On the surface, Seattle’s architectural heritage can seem very, very white. But black architects have been contributing to Seattle’s urban fabric for decades.
A bit of history: Benjamin McAdoo founded Seattle’s first black-owned architecture firm in the middle of the last century, and gained renown for everything from churches to educational facilities to private homes. Leon Bridges founded the second in the early 1960s before moving to Baltimore and becoming the first registered black architect in Maryland.
Of course, many would follow. Mel Streeter had an extremely prestigious career dating back to the 1950s which included having a hand in both Quest and Safeco Field as well as Seatac Airport. Roderick Butler touched homes all across the region with N3 Architects. Many practicing Seattle architects are shaping our area—and the world, depending on the specialty—right this second, including Donald King (whose work is seen throughout the city, thanks to work on Seattle Housing Authority high-rises), Weber Thompson’s Susan Frieson, and DLR Group’s Rico Quirindongo.
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Special thanks to AIA Seattle’s diversity roundtable for guidance.Read More