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James Whitley

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Information about James Whitley

Profile image of James Whitley

Profession

Category:
BusinessMakers
Occupation(s):
Architect
Business Chief Executive

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Red
Favorite Food:
None
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Florida
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
4/29/1934
Birth Location:
Rochester, New York

Profession

Category:
BusinessMakers
Occupation(s):
Architect
Business Chief Executive

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Red
Favorite Food:
None
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Florida
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
4/29/1934
Birth Location:
Rochester
See how James Whitley is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Architect and business executive James M. Whitley was born on April 29, 1934 in Rochester, New York and raised in Warren and Cleveland, Ohio. Whitley’s father was a chemist; his mother an actress. He graduated from Kent State University in 1957 with his B.S. degree in architecture.

In 1963, Whitley founded Whitley/Whitley Architects and Planners LLC, a full service architectural and planning firm specializing in institutional design, sport facility design, and commercial housing design, where he has served as president and designer. He went on to expand the firm alongside his brother, William, and his sister, Joyce, and moved Whitley/Whitley Architects to Shaker Heights, Cleveland in 1969.

Whitley/Whitley Architects has provided a substantial amount of work in Cleveland and the State of Ohio for various city and state public agencies, as well as services for cities and community groups in cities throughout the United States, including Saint Louis, Missouri; Indianapolis, Indiana; Fort Wayne, Indiana; Gary, Indiana; Chicago, Illinois; Saginaw, Michigan; Buffalo, New York; Rochester, New York; New York City, New York; Orlando, Florida; Atlanta, Georgia; Reading, Pennsylvania; Washington, D.C. and San Diego, California. Whitley/Whitley was involved with work on Cleveland’s Tower City Center, the Cleveland State University Convocation Center, Lincoln Junior High School, the Lee-Harvard Branch of Cleveland Public Library, the Central Area Multi-Service Center, and the Cleveland Clinic Guesthouse development. Other projects have included Kent State University's Fashion Museum, Cuyahoga County Community College's Learning Center, and Cleveland’s John F. Kennedy Recreation Center. Whitley’s firm has also designed numerous housing units and worked on several rehabilitation projects.

Whitley/Whitley Architects and Planners LLC has received many awards and honors, including the Progressive Architecture Design Award, the HUD Biennial Design Award, Burlington Awards, the House and Home Award, the Ohio Prestressed Concrete Design Award, the Ohio Masonry Council/ASO Award for Excellence in Masonry Design, the Cleveland Chapter of Architect’s Building Design Award, the East Ohio Energy Conservation Award, and the ASO Honor Awards Certificate of Merit.

Whitley’s son, Kent, is a project manager and architect at Whitley/Whitley.

James Whitley was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 12, 2014.

See how James Whitley is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of James Whitley's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - James Whitley lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - James Whitley describes his mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - James Whitley talks about his mother's education and occupation
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - James Whitley describes the community of Marked Tree, Arkansas
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - James Whitley describes how his parents met
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - James Whitley describes his parents' personalities
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - James Whitley describes his parents' move Rochester, New York
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - James Whitley lists his siblings
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - James Whitley describes his family's move to Ohio
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - James Whitley describes his younger sister
  • Tape: 1 Story: 12 - James Whitley describes his earliest childhood memory
  • Tape: 1 Story: 13 - James Whitley describes his experiences as a twin
  • Tape: 1 Story: 14 - James Whitley describes his neighborhood in Rochester, New York
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - James Whitley describes his early education
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - James Whitley recalls his favorite childhood activities
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - James Whitley remembers Rawlings Junior High School in Cleveland, Ohio
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - James Whitley recalls transferring to Alexander Hamilton Junior High School in Cleveland, Ohio
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - James Whitley describes his influential teachers
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - James Whitley describes his coursework at John Adams High School in Cleveland, Ohio
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - James Whitley describes the history of football in Ohio
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - James Whitley describes his activities at John Adams High School
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - James Whitley recalls his decision to become an architect
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - James Whitley recalls his decision to attend Kent State University in Kent, Ohio
  • Tape: 2 Story: 11 - James Whitley describes his architectural training at Kent State University
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - James Whitley recalls his internship with Robert P. Madison
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - James Whitley recalls his experiences at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - James Whitley describes his decision to join the track and football teams
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - James Whitley remembers his mentors at Kent State University
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - James Whitley recalls joining the firm of Joseph Baker and Associates
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - James Whitley remembers serving in the U.S. Air Force
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - James Whitley recalls founding Whitley and Whitley, Architects and Planners
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - James Whitley describes his sister's career as an urban planner
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - James Whitley recalls the growth of black business during the Black Power movement
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - James Whitley recalls the election of Mayor Carl Stokes in Cleveland, Ohio
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - James Whitley talks about the importance of networking in the construction industry
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - James Whitley remembers developing his architectural firm
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - James Whitley recalls his contract with the Cleveland Clinic
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - James Whitley describes his approach to architectural design
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - James Whitley describes the obstacles to innovation in architectural design
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - James Whitley describes the challenges facing African American architects
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - James Whitley describes his hopes for the African American community
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - James Whitley reflects upon the African American leaders of Cleveland, Ohio
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - James Whitley describes his relationship with Robert P. Madison
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - James Whitley recalls building facilities for the East Cleveland City School District
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - James Whitley describes the challenges faced by architectural firms
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - James Whitley remembers winning a Progressive Architecture Award
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - James Whitley recalls his work with the General Services Administration
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - James Whitley describes his relationship with the American Institute of Architects
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - James Whitley talks about his mentorship of young architects
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - James Whitley describes the role of lawyers in the construction industry
  • Tape: 5 Story: 10 - James Whitley describes his concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 5 Story: 11 - James Whitley reflects upon his legacy
  • Tape: 5 Story: 12 - James Whitley shares his advice to aspiring architects
  • Tape: 5 Story: 13 - James Whitley talks about his family
  • Tape: 5 Story: 14 - James Whitley describes how he would like to be remembered