Julian Abele and the Design of Duke University: An Extended Essay by William E. King
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Julian Abele and the Design of Duke University: An Extended Essay tells the story of how an African American architect came to design the new campuses for Duke University in Durham, North Carolina in the segregated South of the 1920s. Abele practiced his trade as chief designer of the architectural firm of Horace Trumbauer in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania which was selected by the benefactor, James B. Duke. Abele's talent and contributions were well known in Philadelphia but his role was discovered gradually, both nationally and at Duke University. Since no records of the architectural firm exist, King's essay pulls together scattered oral history interviews and articles written over a long period of time to place Abele's role in the proper context of his life and times which also was a transitional period in the history of American architecture. The account is both an institutional and family history utilizing contributions of Julian Abele Jr. and the family of Julian Abele Cook whose son and daughter are graduates of Duke University.