4.22.2007

Wallace A. Rayfield

Wallace A. Rayfield (born Macon, Georgia around May 10, 1874—1941) was the second formally educated practicing African American architect in the United States.
Rayfield graduated from Pratt Institute, Columbia University in 1899 with a Bachelor of Science in Architecture. Upon graduation, he was recruited by Booker T. Washington to the Directorship of the Architectural and Mechanical Drawing Department at Tuskegee Institute in Alabama. In 1907, Rayfield opened a professional office in Tuskegee from which he sold mail-order plans nationwide. He also advertised "branch offices" in Birmingham, Montgomery, Mobile and Talladega, Alabama and Atlanta, Savannah, Macon and Augusta, Georgia.
He left Tuskegee Institute and moved to Birmingham in 1908 to focus on his young practice. He was elected as Superintending Architect for the Freedman's Aid Society and Connectional Architect of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church.

One notable example of his work is the 16th Street Baptist Church - a large, predominantly African American Baptist church in Birmingham in the U.S. state of Alabama. It was the target of the racially-motivated 1963 16th Street Baptist Church bombing that killed four girls in the midst of the American Civil Rights Movement. The present building, a "modified Romanesque and Byzantine design" by the prominent black architect Wallace Rayfield was constructed by the local black contractor T.C. Windham in 1911. The cost of construction was $26,000. In addition to the main sanctuary, the building houses a basement auditorium, used for meetings and lectures, and several ancillary rooms used for Sunday school and smaller groups.

Notable works
16th Street Baptist Church, Birmingham, Alabama, 1911
32nd Street Baptist Church, Birmingham, 1924
6th Avenue Baptist Church, Birmingham
Trinity Baptist Church, Birmingham
Metropolitan A.M.E. Zion Church, Birmingham
Ebenezer Baptist Church, Chicago, Illinois
St Paul's Episcopal Church, Batesville, Arkansas
Trinity Building, South Africa
Mt. Zion Baptist Church, Pensacola, Florida
Morning Star Baptist Church, Demopolis, Alabama
Marlinton Methodist Church, Marlinton, West Virginia
Marlinton Presbyterian Church, Marlinton, West Virginia
Mt. Pilgrim Baptist Church, Milton, Florida
Madame Clisby Residence, Birmingham
Dr A. M. Brown Residence, Birmingham
R. A. Blount Residence, Birmingham

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wallace_Rayfield

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