Duke University to Further Honor Julian Abele, the Black Architect Who Designed Much of Its Campus

Jo-Carolyn Goode | 3/17/2016, 5:55 p.m.
In December, a JBHE post noted that Duke University was contemplating how to best honor the memory of Julian Abele. ...
Julian Abele (photo: wikipedia.org)

article via jbhe.com

In December, a JBHE post noted that Duke University was contemplating how to best honor the memory of Julian Abele. A Philadelphia-based architect, Abele designed many of the Gothic buildings on the campus of Duke University.

But because of his race, the university did not originally celebrate the architect of many of its most important structures. Abele died in 1950 having never visited the Duke campus where he had played such an important role. Abele’s role in designing the Duke campus did not become widely known until 1988. That year the university hung a portrait of Adele in the main administration building and another portrait was placed in the Rubenstein Library.

But now the university has announced that the main quadrangle with the university’s initial academic and residential buildings will be named Abele Quad. A plaque will be placed at the center of the Quad. In addition, a plaque honoring Abele will be placed in Duke Chapel. The university also announced that it will purchase the rights to the mural “Shadow and Light (for Julian Francis Abele).” The mural will become part of the permanent collection at Duke’s Nasher Museum of Art.

A video exploring Abele’s contributions to Duke University can be seen below:

YouTube

Exploring Julian Abele's Contributions to Duke University

Duke University Archives is home to a collection of drawings, colored sketches and photos that depict the construction and design work for the original Duke campus. Julian Abele, the chief designer of architectural firm of Horace Trumbauer, played a central role in designing Duke’s campus. Read more: http://today.duke.edu/2016/03/abele A special thank you to Duke University Archives for contributing to this video piece.

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