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James Whitley

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.

Accession Number

A2014.035

Sex

Male

Interview Date

2/12/2014

Last Name

Whitley

Maker Category
Middle Name

M

Schools

Kent State University

Roosevelt Elementary School

John Adams High School

Alexander Hamilton Junior High School

Rawlings Junior High School

Nathaniel Rochester School No. 3

First Name

James

Birth City, State, Country

Rochester

HM ID

WHI19

Favorite Season

Spring

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

Florida

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Ohio

Birth Date

4/29/1934

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Cleveland

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Short Description

Architect and business chief executive James Whitley (1934 - ) founded Whitley/Whitley Architects and Planners LLC.

Employment

Whitley/Whitley Architects and Planners LLC

Joseph Baker Associates

Keith Haag

Favorite Color

Red

Timing Pairs
0,0:11340,255:19020,334:23306,375:27954,420:30738,484:31602,504:33138,529:44230,734:62280,1108:72910,1232:78304,1309:96106,1573:101605,1657:104720,1677:105926,1704:114750,1773:115550,1787:127965,1950:134070,2032:135474,2069:137190,2113:139998,2174:146680,2241:146960,2247:148290,2279:148640,2285:149130,2293:177181,2630:183040,2825:183390,2831:183880,2839:185420,2872:207656,3191:208792,3270:216200,3466$0,0:6555,95:19100,220:31714,414:34298,481:48151,652:52797,799:55742,942:76643,1143:84442,1256:97434,1459:97702,1464:117164,1739:117448,1759:119791,1849:120075,1854:120856,1867:121637,1883:123909,1921:124264,1927:126039,1974:126607,1983:128027,2022:128311,2027:129092,2040:137220,2140:137520,2146:138060,2211:138420,2216:143971,2291:147832,2353:149911,2395:150406,2401:154160,2428:154640,2435:161234,2534:161502,2539:161770,2544:163244,2581:168510,2674
DAStories

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

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$2

DAStory

8$2

DATitle
James Whitley describes his sister's career as an urban planner
James Whitley recalls his favorite childhood activities
Transcript
So your brother just came on over from--$$No, he just left, he just--but see, the fre- I'm single, I was single at this time. William [HistoryMaker William Whitley] was married [to Kaysonia Whitley] with children. I, I can live, I knew I could live six months and, and the fee was six thousand dollars no way, I mean. I was quite, quite free and able to do and with, with that, he came along. 'Cause the fee was set could do what he had to do.$$Okay, so where did you set up your offices?$$It's, the first offices was at Lee Road and, and Chagrin Boulevard.$$It's in, in Cleveland [Ohio]?$$In Cl- Shaker Heights [Ohio], really but--$$Shaker Heights (simultaneous).$$--(simultaneous) Cleveland, yeah.$$All right, and now, now your sister Joyce [Joyce Whitley] is I guess involved at some point. Does she--$$Now, here's what happened, then there's the (unclear). Now, now we're architects. My sister majored in anthropology. Case Western Reserve [Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio]. She went to Fisk [Fisk University, Nashville, Tennessee] though, she went to Fisk. But, she smoked, so my mother [Beatrice Nivens Whitley] took her out of there. So, she finished at Reserve, anthropology. But, when she finishes school she says--and, and I don't know, happenstance, whatever. Urban, urban planning is a big deal at the University of Chicago [Chicago, Illinois]. Well, she somehow gets hooked up and take- goes to University of Chicago. Takes up planning city planning, all right. Comes out and she's working for a guy named Meltzer [Jack Meltzer] in Chicago [Illinois]. And as all of this comes together, I'm leave- I'm, we're going into architecture. She's getting trained as a city planner. The riots occur, the riots occur. Now when the riots occur all the federal funds go to solve that problem. But, to solve the problem you have to have a plan, you have to have a plan to solve the problem. Meltzer is, is right in position to do it. And he jumps on it immediately. Now, Joyce is in there with, with him and sees how it's done, and it's all over the country. I mean it's all over the, planning is all over the country. Joyce comes out city planner and works- experience with Meltzer every, every major city. Cleveland. So, all of a sudden she's getting work, Cleveland, Buffalo [New York], St. Louis [Missouri], Fort Wayne [Indiana], Cincinnati [Ohio], Chinatown in Washington D.C., New York City [New York, New York], New York City, Roosevelt Island, Roosevelt Island. I mean it was all over the place. But, when you get a planning, what comes after planning? Buildings. Now we're in a position, now we're in a position--we're open [as Whitley and Whitley, Architects and Planners; Whitley/Whitley Architects and Planners LLC], now this opportunity starts. Now, all over the, all these federal buildings I mean and I'm talking about multifamily, multifamily structures are going up in all the--where, where these plans are. So, then we're up and rolling then, I mean then, you know. We were knocking those things out, you know three or four a year, for many years. And the planning studies.$$So, so, so you get started in '63 [1963] but your, your sister gets involved in the late '60s [1960s] I guess--$$Yeah, it was the late '60s [1960s], '60s [1960s] (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Around when the riots are happening--$$That's right, that's right, that's right.$$--and post riots.$$And when that start happening--$What were you interested in as a little kid?$$Small, real s- just playing and--oh I'll say one thing the Warren [Ohio] experience I think probably was the most memorable. But we, we lived at--Warren's a small, you know, small basically a rural kind of community. And we lived close to the edge of town. So, the woods and the trees and all of that was accessible to us, and oh we played that to death. We played that to death. I mean it was just, just pure freedom, I mean pure freedom. And we ran out the door, you ran, you ran out to woods. You could do anything you want out there, you know what I'm saying. And that's what we did. And, I, I would say maybe that's when one of the start of the creative side, anyway. During the war [World War II, WWII], we're playing war. And you could play war in the woods. You can dig, you can dig trenches, you can build, build huts. And then we, we were famous 'cause we--tree huts. We'd have 'em swing the tree. And they had a popular tree which was about a inch and half, two inch diameter. Oh you could cut down with one or two hacks, tie 'em together or nail them together. Tied 'em together was basically what we did. And you could make anything you wanted. And we had a, a cement, we found a cement mixer--hands. Boy we made that a boat. We both--and had a creek out there. You could go down the creek and the creek is maybe, say it's eight foot wide. But, but enough to float and you know, play with what you had to do. And you, we knew how to swim, so we weren't afraid of water. But, as I think back on it those experiences were very, very nice, I mean that was a--you were free to do what you wanted to do. And it's kind of of nice, but I felt I was living in the city, I didn't feel like I was living in the country. It was a city life but freedom at the edge. You could play baseball out there, you know build yourself a--it's funny. Yeah we built baseball diamonds, it's not like there was the baseball diamond out there. But, you could put that together and play. And I remember the people that--but that was basically a white community. We were in a, all those people I remember those were, were white kids.$$Okay.$$Yeah, and none those problems in the South. I mean no southern kind of problems at all. That was like, you know I remember Paul Picerelli [ph.] lived behind me. I could come down with those, those guys names, you know. The pretty girl was Shirley Novak [ph.], you know, what I'm saying. But, a good experience, and Warren was a very good experience. Then we came to the big city, Cleveland [Ohio]. Now, that's the big difference. There's a big difference there now.

Louis Jones

Louis Jones is president of Louis Jones Enterprises, Inc. and serves on the Board of Directors for the Black Contractors United. He was born on July 1, 1946 in Hunstville, Alabama to Arthur and Alberta Jones. His father was a farmer and construction worker in the South, but when his family moved to Chicago his father became a baker with the A&P grocery chain factories. Jones attended Tilden Technical High School before earning his Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago Circle in 1973. In 1969, Jones began working for Skidmore, Owings and Merrill architects. In 1973, Jones began working for McKee-Berger-Mansueto as a School Rehab Manager.

In 1975, Jones became a licensed architect and moved to San Francisco, where he worked for a private consulting firm. He moved back to Chicago three years later and began working for Schal Associates. Between 1978 and 1984, Schal Associates built the Avondale Center, Madison Plaza, the Chicago Tribune Printing Plant, and the Magnificent Mile. In 1984, Jones became president of Louis Jones Enterprises, Inc., specializing in engineering, construction, management, consulting, and architecture. The following year, Louis Jones Enterprises, Inc. was part of the $1.7 billion renovation and expansion of O’Hare International Airport. The firm also was hired to work on Provident Hospital in 1990 and McCormick Place in 1997. In 2008, Jones' firm was hired to be part of the team to build the University of Illinois’, the James Stukel Towers student housing complex.

Since 1986, Jones sat on the Board of Directors for Black Contractors United and was elected Chairman of the Board in 1998. He was also selected to serve on the Mayor of Chicago’s Task Force for Minority & Women Business Development in 2005. Jones was a member of the Illinois Capital Development Board and has served as president pro tempore of the Illinois Department of Employment Security Advisory Board.

Louis Jones was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on May 27, 2010.

Accession Number

A2010.030

Sex

Male

Interview Date

5/27/2010

Last Name

Jones

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Schools

Bret Harte Math and Science Magnet Cluster School

Edward Tilden Career Community Academy High School

University of Illinois at Chicago

First Name

Louis

Birth City, State, Country

Huntsville

HM ID

JON23

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Alabama

Favorite Vacation Destination

Fishing

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Florida

Birth Date

7/1/1946

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Estero

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Steak

Short Description

Architect and corporate chief executive Louis Jones (1946 - ) was president of Louis Jones Enterprises, Inc. and served on the board of directors for the Black Contractors United.

Employment

Skidmore Owings & Merrill

McKee, Berger & Mansueto

Schal Associates

Louis Jones Enterprises, Inc.

The Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company

Regal Theater

Johnson and Jones Architects

Favorite Color

Navy Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:967,166:6953,352:46400,865:46736,870:47660,888:48248,900:48668,906:51524,998:53624,1049:54380,1076:68748,1217:69312,1224:80506,1406:81437,1414:86141,1431:91562,1524:100638,1760:101048,1766:101540,1773:103918,1820:109640,1905:110315,1917:110765,1924:111590,1936:112040,1943:113165,1983:126720,2353:158060,2587:159028,2603:165892,2741:166332,2747:176140,2880:176750,2886:178214,2911:185388,2988:186868,3009:189930,3024:190504,3033:190832,3039:197682,3130:203990,3189:205115,3202:208865,3235:209395,3251:210735,3279:218514,3441:221550,3499:225372,3522:225660,3527:229620,3659:235596,3772:239340,3847:239988,3857:251484,3999:252023,4009:252947,4024:256566,4122:270344,4257:271124,4269:274088,4343:276428,4392:281810,4499:283916,4533:284306,4539:284618,4544:298128,4712:298602,4719:300182,4746:306423,4803:308635,4925:317120,4985$0,0:546,13:1183,22:11792,362:21115,492:21625,499:27973,565:28458,572:34220,744:34692,749:50595,963:52263,978:66368,1167:71510,1181:78588,1291:80350,1298:82520,1309:89133,1436:91134,1477:94266,1518:100704,1676:102096,1712:112743,1819:115250,2004:132855,2120:133380,2128:136605,2205:139605,2287:141555,2346:145980,2477:155944,2628:157010,2645:160448,2673:161032,2683:161470,2690:162638,2709:163514,2726:165266,2763:165631,2769:168040,2874:169865,2897:170157,2910:170741,2919:172274,2954:177718,2998:179632,3033:180241,3041:181938,3055:190254,3260:190639,3266:191178,3284:192102,3309:192487,3315:192949,3322:193642,3335:204611,3455:206090,3487:211874,3585:214490,3628
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Louis Jones' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Louis Jones lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Louis Jones describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Louis Jones describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Louis Jones remembers his paternal uncle, James Jones, Jr.

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Louis Jones talks about his paternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Louis Jones talks about his family's history of enslavement

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Louis Jones describes his father's work at The Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Louis Jones describes his family's community in Huntsville, Alabama

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Louis Jones describes his earliest childhood memories

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Louis Jones recalls his homes in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Louis Jones lists his siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Louis Jones describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Louis Jones describes his experiences at Bret Harte Elementary School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Louis Jones recalls his early experiences of religion

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Louis Jones recalls his friends at Bret Harte Elementary School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Louis Jones remembers his near drowning at the Hyde Park YMCA in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Louis Jones describes his experiences at Tilden Technical High School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Louis Jones talks about his part time job at the Regal Theater in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Louis Jones remembers his extracurricular activities

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Louis Jones describes his decision to attend the University of Illinois at Chicago Circle

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Louis Jones remembers the assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Louis Jones recalls his peers and professors at the University of Illinois at Chicago Circle

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Louis Jones talks about the visiting professors at the University of Illinois at Chicago Circle

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Louis Jones describes his architectural thesis

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Louis Jones talks about his favorite architectural style

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Louis Jones describes his part time position at Skidmore, Owings and Merrill LLP in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Louis Jones recalls his graduation from the University of Illinois at Chicago Circle

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Louis Jones describes his organizational involvement at the University of Illinois at Chicago Circle

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Louis Jones describes his duties at Skidmore, Owings and Merrill LLP in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Louis Jones remembers meeting his wife

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Louis Jones describes his transition to McKee Berger Mansueto, Inc. in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Louis Jones describes the role of a construction manager

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Louis Jones talks about his construction projects in California and Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Louis Jones describes his building projects with Schal Associates, Inc.

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Louis Jones describes the founding of Louis Jones Enterprises, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Louis Jones talks about his early projects at Louis Jones Enterprises, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Louis Jones talks about the redevelopment of the Provident Hospital of Cook County in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Louis Jones recalls his work on the Harold Washington Library in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Louis Jones talks about the construction of the McCormick Place South Building in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Louis Jones talks about his involvement with the Rainbow PUSH Coalition and the Black Contractors United

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Louis Jones talks about his children

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Louis Jones talks about the success of Louis Jones Enterprises, Inc.

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Louis Jones remembers the contracts secured by Louis Jones Enterprises, Inc.

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Louis Jones describes his current projects at Louis Jones Enterprises, Inc.

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Louis Jones reflects upon the specialty of Louis Jones Enterprises, Inc.

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Louis Jones describes his role in the construction of ACE Technical Charter High School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Louis Jones talks about his work at the University of Chicago in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Louis Jones talks about his organizational involvement

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Louis Jones describes the changes in building design after September 11, 2001

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Louis Jones describes the process of building a hospital

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Louis Jones describes his concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Louis Jones talks about how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 11 - Louis Jones reflects upon his life

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Louis Jones narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$5

DAStory

8$3

DATitle
Louis Jones describes the founding of Louis Jones Enterprises, Inc.
Louis Jones recalls his work on the Harold Washington Library in Chicago, Illinois
Transcript
And from Schal [Schal Associates, Inc., Chicago, Illinois], where did you go? And what year was this?$$Well Schal, I came to work for Schal in, in June of 1978 from, from San Francisco [California], and worked on 200 South Wacker [200 South Wacker Drive, Chicago, Illinois], Tribune plant [Freedom Center, Chicago, Illinois]. Then Schal joint ventured with McHugh [James McHugh Construction Company, Chicago, Illinois] and I was the project director for the North Hall of McCormick Place [McCormick Place North Building, Chicago, Illinois]. And that went through a couple iterations where it went way over budget and they, they started trying to pull it back and work on it. And at that time, a friend of mine, Eric Johnson, who I went to school with [at the University of Illinois at Chicago Circle; University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois], we had a side business that was Johnson and Jones Architects [ph.]. So in the evening I would leave Schal, go around the corner and I had the license, I had gotten my architect's license. So I would look at the drawings that were being done, seal them, sign them, go home. So Schal kind of got wind of it. And this was in the era when there was big affirmative action pushes and Harold Washington, you know, was, was, was getting, getting in--in line to be mayor, you know, it was like in eighty--'82 [1982], '83 [1983] or something like that. So we started talking and they became a mentor company and they wanted to ow- hold a third of the deal and we were going to create Louis Jones Enterprises [Louis Jones Enterprises, Inc., Chicago, Illinois]. So I said okay, I don't wanna be accused of fronting for a big white company, so I gotta get somebody to look at this. So Sam Hurley [Samuel Hurley] was first deputy director, he's African American engineer, he's first deputy director of public works for the City of Chicago [Illinois]. And he was also on the city's affirmative action committee. Now they call it affirmative action. So I had Sam look at it. And he said, "Well, I know you Lou [HistoryMaker Louis Jones], I know you from Schal and all that, you know what you're doing, you're for real and all that kind of stuff. So why don't you, you know, move forward with it and see what." So then I turned it over to [HistoryMaker] Earl Neal who gave it to Anne Fredd [Anne L. Fredd] in his office to evaluate.$$Earl Neal was a black attorney?$$Yeah. And then they kind of got Ja- [HistoryMaker] James Lowry involved. And so Lowry help promulgate it as a good mentor protege thing. So I went with it. And so--and the 29th of February it was incorporated as Louis Jones Enterprises. I was living in Oak Park, Illinois and so they had my home address for a while, and then I had a small office at 440 North Wells [Street]. And so that's how I started a company. And we had a five year buyout deal and all that. In about three years, I bought them out because we were, you know, just something we wanted to do. So we started out working on McCormick Place North to bring it back, because they had sort of mothballed the job because the legislature had not funded it. And then the O'Hare Development Program came about. And by the fall of that year, in 1984, when I opened the company, by the fall of that year I had ten employees and they were all working at O'Hare field [Chicago O'Hare International Airport, Chicago, Illinois]. And I had been spending quite a bit of time in the prior year as an employee of Schal and then later on as a consultant helping the team that was doing all the budgeting for the O'Hare Development Program. What is the United terminal [United Airlines Terminal 1] gonna cost. What's the inner outer taxi way relocation and widening gonna be, the second taxi way bridge. Did a lot of analysis and studies and stuff on that. And so Dick Unsulman [ph.] was the executive director of the O'Hare Development Program and he sent out a--like an ultimatum, "Either Lou Jones is full time working with me on the O'Hare program," because he was involved with McCormick Place somehow, "or he's working on McCormick Place, which is it." Well my business and my employees were all at O'Hare, so I moved to the O'Hare thing and let the McCormick Place thing go. And I became deputy director of construction management for the O'Hare Development Program. So all of the facilities stuff, they had a deputy director for facilities and a deputy director for infrastructure. So this guy, Dan Kaiser [ph.], was over all the civil stuff like runways and roads, and stuff like that. And I was over all the buildings, like the terminal buildings, the crash fire rescue stations, that kind of stuff. And within a couple years I had twenty-five or thirty employees out there and me spending full time there when I started to pick up other work was getting to be a strain, so I brought in Joe Doddy [ph.] who's still working out there for somebody else, who's a classmate of mine, to be the deputy director for facilities.$What was the next big project that your, your firm [Louis Jones Enterprises, Inc., Chicago, Illinois] had? You had Provident [Provident Hospital of Cook County, Chicago, Illinois], you had O'Hare [Chicago O'Hare International Airport, Chicago, Illinois]?$$The Harold Washington Library [Harold Washington Library Center, Chicago, Illinois] came up and McCormick Place South [McCormick Place South Building, Chicago, Illinois] in the '90s [1990s]. Both were, were done--they had international design competition design build--they wanted design build. And we teamed with a group that call themselves the SEBUS Group, it was Schal [Schal Associates, Inc., Chicago, Illinois], Epstein [A. Epstein and Sons International, Inc., Chicago, Illinois], U.S. Equities [U.S. Equities Realty LLC; CBRE Group, Inc.] and I forget what the B in there was [Hammond, Beeby and Babka, Inc.; Hammond, Beeby, Rupert, Ainge, Inc., Chicago, Illinois]. But we did something like 10, 15 percent of the deal. We had the union crew that--a construction manager operates sort a like general contractor, they have what they call temporary facilities and controls or general conditions. We had a crew of about fifteen laborers, carpenters and one operator, and Barb [Jones' wife, Barbara M. Jones] went through a lot of people because we insisted on hiring African Americans, and we had some issues with that, and we had to really go to--we actually had to do some stuff. 'Cause I wrote a very ugly letter that everybody asked me to burn or shred because if it got to the Sun-Times [Chicago Sun-Times] or something--'cause I was threatening them that they were mani- manipulating me into laying off black folks and hiring Mexicans and white people unfairly. Because I would put a black carpenter out there and--or a black laborer and, and the, the other firms that were involved wou- would complain that they were, they were too slow, they didn't know what they was doing or something. And I said, you know, you're trying to tell me that a journeyman carpenter doesn't know what he's doing, you know, give me a break, you know. So finally--when you start a construction job there's ebbs and flows. At the beginning there is some site work. They're, they're doing the foundations and stuff and you need some laborers around there to do cleanup. You might have a little bit of safety with a carpenter or whatnot, and maybe those guys will get three weeks work or a couple months work, then they get laid off because there's a lull. And then when that thing starts to come out of the ground and it's a project that's big as Harold Washington Library, then you need a full time cleanup crew and you need a couple of people there to do backup safety where the subcontractors don't do the barriers where people might fall, you know. And if you're the general or you're the construction manager you better see that they're done. And even if it's somebody else's duty and then you just back charge them for it. So we had those kind of people. And so that came to nearly fifteen people, and I think we had one white person and one Hispanic, everybody else was black. And there was always some issue. So finally I wrote a letter and I said, "Look, you know, you've manipulated me into laying off my whole crew and then you call and said you wanted these people back and you recommended its people that wasn't black." "We don't want--we don't want that written down, where are the rest of those letters." And so then the edict came down, leave Lou [HistoryMaker Louis Jones] alone, let him hire the people that, you know, he sees fit, as long as they're doing the job.

Jose J. Mapily

Retired architecture professor and artist Jose Julian Mapily was born on August 13, 1941 in Washington, D.C. to Gladys Mines Mapily, a clerk, and William Mapily, a master sheet metal mechanic. Mapily attended and graduated from Howard University in 1965, earning his B.A. degree in architecture. In 1972, Mapily earned his M.A. degree in city and regional planning, also from Howard University.

Mapily started his career at Morgan State University as an associate professor of architecture and city planning on the graduate level program. He then returned to his alma mater, Howard University, in 1980 again serving as associate professor of architecture and city planning. While serving as an educator, Mapily also worked at a local architectural firm, Bryant and Bryant Architects and Planners. He served as the principal architect in charge of designs for some Washington, D.C. building projects including the Charles Hamilton Houston Neighborhood Center, the Mary McLeod Bethune House and the Metropolitan A.M.E. Church. Mapily also completed designs for a $20 million project for the University of the District of Columbia, Van Ness campus.

Mapily has also begun a career as an artist. His artwork can be described as gridlike paintings made out of white dots on a dark ground that resemble schematic drawings of buildings or circuit diagrams for electrical components. In 2002, Mapily’s artwork appeared at the Gala Auction Exhibition at the WPA/Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. In 2004, he participated in the exhibition, Medusa Muse Artists at North Carolina Wesleyan College Gallery in Rocky Mount, North Carolina.

Mapily was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 26, 2007.

Accession Number

A2007.165

Sex

Male

Interview Date

4/26/2007

Last Name

Mapily

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Julian

Schools

Kelly Miller Ms

Nalle Elementary School

Spingarn STAY High School

Bruce-Monroe Elementary School

Richardson Elementary School

Howard University

First Name

Jose

Birth City, State, Country

Washington

HM ID

MAP01

Favorite Season

None

State

District of Columbia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Anywhere New

Favorite Quote

It Is All Leslie's Fault.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

8/13/1941

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Salmon

Short Description

Architect and architecture professor Jose J. Mapily (1941 - ) was an associate professor of architecture at Morgan State University and Howard University. He also served as principal architect in charge of designs for some Washington, D.C. building projects, including the Charles Hamilton Houston Neighborhood Center and the Mary McLeod Bethune House.

Employment

Bryant and Bryant Architects and Planners

Mapily Associates Architects and Planners

Turner Associates

Anthony N. Johns Archtects

Favorite Color

Purple

Timing Pairs
0,0:8228,162:8954,167:12783,176:13671,185:14670,194:16446,226:17001,232:17556,239:18444,249:18999,254:20331,267:26610,282:27546,297:28716,319:32460,366:32850,372:35112,415:35424,420:36204,431:36828,441:37452,448:41196,506:41976,536:42288,541:48171,570:49134,581:54717,605:55466,613:58890,646:59425,652:60495,664:60923,669:69921,731:71104,747:71741,755:72105,760:72469,765:87960,956:88660,968:90660,986:94949,1001:95265,1006:96687,1025:97635,1038:99294,1065:105190,1079:109150,1088:109550,1094:111179,1103:111415,1108:111710,1115:121127,1191:127740,1332$0,0:676,3:4720,21:5165,27:5877,35:7301,59:10238,102:12285,124:12997,132:13709,141:16201,157:23100,281:44706,492:45798,506:46981,522:59407,631:60908,655:61935,670:62962,691:63278,696:65253,732:65727,743:66517,754:71390,775:72218,782:73184,790:78890,821:84350,869:87343,970:88438,1003:88730,1008:90482,1056:93329,1127:93767,1134:94424,1146:102950,1246:116330,1430:119769,1440:124920,1472:125376,1479:127504,1518:127884,1524:130012,1563:134952,1693:137384,1752:137764,1758:138068,1763:142960,1786:143660,1799:152220,1877:152780,1887:155696,1914:156398,1926:156866,1933:160432,1962:161116,1973:164004,2021:164916,2039:170084,2126:171832,2155:178110,2199:178485,2205:178785,2210:179160,2216:180060,2230:185280,2283:186307,2302:186939,2312:187334,2318:191945,2355:192490,2361:193362,2370:194125,2378:194670,2384:202057,2500:203242,2520:213604,2645:214048,2653:217090,2692
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Jose J. Mapily's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Jose J. Mapily lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Jose J. Mapily describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Jose J. Mapily describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Jose J. Mapily talks about the history of slavery in New York

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Jose J. Mapily describes his maternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Jose J. Mapily describes his mother's childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Jose J. Mapily describes his paternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Jose J. Mapily describes his paternal grandfather

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Jose J. Mapily describes how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Jose J. Mapily describes his father's occupation

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Jose J. Mapily describes how he takes after his parents

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Jose J. Mapily describes his earliest childhood memories

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Jose J. Mapily talks about his experiences as a Boy Scout

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Jose J. Mapily remembers his neighborhood in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Jose J. Mapily remembers his neighbors

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Jose J. Mapily recalls the technology of his youth

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Jose J. Mapily remembers repairing his family's television set

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Jose J. Mapily describes the practical skills he learned as a child

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Jose J. Mapily describes his elementary schools

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Jose J. Mapily talks about his dyslexia

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Jose J. Mapily recalls his experiences with dyslexia in school

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Jose J. Mapily remembers his early mentors

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Jose J. Mapily describes the Episcopal Church of the Atonement in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Jose J. Mapily remembers professional basketball players from his neighborhood

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Jose J. Mapily recalls running track at Joel Elias Spingarn Senior High School

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Jose J. Mapily recalls his decision to become an architect

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Jose J. Mapily lists influential African American architects

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Jose J. Mapily talks about William H. Moses, Jr.

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Jose J. Mapily describes the challenges faced by African American architects

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Jose J. Mapily describes his experiences with dyslexia as an adult

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Jose J. Mapily remembers his influences at Joel Elias Spingarn Senior High School in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Jose J. Mapily recalls being discouraged by his guidance counselor

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Jose J. Mapily describes the campus of Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Jose J. Mapily recalls SNCC members at Howard University

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Jose J. Mapily recalls the alumni of Howard University

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Jose J. Mapily describes his studies at Howard University

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Jose J. Mapily remembers his early career in architecture

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Jose J. Mapily remembers founding Turner Associates, PC

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Jose J. Mapily remembers working on the Logan Circle historic district in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Jose J. Mapily remembers designing mass transit systems

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Jose J. Mapily describes his challenges as an architect

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Jose J. Mapily describes the impact of computers on the architecture industry

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Jose J. Mapily describes the Charles Houston Community Center in Alexandria, Virginia

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Jose J. Mapily remembers building the Charles Houston Community Center

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Jose J. Mapily recalls his designs for the University of the District of Columbia, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Jose J. Mapily recalls his designs for the University of the District of Columbia, pt.2

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Jose J. Mapily describes the courses he taught at Howard University

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Jose J. Mapily reflects upon his teaching experiences

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Jose J. Mapily describes his concerns for his students

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Jose J. Mapily describes his concerns about the educational system

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Jose J. Mapily talks about his architectural style

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Jose J. Mapily describes his architectural style

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Jose J. Mapily talks about his painting career

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Jose J. Mapily recalls his partnership with Leslie King-Hammond

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Jose J. Mapily talks about 'The Magic Birdhouse'

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Jose J. Mapily describes his other collaborations with Leslie King-Hammond

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Jose J. Mapily describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Jose J. Mapily reflects upon his life

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Jose J. Mapily reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Jose J. Mapily describes his son

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Jose J. Mapily describes his concerns for the architecture industry

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Jose J. Mapily describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Jose J. Mapily narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$6

DAStory

8$1

DATitle
Jose J. Mapily recalls his decision to become an architect
Jose J. Mapily remembers building the Charles Houston Community Center
Transcript
What was your concentration in high school [Joel Elias Spingarn Senior High School, Washington, D.C.]? Did you--$$In, in high school, in the ninth grade was the year that the Russians launched Sputnik [Sputnik 1] and was the first time I heard the term aeronautical engineer. So, myself and one other friend, the one other Eagle Scout, Otis Young, he was, Otis is three years older than I am so he was already in high school and wanted to pursue aeronautical engineering so I asked him what do I need to take, you know, when I get to high school. So, his, one of the courses he said was drafting and I started drafting, my drafting course the first semester in high school and it was taught by an architect who happened to be a classmate of my parents from high school. Dave Brown, as soon as he saw the last name, he said, "I know you, Billy [William Mapily] and Gladys' [Gladys Mines Mapily] son," I said, "Yep." Well, he gave me permission to come over to his office and that's when I changed from deciding to pursue aeronautical engineering to becoming an architect and from the tenth grade, I knew what I wanted to be.$$Okay.$$Okay.$$Now was the, I just wondered, was the, was the National Organization of Minority Architects (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) No, not yet.$$No, yeah.$$It was around, I didn't know about it.$We were, I think the first African American firm that they hired and one of the reasons they hired us because it was in the African American community. The community needed this facility [Charles Houston Community Center; Charles Houston Recreation Center, Alexandria, Virginia], however, it was one extremely tight budget and the individual that I had as a project manager, actually had, (laughter) had less experience than I did, okay. He was a younger guy than I was and when I finished designing the building and we were submitting it for what we call, bids, that means that you're about to give the drawings and the written documents to a bunch of contractors to determine, you know, what they would build the facility for. Well, this particular person looked at the square footage that we had and he went into a cost estimating book and looked at what was the average cost and came to me and said, "Jose [HistoryMaker Jose J. Mapily], your building is going to cost, you know, it's going to be over budget." I said, "No it's not." I said, "I've never designed anything over budget." He said, "It's going to be over budget based on my calculations." I said, "Well, my estimator says that here's what it's going to cost and it's below budget." He didn't want to believe me and was going to hold up our pay request, said, you have too much square footage. So, you know, being a problem solving kind of individual, you know, I'm looking at, I got, I have about twenty folks that are going to be looking for their paychecks soon and this guy's going to hold it up 'cause he doesn't want to believe me. On the way back to the office [of Turner Associates, PC], I said, I know how to solve this. I've got to get the square footage down. So, there were certain build--certain parts of the building along the perimeter that, I said, okay, if I cut off one foot by the length of this element, I can get it down to the square footage. I went back to the office and told my draftsman, "Look, change this dimension down by one foot, this one down by one foot." "Why?" I told him what happened. I said, "And then run a fresh set of prints and that tomorrow I want you to take these drawings, along with these calculations, over to this guy and turn 'em in." We did, I got my payment and then a couple of weeks later when the bids came out, it was forty thousand dollars below what my estimator said it was going to be. So, you know, you asked me my favorite, favorite is a nice great little building done for a community that badly needed this kind of facility and I was able to prove, you know, my point that, you know, no, I'm right, this is under the budget. That's one favorite.

Robert P. Madison

Architect and entrepreneur Robert P. Madison was born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1923. He graduated from Cleveland’s East Technical High School with honors in mathematics and science in 1940. He attended the School of Architecture at Howard University, but left to serve in World War II as a second lieutenant. He was wounded in action in the Italian Campaign, receiving the Purple Heart and three combat ribbons. He received a B.A. in architecture from Case Western Reserve University, an M.A. in architecture degree from Harvard University, and completed additional studies as a Fulbright Scholar at L’Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris, France in urban design and prestressed concrete.

Madison served as an assistant professor of architecture at Howard University until he opened his office, Robert P. Madison International, in Cleveland in 1954, the first such office in Ohio opened by an African American architect and only the ninth in the country. Major building projects for the firm have included the United States Embassy in Dakar, Senegal, the Nuclear Facility at Tuskegee Institute (Alabama), and the Cleveland Browns Stadium.

His professional affiliations include the American Institute of Architects, Cleveland Chapter, the Architects Society of Ohio and the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects. He is the recipient of numerous honors, including an honorary Doctor of Humanities from Howard University (1987), the Cleveland Arts Prize (2000), the American Institute of Architects Ohio Gold Medal Firm Award (1994) and induction into the Northeast Ohio Business Hall of Fame.

Madison is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha, Sigma Pi Phi and Epsilon Delta Rho Fraternities.

Accession Number

A2004.026

Sex

Male

Interview Date

3/17/2004

Last Name

Madison

Maker Category
Middle Name

P.

Occupation
Schools

East Technical High School

Harvard University

Case Western Reserve University

Howard University

First Name

Robert

Birth City, State, Country

Cleveland

HM ID

MAD02

Favorite Season

April to November

State

Ohio

Favorite Vacation Destination

Florida

Favorite Quote

Far Better It Is To Dare Mighty Things,To Win Glorious Triumphs Even Though Checkered By Failure, Than To Rank With Those Timid Spirits Who Neither Enjoy Nor Suffer Much Because They Live In The Gray Twilight That Knows Neither Victory Nor Defeat. - Theodore Roosevelt

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Ohio

Birth Date

7/28/1923

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Cleveland

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Bacon, Eggs (Breakfast); Peanut Butter, Jelly S,wiches (Lunch); Fish, Chicken (Dinner)

Short Description

Architect Robert P. Madison (1923 - ) was the founder of Robert P. Madison International, in Cleveland in 1954, the first African American architecture firm in Ohio, and only the ninth in the country at that time.

Employment

Howard University

Robert P. Madison International

United States Army

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:1494,50:2324,65:5810,145:6474,154:20310,643:43762,786:51510,847:83148,1341:103626,1526:104378,1535:133336,1993:135456,2307:163460,2604:203003,3094:204422,3106:213899,3288:240910,3677$0,0:1442,57:18437,432:27033,536:28580,701:33697,1067:41194,1213:74248,1478:107458,1758:111886,1943:130678,2240:142310,2325:174170,3153:227050,3612:271510,4070
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Robert P. Madison's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Robert P. Madison lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Robert P. Madison describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Robert P. Madison describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Robert P. Madison explains how his family came to settle in Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Robert P. Madison talks about his maternal and paternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Robert P. Madison describes his father's career

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Robert P. Madison talks about the Great Migration

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Robert P. Madison recalls his experiences at East Technical High School in Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Robert P. Madison describes the childhood aspirations of himself and his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Robert P. Madison talks about his decision to attend Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Robert P. Madison talks about living in Washington, D.C. during the 1940s

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Robert P. Madison describes his experiences at Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Robert P. Madison talks about entering the U.S. Army as a commissioned officer during World War II

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Robert P. Madison talks about serving as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army during the Rome-Arno Campaign in World War II

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Robert P. Madison describes segregation in the U.S. Army during World War II and receiving the Purple Heart

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Robert P. Madison shares his thoughts about the use of the atomic bomb against Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Robert P. Madison talks about the push to integrate the U.S. armed forces at the end of World War II

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Robert P. Madison describes courting Coretta Scott King and his wife, HistoryMaker Leatrice Branch Madison

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Robert P. Madison talks about entering Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio to study architecture

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Robert P. Madison describes his experiences at Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Robert P. Madison talks about serving on the board of trustees at Case Western Reserve University

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Robert P. Madison explains how he came to marry HistoryMaker Leatrice Branch Madison

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Robert P. Madison talks about the career of his wife, HistoryMaker Leatrice Branch Madison

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Robert P. Madison recalls his experiences at L'Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris, France

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Robert P. Madison describes his tenure as a professor at Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Robert P. Madison talks about starting his own architectural firm, Robert P. Madison, Architect

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Robert P. Madison describes the growth of his family firm, which began as Robert P. Madison, Architect

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Robert P. Madison recalls designing Captain Arthur Roth Elementary School in Cleveland, Ohio and its subsequent controversy

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Robert P. Madison remembers the death of Rev. Bruce Klunder in 1964

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Robert P. Madison describes the education and careers of his two daughters

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Robert P. Madison talks about his involvement with the fraternities Alpha Phi Alpha and Sigma Pi Phi

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Robert P. Madison talks about his membership at St. John A.M.E. Church in Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Robert P. Madison describes his involvement with the NAACP during the 1960s and 1970s

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Robert P. Madison talks about the election of Carl Burton Stokes as mayor of Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Robert P. Madison describes the power wielded by African American mayors in the 1960s and 1970s

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Robert P. Madison talks about the Black Power Movement

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Robert P. Madison reflects upon the impact of integration on black-owned businesses in recent decades

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Robert P. Madison talks about public housing projects in Cleveland, Ohio and Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Robert P. Madison describes the importance of the arts and his patronage of art institutions

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Robert P. Madison recalls how he came to love the opera

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Robert P. Madison talks about his future plans for Robert P. Madison International

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Robert P. Madison narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$4

DAStory

8$1

DATitle
Robert P. Madison describes courting Coretta Scott King and his wife, HistoryMaker Leatrice Branch Madison
Robert P. Madison describes the growth of his family firm, which began as Robert P. Madison, Architect
Transcript
I don't want to get into the Cold War period yet, because I also understand that you met your wife [HistoryMaker Leatrice Branch Madison] in the nation's capital [Washington, D.C.] before going to Europe?$$Um-hm.$$Okay, to serve in the [U.S.] Army, so can you tell me about Mrs. Madison and how you came to meet her?$$Okay, (laughter) sure, I was in Washington, I was at Howard [University, Washington, D.C.], and I told you I went to an all-boys school [East Technical High School, Cleveland, Ohio], and I was an absolutely devout churchgoer at St. John A.M.E. Church [Cleveland, Ohio], and I had no sisters (laughter) which meant (laughter) that I was totally ignorant about ladies, girls or women at all, and I remember going on the first date that I was, which is a blind date, and that was a disaster (laughter). So I was around there being very disgusted and I said to one of my friends, "You know, I'm not for girls, I don't--I can't get along with these women." He said, "I got somebody I want you to meet," and he mentioned Leatrice Lucille Branch, who lived in Washington, D.C. and I called her up on the telephone, and I went to see her and I fell in love with her, but she didn't love me (laughter) at all. It was nice and crazy, I was, I told you I was commandant of the cadet corps at Howard [University, Washington, D.C.]. That was that interim period between Camp Croft [Spartanburg, South Carolina] and going to Fort Benning, Georgia. I was so much in love with her I decided to have a parade for her on a Thursday afternoon, and I called out all my troops, and marched through the quadrangle there, and she was standing behind me when I received all present and accounted for and I received the salute and there was--she wasn't impressed at all (laughter). I said I got the whole cadet corps out there. At any rate, I went away to [World] War [II, WWII] and I stayed in touch with her, and I came back, and when I came back she was, had somebody else that she had found that she liked very much, and shortly thereafter I got back I met a young lady whose name was Coretta Scott, from Antioch College [Yellow Springs, Ohio] and we were very close for about a couple of years, and then I decided, no, we decided I was trying to be an architect, and she was going to be an opera singer, that wasn't going to work. So we decided not to get married, and it happens I married Leatrice, and then when I was at Harvard [University, Cambridge, Massachusetts], we were walking across the yard there one day and here's this voice, "Hi, [HistoryMaker] Bob [Robert P. Madison]." I looked up, it's Coretta, and at that time she'd just met [Reverend Dr.] Martin [Luther King, Jr.], so she came over our house and we had quite a little chat and I met, she met Leatrice and I said I'm gonna (unclear) and so Leatrice was why I--and so I married, I met Leatrice and I've been married to her for fifty-four years now.$$Okay.$$That's right, isn't it, yeah (laughter).$$So this is 19--$$Forty-nine [1949].$$Forty-nine [1949], okay, all right, so then, oh, this is gonna be your fifty-fifth anniversary this year?$$Um-hm.$$Okay, and the date of your wedding?$$April the 16, 1949.$$And I just wanna state for the record too, this is Coretta Scott and Martin as in King.$$That's right.$$Martin Luther King, Jr.$$Exactly.$$Okay.$$That's right (laughter), that's right, oh yeah. Everybody teases me about that now. I said, "Well she wanted to be famous, and so she is," but no, I haven't seen her. I saw her once after Martin died and we spent a little while talking. I met him when he came to Cleveland [Ohio] you know, he was a remarkable person. Yes, that's, that's her.$[HistoryMaker] Mr. [Robert P.] Madison, you were talking about the launching of your firm [Robert P. Madison, Architect; Robert P. Madison, International, Inc., Cleveland, Ohio] in 1954, and then the early changes in the name as we moved through the '60s [1960].$$Yeah, yeah during the '50s [1954], '54 [1954] after we opened--after we, you know our practice was pretty much our friends, and we had a doctor who wanted me to do his office over and his wife wanted me to do the back porch and do the recreational room and the basement. That was work. And then Nick Hood [Reverend Nicholas Hood, Sr.] out of Detroit [Michigan] had a church [Plymouth United Church of Christ, Detroit Michigan], and we started doing a church as well as what we call 221(d)(3) housing, federal government housing, and we did a number of government housing projects throughout Detroit and Columbus [Ohio] and Washington, D.C. and Bernard [Madison]--it was Julian [Madison], Julian joined in '56 [1956], and it was Madison and Madison, and then Bernard came on in 1960 after he graduated from his school [Howard University, Washington, D.C.], and so it's Madison, Madison and Madison [Architects and Engineers], and we practiced like that for ten years, and which as I said before he was getting a little bit, and he was right. People would come into the office and say, "I want to speak to the big boss," you know. He was never given the kind of recognition that a partner should get, so he just decided to go out on his own. He went to Washington, Baltimore, Maryland, and we sort of gave him a stipend and he started his own practice, and he practiced until about two years ago. Then it was Madison, then we went back to Madison, Madison International in 1970, right, and that was Julian and I, and we practiced there until 1983, in which Julian's daughter, Sharon [Madison], who was in Detroit, had joined him; and Julian and I had problems all along, the thirty years of practice. They were ideological problems. He was--I'm an architect, he's an engineer and we didn't recognize this early on, but architects are dreamers, wild-eyed, "Look, the beauty of the thing is the essence of it," but Julian was far more practical, he was an engineer and for thirty years the struggle between me and the creative effort and Julian the good old practice, "let's get bigger, bigger, bigger, bigger." Julian was a tremendous person in marketing, he was outgoing, he was a lot like my father [Robert J. Madison] with a kind of bon vivant attitude about life, but in 1983 we'd gotten to a point where he wanted to keep getting bigger and bigger and bigger, and I said, "Gee whiz I'm tired of getting bigger and bigger," because we had, we had 150 people working for us at one time. We had offices in Detroit, Chicago [Illinois], Philadelphia [Pennsylvania], Atlanta [Georgia] and New Jersey, Newark [New Jersey], and I said, "You know Julian, I go to Chicago, and I meet people who are on my payroll I don't even know, (laughter) and what can they do," and I'd go to Detroit, same way, and I said, "so we said look, we've proven we can do so let's just say okay, let's prove that we can still go our separate ways." So, he, we broke up. He took over the offices in Detroit, Chicago and Milwaukee [Wisconsin], and I took over the offices in Cleveland and Atlanta. Soon the office in Atlanta closed, and I retrenched pretty much, because most of the work we had was in Detroit, Chicago and Milwaukee, and he, his office thrived and he did very well, and he was killed, as you may have heard, in 1989 which I was just stunned by, but that was why the Robert P. Madison, Madison, Madison; Madison, Madison, Madison; Madison, Madison; and now back to Robert P. Madison, go the full circle.$$Okay, in fifty years. So when was it officially Robert P. Madison, International? Was that a rather recent?$$Nineteen eighty-five [1985].$$Oh, '85 [1985].$$Eighty-five [1985] yeah, '85 [1985], yeah 'cause we left, we started the separation in '83 [1983] and we finally signed the papers in '85 [1985].