HBCU Architects: Then, Now, The Future: PV Designs Exhibit

February 15, 2017
Prairie View A&M University

“HBCU Architects: Then, Now, the Future: PV Designs” is an exhibit that features the work of Prairie View A&M University School of Architecture graduates and noted pioneer black architects throughout U.S. history. The exhibit is currently on display in the Texas Institute for Preservation of History Gallery, adjacent to the SOA.

The exhibit also highlights African American architects who successfully pursued education despite their socio-economic background. Although they encountered barriers, these individuals became skilled professional craftsmen; some at a time when blacks were denied education at predominantly white institutions.

Barry Norwood, director of Student Services/Service Learning, John Okello, professor, and Michael Hurd, director of the Texas Institute for the Preservation of History and Culture, worked together to produce the exhibit. To engage SOA alumni, Norwood sent the graduates queries asking for their participation. Hurd provided the research on the history of black architects and Okello the posters for the pioneers. The following alumni and their work are featured in the exhibit:

  • Terry Smith ‘93 – Panther Stadium and the African American Library in Houston;
  • Ben McMillan ‘77 – Above and Beyond Fellowship Church, several elementary schools in Houston; and
  • Jarrett Ewing ‘04, – 75-story ‘Class A’ Capital Market Authority Tower located in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Architectural Pioneers featured:

  • Paul Revere Williams — architect to the stars in Hollywood and also the designer of the famous theme restaurant at Los Angeles International Airport,
  • Julian Adele — who designed the Duke University campus in the 1920s, two decades before black students were allowed to attend the school, and
  • Vertner Tandy, the first black registered architect in the state of New York and designer of the mansion of Harlem businesswoman Madam C.J. Walker.


Later in the month, Feb. 23-25, the exhibit hosts designs for the HBCU Architects Forum. Students from the following Historically Black College and Universities with architecture programs will have their work displayed: Florida A&M, Hampton, Howard, Morgan State, Tuskegee, University of the District of Columbia, and PVAMU displaying their works. This will be the first time PVAMU will host the forum. The exhibit will be on display through Monday, Mar. 20, 2017.



Written by Jourdan B. Scruggs