"The shadows are all mine," Julian Francis Abele proclaimed when discussing his architectural drawings for the new Duke University campus. Construction began on the Duke Chapel in 1930 —a time when educated African Americans rarely received the recognition for their accomplishments. Working in the Philadelphia firm run by Horace Trumbauer, Abele stayed in the background.
Abele was born on April 30 in 1881. In 1902 he was the first African-American to receive a B.A. in Arch. from the University of Pennsylvania. Today, Duke University is proud to celebrate Abele as the chief designer for many of their campus buildings.
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Photo of Duke Chapel ©Don Klumpp / Collection: The Image Bank / Getty Images