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Architectural Heroes

Architecture by Norma Merrick Sklarek

The Best of African-American Architecture

Happy Black History Month! As specialists in Architecture across the USA, this is our ode to influential Black Architects that have made waves throughout US history. Inspiring us and paving the way for the next generation of Architects.

These Black Architects are the unsung heroes of the industry, so its time to remember them and highlight the prowess of their work.


Norma Merrick Sklarek (1928 – 2012)

Defying social norms, Norma Merrick Sklarek (1928 – 2012) was the first African-American woman to become a licensed Architect in New York in 1954.

During her time as an Architect, she’s faced discrimination and sexism frequently, with her work often going uncredited. Despite this, her architectural excellence shone through and she began paving the way for the next generation of Architects.

"In architecture, I had absolutely no role model. I'm happy today to be a role model for others that follow."

She was a founding member of the Women Architects and Design Professionals and was actively involved in the National Organization of Minority Architects. Even after her retirement, she continued to present at universities and colleges about Architecture.

Sklarek’s most significant collaborations include: The US Embassy in Japan, San Barnardino City Hall, Fox Plaza San Francisco and Mall of America, Minneapolis.


Robert Robinson Taylor (1868 – 1943)

Leaping back in time, we reflect on Robert Robinson Taylor’s significant contribution to the Architectural Industry.

Having been the first African-American to graduate MIT, and the first accredited African-American Architect everything he did was a ‘first’. Leading the way for Black Architects across the world.

Upon his graduation in 1856, he was recruited by Booker T Washington, to work on the Tuskegee University. He was the Campus Architect, Planner and Construction supervisor for almost 40 years, creating a series of buildings, combined to create a beautiful and fit-for-purpose campus.

Paul Revere Williams (1894 – 1980)

If you’re an architecture enthusiast along the West Coast, then Paul Revere Williams is a household name. With over 3,000 structures under his belt, he’s mastered a range of architectural styles.

Willams’ designed a plethora of celebrity homes but also has a vast portfolio of prominent buildings like the Stanley Mosk Courthouse and Hillside Memorial Park, Al Jolson Shrine.

Design for the future, many of Williams’ designs still look modern to our perspective. His perspective on design was always forward thinking and it can be clearly illustrated by his work on the space-age landmark, The LAX Theme Building.

One of his final structures was the Westwood Medical Plaza, On the west side of the building, Williams purposely left it without windows, to remove any view of the National Cemetery. Today, its modern features are the perfect home for billboard advertisements.


Feeling inspired?

We’ve only just scratched the surface of Black Architectural history, but we implore you to learn more about how our predecessors have influenced the industry.

But if you’re an avid architect ready to put your stamp on the world, we’re here to place you in some of the top architectural firms in the US.  Reach out to our US Architecture specialist Joe Bungey today on or +1 (737) 708 6694.





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