The Black Architects Archive
Few people know the names of Horace King, Ethel Madison Bailey Furman, Julian Francis Abele, Elizabeth Carter Brooks, Amaza Lee Meredith, William Wilson Cooke, Norma Sklarek, or Georgia Louise Harris Brown—just a few among the many Black people who made significant contributions to the built environment but whose names have remained absent from history. Additionally, few people are aware of the buildings, bridges, and parks in their neighborhoods that were built by these Black architects, landscape architects, contractors, and engineers. Structural racism kept these built environment practitioners from being publicly acknowledged for their works and, in some cases, from even being paid for them. For many of these architects, the knowledge of their contributions has persisted only in the memories of their descendants.
The Black Architects Archive surfaces these and other under-represented built environment practitioners across history by mapping the impact of Black intellectual and physical labor on transforming the American built environment. The Archive helps to diversify the spatial history of our towns and cities while also serving as a public history resource that documents the impact of Black spatial practices on American history and culture. Recognizing that many Black architects were marginalized in history because they could not be formally recognized for their contributions due to racial discrimination, the Black Architects Archive relies on crowd-sourced and community-based contributions to grow its repository of Black shapers of the built environment.
The Black Architects Archive is the work of the Data Humanism by Design Research Group and is supported by grants and funding from the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts; Northeastern University's College of Arts, Media, and Design and the NULab for Texts, Maps, and Networks; and the Princeton University School of Architecture.