From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Pittman, William Sidney

(born: 1875  -  died: 1958) 

William S. Pittman was the son-in-law of Booker T. Washington. Born in Alabama and a graduate of Tuskegee Institute (1897) [now Tuskegee University] and Drexel Institute (1900) [now Drexel University], he earned his architecture and mechanical drawing degrees from those schools. 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 (1875-1958) at The Handbook of Texas Online website; Martin, Kevin (Drexel University Archivist), Booker T. Washington, William Pittman and the Drexel Institute, July 2005, a Drexel University website; McBride, Colin, William Sidney Pittman, April 2014, at the BlackPast website; and Hieber, Maria, "Early Influencers: William Sidney Pittman Was A Pioneer for Black Architects," Dec. 2020, at the DMagazine website (Dallas).

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Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Pittman, William Sidney,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed July 19, 2024,

Last modified: 2021-05-10 16:32:57