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Donald Stull

Architect Donald L. Stull, was born on May 16, 1937, in Springfield, Ohio. His family moved to Columbus, Ohio in 1949, where he graduated from East High School in 1955. He attended Ohio State University, earning a B.S. degree in architecture in 1961. Two years later, he received a master’s degree in architecture from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design. For the next four years he developed his skills and knowledge with the Architects Collaborative in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Samuel Glaser Associates in Boston, as a designer and project manager.

Stull, a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects (FAIA), is the founding partner, owner, and president of the architectural firm, Stull and Lee Associates, Inc. Founded in 1966 as Stull Associates, in Boston, Massachusetts, his architectural and urban design and planning firm has been recognized throughout New England and nationally and internationally. Stull’s broad experience and contributions include the design of educational, health care and correctional facilities, highway infrastructure, transit stations and multi-family housing. Stull has also been a leader by bringing attention to the unique contributions of African American architects and urban designers across America with New DesigNation. The first New DesigNation Conference was held in Philadelphia in November 1996. Over 500 designers of color examined issues faced by African Americans in the design profession

In the mid-1960s, Stull established himself as a solo architect and planner for both public and private agencies to meet the needs of a “new Boston,” as a case of urban renewal. In 1990, M. David Lee, a graduate of Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, joined Stull, and the firm became Stull and Lee Associates, Inc. With co-partner Lee and a staff of forty design professionals – Stull and Lee grew from residential design to major building projects in Boston including the Roxbury Community College, the Harriet Tubman House, and the Ruggles Street Station of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA).

Stull and Lee’s most recent awards include the Boston Society of Architects (BSA) Award for Excellence in Architecture for the Boston Police Headquarters; the American Institute of Architects Honor Award for Architecture for the Ted Williams Tunnel (to Boston’s Logan Airport); the BSA’s Honor Award for Design of the Williams Tunnel; and the American Planning Association/Massachusetts Chapter Social Advocacy Award.

Stull is the father of three: Cydney, vice-president and treasurer of a Florida trucking business; Robert, a noted comic book illustrator; and Gia, an art school student.

Donald Stull was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on December 3, 2004.

Accession Number

A2004.246

Sex

Male

Interview Date

12/3/2004 |and| 1/25/2005

Last Name

Stull

Maker Category
Organizations
Schools

East High School

The Ohio State University

Harvard University

Fulton Elementary School

Speakers Bureau

Yes

Speakers Bureau Availability

Any

First Name

Donald

Birth City, State, Country

Springfield

HM ID

STU01

Speakers Bureau Preferred Audience

Architecture, Urban Design, Artistic Pursuit

Speakers Bureau Honorarium

Yes - $1,000 - $5,000

Favorite Season

Fall

Speaker Bureau Notes

Honorarium Specifics: $3000-5000
Preferred Audience: Architecture, Urban Design, Artistic Pursuit

Sponsor

Turner Construction Company

State

Ohio

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

Frequently, People Do Bad Things For The Right Reasons.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Massachusetts

Birth Date

5/16/1937

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Boston

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Chicken, Clam Chowder, Seafood

Short Description

Architect and architecture chief executive Donald Stull (1937 - ) established Stull and Lee Associates, Inc. in Boston. Stull’s architecture, urban design and planning have profoundly impacted the physical landscape of Boston and other urban areas.

Employment

Stull Associates, Inc.

Stull and Lee Associates, Inc.

Main Sponsor
Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Donald Stull's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Donald Stull lists his favorites, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Donald Stull lists his favorites, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Donald Stull describes his maternal family

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Donald Stull describes his mother's background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Donald Stull describes his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Donald Stull describes his father's background

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Donald Stull describes his father's employment

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Donald Stull describes his family's emphasis on education

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Donald Stull describes his younger sister's experience in the Peace Corps

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Donald Stull remembers his younger sister's death, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Donald Stull remembers his younger sister's death, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Donald Stull describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Donald Stull describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Donald Stull reflects upon his family life growing up

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Donald Stull describes his earliest childhood memories, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Donald Stull describes his earliest childhood memories, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Donald Stull describes his early interest in architecture, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Donald Stull describes his early interest in architecture, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Donald Stull describes his success at The Ohio State University

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Donald Stull describes his education in Springfield, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Donald Stull recalls his interest in geometry

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Donald Stull describes his literary interests, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Donald Stull describes his literary interests, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Donald Stull recalls his gang involvement at East High School

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Donald Stull describes his experience at The Ohio State University

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Donald Stull describes cues division

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Donald Stull describes the impact of cues division

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Donald Stull recalls the lack of African Americans in the field when he entered the architecture profession

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Donald Stull recalls receiving The Ohio State University's Outstanding Alumnus Award

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Donald Stull describes The Ohio State University's Alumni Award ceremony

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Donald Stull describes his time at Harvard Graduate School of Design

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Donald Stull recalls graduating from Harvard Graduate School of Design

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Donald Stull recalls joining The Architects' Collaborative

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Donald Stull describes his introduction to the architectural profession

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Donald Stull describes Stull Associates in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Donald Stull describes Stull Associates' transition period

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Donald Stull describes his involvement with Yale University

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Donald Stull recalls how the Civil Rights Movement impacted his career

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Donald Stull recalls passing the architectural registration exam

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Donald Stull remembers Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Donald Stull describes his firm's community development contributions

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Donald Stull describes his firm's innovation in technology

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Donald Stull remembers designing schools in New England, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Donald Stull remembers designing schools in New England, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Donald Stull describes the I-95 extension project

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Donald Stull describes superhighway development

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Donald Stull describes the proposed Interstate 95 extension

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Donald Stull describes Massachusetts Governor Francis W. Sargent's highway development moratorium

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Donald Stull describes highway alternatives

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Donald Stull describes Boston's Orange Line

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Donald Stull describes his firm's Boston development projects, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Donald Stull describes his firm's Boston development projects, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Donald Stull talks about urban design

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Donald Stull describes the development of Boston's Roxbury Community College

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Donald Stull describes Roxbury Community College's design

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Donald Stull describes Ruggles Station and the Boston Police Headquarters

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Donald Stull describes the Boston Police Headquarters

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Donald Stull recalls his housing development projects

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Donald Stull describes his firm's innovation in housing design

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Donald Stull describes his paper, 'The Being in Blackness'

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Donald Stull describes his son, HistoryMaker Robert Stull's, international renown

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Donald Stull describes environmentalist Julia Allen Field, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Donald Stull describes environmentalist Julia Allen Field, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Donald Stull explains his stance against revitalizing Boston's Franklin Park Zoo

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Donald Stull describes the impetus for the Middle Passage Memorial

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Donald Stull describes the Middle Passage Memorial's development

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Donald Stull describes the Middle Passage Memorial's prospective location on Spectacle Island

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Donald Stull describes famous memorials that inspired his designs

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Donald Stull describes the Middle Passage Memorial

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Donald Stull describes the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 7 Story: 10 - Donald Stull describes Stull and Lee, Inc.'s gallery

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Donald Stull describes honors that he received

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Donald Stull reflects upon his life, pt. 1

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Donald Stull reflects upon his life, pt. 2

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Donald Stull describes his goals

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Donald Stull describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Donald Stull reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Donald Stull narrates his photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Donald Stull narrates his photographs, pt. 2

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Donald Stull narrates his photographs, pt. 3

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Donald Stull narrates his photographs, pt. 4

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Donald Stull narrates his photographs, pt. 5

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Donald Stull shares his scale model for the Middle Passage Memorial

DASession

1$2

DATape

3$6

DAStory

4$3

DATitle
Donald Stull describes cues division
Donald Stull describes Roxbury Community College's design
Transcript
Sometime in that process, a person named Rich Miller [Richard A. Miller], who was associate editor at Architectural Forum in New York, came to [The] Ohio State University [Columbus, Ohio] as a visiting professor, and he put together a special project in our senior year to--urban design was just becoming a discipline. Dean [Josep] Lluis Sert, the Spanish architect who came to Harvard [Graduate School of Design, Cambridge, Massachusetts] from Spain, he was a disciple of Le Corbusier, was the--introduced the first academic program in urban design in this country, though he often said, it, it doesn't matter what you call it, everything is architecture. The--but, but, Rich Miller brought the concept of urban design to Ohio State University in this special program, and it was to take a look at an old section of center city called Germantown [German Village, Columbus, Ohio], which had these quaint little buildings and they--and little houses and so on. And it subsequently became famous. It became a major school project. I was one of the members in the--in the team that went into Germantown and analyzed it using cues division, drawn directly from gestalt psychology, which I mentioned before is one of the bases for the way I think and work. So, when you--what, what you do is you, you look to understand the generic characteristics of the thing visually and--before the gingerbread and the--or--and--that--that's what any given period of architecture has a underlying generic skeleton, or structure, that defines it in that period in time, whether it's Victorian or art deco or whatever. And we developed what we called a series of cues division. For example, you can look at the John, John Hancock [Tower, Boston, Massachusetts] building under certain light situations, you, you don't see it, something happens called--there's a cue division, something happens called environmental fusion. And so the glass planes of the wall--of the wall, they blend with the sky units. So, so we developed--so then Perry [Borcher] in the architectural history department had me analyze some of the world's most outstanding architecture using the cues division that we had developed. So, the Parthenon [Athens, Greece], analyzed the Parthenon, relative to things like continuation of edge and environmental fusion, and so on. So, we took a section of his slide collection that he used for teaching and set up a subdivision within it that had to do with that. And that was my beginning. We won a fellowship from the Bruner Foundation in New York City [New York, New York] to do additional research in perceptual psychology, and that's what developed these cues division.$As you designed Roxbury Community College [Roxbury Crossing, Massachusetts], you were always sensitive to the users and, of course, the users in this case are the students, the adult students, and there are adults, many of them. What were the special things that you tried to build in for these users?$$Yeah. The, the--I, I have to go--I think a bit into philosophically the way I think about design. The--if, if one is going to design an educational facility, it's my view that you first need to ask and answer questions regarding, what is education, what is learning? And then begin to evolve a design that's responding to and answering those questions. When I did Roxbury Community College, the question for me at the time was that learning--the conclusion I arrived at was that--is that learning is an interactive process, that it's an interaction between student and books, student and teacher, teacher and teacher, student and student, student and environment. For example, in a learning objective in design, we know that from a physical point of view, from a scientific point of view, the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. Therefore, the most efficient way to get from one place to another place is that way. However, if that is in a learning environment, the critical question is not how quickly you can get there but what happens to your mind on the way? And so that may not be the shortest distance or the fastest way to get there. You may decide to take the line through a labyrinth of learning experiences. That's one of the reasons Roxbury Community College is not one big mega structure building, but a--but a campus. And so I looked for ways to create the, the places within that environment where one could enjoy the interactive process of learning at very many different levels. We've got some sculptures sitting in different places, places where you can sit outside quietly and contemplate the places and all the buildings where in--that kind of interactive process can happen. The, the dialogue with the community also influenced that because the site happens to be along the foothill of Highland Park [Boston, Massachusetts] where the, the top of the hill is the old standpipe, which--the fort [Roxbury High Fort, Boston, Massachusetts]. And historically, the people who basically were the movers and shakers of Boston [Massachusetts] built their suburb places on the hillsides and the hillside places overlooked the mills down in the valley in Lower Roxbury [Boston, Massachusetts] that were fueled by Stony Brook. So, in that valley, historically, there were New England mill buildings. And so we used that reference for the individual structures of the--of the college. They take on the characteristics and the proportions of, of the mill buildings, and they provide visual vistas from the hill out to the various other parts of the city without looking at one enormous massive building.