Robert R. Taylor and Tuskegee: An African American Architect Designs for Booker T. Washington

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NewSouth Books, Jan 1, 2012 - Architecture - 282 pages
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Winner of the Southeastern Society of Architectural Historians Award of Excellence

Robert R. Taylor and Tuskegee interweaves the life of the first academically trained African American architect with his life's work--the campus of Booker T. Washington's Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute. In this richly illustrated architectural history, the author delves into such questions of how a black boy born in North Carolina shortly after the Civil War could earn a professional architecture degree at MIT, and how he then used his design and administrative skills to further Booker T. Washington's agenda of community solidarity and, in defiance of strengthening Jim Crow, the public expression of racial pride and progress. The book also considers such issues as architectural education for African Americans at the turn of the twentieth century, the white donors who funded Tuskegee's buildings, other Tuskegee architects, and Taylor's buildings elsewhere. Individual narratives of Taylor's Tuskegee buildings conclude the volume.


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Tuskegee Before Taylor
Taylor at Tuskegee
Cleveland and Alabama an Interlude
The Director of Industries I
The Director of Industries II
The Director of Industries III
Wilmington Again
Catalog of Taylors Tuskegee Buildings

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About the author (2012)

ELLEN WEISS is the author of North Kingstown, Rhode Island (Providence 1978) and City in the Woods: the Life and Design of an American Camp Meeting on Martha's Vineyard (Oxford 1987 and Northeastern 1998). The latter investigates a unique American community form with architectural and planning inventions that spread across the country in subsequent examples. Her preoccupation with communities built to utopian impulses fuels her current work on Booker T. Washington's Tuskegee Institute and its principal designer, Robert R. Taylor. Weiss studied at Oberlin College, the University of California at Berkeley, and the University of Illinois. She has taught architectural and planning history at several universities and is Professor Emerita at the Tulane University School of Architecture. She has served on the boards of the Society of Architectural Historians, the Vernacular Architecture Forum, and the Southeast Society of Architectural Historians.

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