. Brazley has received a number of awards, including the Minority Service Firm of the Year. For more see Who's Who Among African Americans, 1994-2006; M. Brazley, "Moving toward gender and racial inclusion in the design profession," The International Journal of Diversity in Organisations, Communities and Nations, vol. 6, issue 3, pp. 9-18; and An Evaluation of Residential Satisfaction of HOPE VI: a study of the Park DuValle Revitalization Project (thesis) by M. Brazley.
Subjects: Architects, Authors, Businesses
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Carbondale, Illinois

Cross, Clarence
Birth Year : 1916
Clarence Cross, an architect, was born n Allensville, KY, the son of Ameila Tinsley Cross and Napoleon Cross. Napoleon was a farmer and supported the family of five that included Amelia's mother Jane Tinsley, according to the 1920 U.S. Federal Census. In 1927, the family moved to Kokomo, IN, where Clarence Cross completed high school. He was a student at Tuskegee Institute [now Tuskegee University] and completed one year before enlisting in the U.S. Army on January 14, 1942, at Fort Benjamin Harrison in Indiana, according to his enlistment record. After receiving an Honorable Discharge from the Army in 1946, Cross enrolled again at Tuskegee Institute and was a 1949 architecture graduate. He was a registered architect in Ohio and Indiana, and had a private practice while also employed by the Base Civil Engineering for Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. He retired from the Air Force Base in 1971. Cross was a founding partner in 1969 of the firm Cross, Curry, de Weaver, Randall and Associates; the firm was dissolved in 1997. Some of Cross' work includes his role as designer of the Second Baptist Church in Ford City, PA, and the Tabernacle Baptist Church in Dayton. Clarence Cross was the husband of Mary E. Cross. For a more detailed account of the Clarence Cross biography and his accomplishments, see his entry in African American Architects, a biographical dictionary, 1865-1945 edited by D. S. Wilson.
Subjects: Architects, Businesses, Migration North, Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Allensville, Todd County, Kentucky / Kokomo, Indiana / Dayton, Ohio

Evans, William L., Sr.
Birth Year : 1886
Born in Louisville, KY, Evans received an A.B. from Fisk University in 1909, took advanced study at Columbia University, from 1910 to 1911, and earned his M.A. from the University of Buffalo in 1930. He was Industrial Secretary of the Chicago Urban League, 1919-1923, worked with Plato and Evans Architectural Firm, 1923-1927, and was executive secretary of the Buffalo Urban League, beginning in 1927. Evans had also been a teacher before moving to Buffalo. He was a member of the Buffalo Commission in the New York State Commission Against Discrimination. Evans was the author of three articles: "Federal Housing Brings Racial Segregation to Buffalo," "Race, Fear and Housing," and "The Negro Community in 1948." He was the father of W. Leonard Evans, Jr. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1933-37 & 1950; and Strangers in the Land of Paradise, by L. S. Williams.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Architects, Education and Educators, Fathers, Migration North, Sociologists & Social Scientists, Urban Leagues, Housing, Fair Housing, Open Housing, Housing Agencies
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois / Buffalo, New York

Gaylord, Harry A.
Birth Year : 1967
Over more than a century, Harry A. Gaylord was one of the very few African American Kentuckians to become a law librarian; the first was Issac E. Black in 1869. Gaylord, born in Concord, NC, was reared in Lexington, KY, the son of librarian and Kentucky native Ruth B. Gaylord and the late Harry Gaylord. He is a graduate of Lafayette High School (in Lexington) and the Illinois Institute of Technology, where he earned a B.A. in architecture. Finding that the architecture market was on a downswing, Gaylord took a job as a library assistant at a Chicago law firm. After four years of doing legal research (1991-1996), he earned his M.S. in Library Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1997 and was immediately hired as a librarian with the Supreme Court of Illinois in Springfield, IL. Gaylord is presently the librarian at BTSB Bookstore in Jacksonville, IL. Gaylord is an active member of the African American Librarians of Springfield. He is author of several articles in Online Information Review and the tribute "Classie Murray had great career at library," Springfield State Journal-Register (3/20/2007), Editorial section, p. 7. A survey of African American Law Librarians is included in Celebrating Diversity: a legacy of minority leadership in the American Association of law libraries, by C. A. Nicholson, R. J. Hill, and V. E. Garces (2006). Information provided by Harry A. Gaylord and Ruth B. Gaylord.

See photo image of Harry Gaylord at the BTSB Bookstore website.
Subjects: Architects, Librarians, Library Collections, Libraries, Migration North
Geographic Region: Concord, North Carolina / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Chicago and Springfield, Illinois

MMA, South African Architectural Firm
Start Year : 2008
In 2008, at the IdeaFestival in Louisville, KY, Luyanda Mpahlwa and Mphethi Morojele received the $100,000 Curry Stone Design Prize that is administered by the University of Kentucky College of Design. Their architecture firm, MMA, created a design for single family, low income housing for a Capetown shantytown. The design is an energy efficient, two story frame structure made of timber and sandbag infill. With limited or no electricity, it can be built without skilled labor. The cost per home is 50,000 South African rand ($6,900 American). MMA is one of the few black-owned architecture firms in South Africa. The Curry Stone Design Prize is part of a $5.5 million gift to the University of Kentucky College of Design, given by alumnus Clifford Curry and his wife, H. Delight Stone. For more information see "African firm winner of Curry Stone Design Prize," UK News, 09/25/2008.
Subjects: Architects, Housing, Fair Housing, Open Housing, Housing Agencies
Geographic Region: Kentucky / South Africa

Pittman, William Sidney
Birth Year : 1875
Death Year : 1958
William S. Pittman was the son-in-law of Booker T. Washington. He was born in Alabama and was a graduate of Tuskegee Institute (1897) [now Tuskegee University] and Drexel Institute (1900) [now Drexel University], where he earned his architecture and mechanical drawing degrees. He would become one of the most accomplished architects in the United States. In 1909, Pittman designed two buildings at Kentucky Normal and Industrial Institute for Colored Persons [now Kentucky State University]: the Trade School Building and Hume Hall, which is still standing and houses the President's Office. The Trade School Building, renamed Hathaway Hall during President Atwood's tenure, was used for mechanical and trades classes, workshops and exhibits, and the printing office; it also housed an electric dynamo that provided light to the campus. The building was razed in 1967 and replaced with a new Hathaway Hall. At the completion of his work at Kentucky Normal and Industrial Institute for Colored Persons, Pittman received a letter of endorsement from the Kentucky Superintendent of Education. Pictures of the buildings and more information are available in the Kentucky Normal and Industrial Institute Annual Catalogues and the R. B. Atwood Papers at CESKAA, Kentucky State University. Additional information provided by B. Morelock at CESKAA. For more on Pittman, see Pittman, William Sidney at The Handbook of Texas Online website; William Sidney Pittman: Drexel's Class of 1900, a Drexel University website; and the Booker T. Washington Papers [online] at the University of Illinois Press.

See photo image of William S. Pittman at Drexel University Libraries Digital Collections.
Subjects: Architects
Geographic Region: Alabama / Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky

Plato, Samuel M.
Birth Year : 1882
Death Year : 1957
Samuel M. Plato was born in Alabama, the son of James and Katie Hendrick Plato. He was the husband of Nettie M. Lusby Plato (b.1879 in KY). They are listed in the 1910 and 1920 U.S. Federal Census. Prior to his marriage, Plato entered State University of Louisville in 1898, and two years later moved to Pennsylvania to enroll in an architecture course. After having finished the course, Plato moved to Marion, IN. One of the first African American architectural designers and building contractors, Samuel Plato built over 39 post offices throughout the U.S. He was one of the few African Americans to receive contracts to build defense homes during World War II. Plato came to Louisville from Marion, IN, around 1921 and would eventually remained in Louisville for the rest of his life. Contrary to what has been written, Plato's first wife Nattie M. Lusby Plato did not die in Marion, IN; she died in Louisville, KY, October 9, 1924, and is buried in Greenwood Cemetery, according to her death certificate. Plato's second wife Elnora Davis Lucas Plato (1890-1975) was not from Indiana, she was a Kentucky native and died in Washington, D.C., according to the Social Security Death Index. For more see Samuel M. Plato in African American Architects by D. S. Wilson; Samuel M. Plato, 1882-1957: a collection of accomplishments, by L. I. Neher and B. D. Shutt; In Black and White. A guide to magazine articles, newspaper articles, and books concerning Black individuals and groups, 3rd ed., edited by M. M. Spradling; and "Samuel M. Plato," Black History News & Notes, 1992, no.47-54, p.4. The Plato Family Papers, 1924-1967, are available at the Filson Historical Society in Louisville, KY.

See photo image and article about Samuel M. Plato, by Pen Bogert at the Filson Historical Society website. 
Subjects: Architects, Migration North, Migration South
Geographic Region: Alabama / Marion, Indiana / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Slave Built Building (Lexington,KY)
When the National Conference for Community and Justice (NCCJ) moved into their new office in downtown Lexington, KY, in 2000, the organization wanted the building to be recognized as a standing memorial to slave-built architecture. The 200-year-old building was constructed by slaves owned by Kentucky Legislator Henry Clay. Along the baseboard in the front entrance of the building is a gap that gives a view of the bars and the dirt floor in the small cramped basement, where the slaves may have been kept. For more see "Slave-built building will stand as a memorial," The Associated Press State & Local Wire, 09/27/2000; M. Ku, "Goal is a memorial honoring enslaved artisans," Lexington Herald-Leader, 09/27/2000, College & Region section, p. B1; and contact NCCJ at 112 North Upper Street, Lexington, KY, (859) 255-6999.
Subjects: Architects, Construction, Contractors, Builders
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Tandy, Vertner W., Sr.
Birth Year : 1885
Death Year : 1949
Born in Lexington, KY, Vertner W. Tandy was the first African American to be licensed as an architect in the state of New York. He was well-known throughout the U.S. One of his local works is Webster Hall on Georgetown St. in Lexington. In New York, he was a designer on the Abraham Lincoln Houses and the housing projects on Lexington Avenue and 135th Streets, and his works included the St. Philip's Protestant Episcopal Church on W. 133rd Street. Tandy was also the first African American to be commissioned as an officer in New York during World War I. He was a 1904 graduate of Tuskegee Institute [now Tuskegee University], and a 1908 graduate of Cornell University School of Architecture. He helped found the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity at Cornell. He was the son of Henry A. Tandy and Emma E. Brice Tandy, both Kentucky natives, and the husband of Sadie Tandy, born 1890 in Alabama. In 2009, a Kentucky historical marker was placed in the location where the Tandy home had been located in Lexington, KY. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1933-37; Biographical Dictionary of American Architects, Deceased, by H. F. and E. R. Withey; "Vertner W. Tandy," The New York Times, 11/08/1949, p.31; and M. Davis, "Fraternity puts its founder on map," Lexington Herald Leader, 09/15/2009, City/Region section, p.1.

See photo image of Vertner W. Tandy at

See photo image of Kentucky Historical Marker at wjohnston flickr site.
Subjects: Architects, Housing Authority, The Projects, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Fraternal Organizations, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky, Housing, Fair Housing, Open Housing, Housing Agencies
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / New York


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