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The April 24th issue of CurbedDC names MMD Principal Michael Marshall as one of 10 influential African American architects in the nation’s capital. Marshall is in good company on this prestigious list, which includes John Lankford, William Sidney Pittman, Romulus C. Archer, Jr., Albert Irvin Cassell, Harry Robinson, Barbara Laurie, Peter Cook, Marshall Purnell and Kathryn Prigmore. In the article, author Michelle Goldchain notes that though African Americans make up 13% of the total population in this country, only 2 percent of licensed architects are African American. Interestingly, the D.C. area has attracted many of them.
In the article, Goldchain chronicles how African Americans helped shaped the nation’s capital. In fact, the White House was built by a number of African Americans, both enslaved and free at the time. Before 1968 much of the work given to African American architects was limited to small scale projects such as additions to existing facilities. The Shaw Joint Venture of 1968, the most comprehensive building survey in the nation, changed that. The project was managed by African American architects in DC; after its completion, many minority-owned firms in the city were able to secure larger projects.
Read the entire article here.