Black Architect Gave Form to Duke Campus

NY Times Letter to the Editor by Joyce Mendelsohn
New York, Sept. 22, 1993


No mention is made in the controversy over Duke University's efforts to add black faculty members (front page, Sept. 19) that much of the Duke campus was designed by a black architect, Julian Francis Abele.

Born in Philadelphia in 1881, Abele received a degree in architecture from the University of Pennsylvania. With financial support from Horace Trumbauer, the architect, he went on to study at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris and became its first American black graduate. Abele returned to Philadelphia to join Trumbauer's firm, where he was chief designer from 1909 to 1938, the date of Trumbauer's death, after which he was a partner until his own death in 1950.

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