African American Architects: A Biographical Dictionary, by Dreck Spurlock Wilson

By Dreck Spurlock Wilson

An excellent source. brief bios of early Afro-American architects with photos in their signature constructions.

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A year after completing these projects, Alexander teamed with his second White partner, Maurice A. Repass, a football teammate who was also an engineering graduate. He joined forces with Alexander in 1929 when they bid for a Michigan contract. The City of Grand Rapids awarded the new partnership the contract to build a $1 million sewage treatment plant in 1930. Columbus, Nebraska, also hired Alexander & Repass to build the Loup River Power Plant in 1933. As the Great Depression worsened, the firm struggled to stay in business despite its good reputation.

Alexander’s prominence did not allow him to escape the tentacles of racism. One of the worst examples occurred in 1944 when he purchased a large house in a fashionable White Des Moines neighborhood and had to fight a restrictive racial covenant. The first morning after he moved into his home, he and his wife Audra woke up to a burning cross in their front lawn. The culmination of his public service was his selection by President Dwight David Eisenhower in 1954 to serve as governor of the Virgin Islands, which turned out to be an unhappy experience.

S. 1825 Dalton Ave. Huntington WV 1942 Long-Garfield Filling Station Columbus OH 1926 Mt. Zion Baptist Church Fairmont Ohio State University Testing Laboratory Campus WV Columbus OH 1928 A biographical dictionary 1865-1945 35 Joseph Manual Bartholomew Sr. Bartholomew Sr. was born in a modest house on the corner of Cherokee and Ester Streets in New Orleans, Louisiana, on August 1, 1881. He was one of four children. His father was an African American cook and his mother was of Cajun descent. Joseph Batholomew attended public school in New Orleans, but did not advance beyond the eighth grade.

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