Gate on Haverford College Campus Linked to Black Architectural Pioneer Julian Abele

Edward B. Conklin GateLast month, JBHE published a post noting the accomplishments of Julian Frances Abele (1881-1950), the architect who designed many of the classic buildings on the campus of Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. The first African American to graduate from the Graduate School of Fine Arts at the University of Pennsylvania, Abele’s role in designing the Duke campus did not become widely known until 1988.

Now, new research by a faculty member at Haverford College in Pennsylvania, has found that one of Abele’s first creations was the Edward B. Conklin Gate of Haverford College on Railroad Avenue. Abele designed the gate while he was still a student at the University of Pennsylvania. The gate was named after a member of the Class of 1899, who died a year after earning his degree.

willie-williamsA 1999 campus survey of Haverford said that the designer of the gate was “unidentified.” But William Earle Williams, the Audrey A. and John L. Dusseau Professor in the Humanities at Haverford, discovered the identity of designer while conducting research on Adele for a ceremony honoring the architect at the Abington campus of Pennsylvania State University.

Professor Williams is a graduate of Hamilton College in Clinton, New York, and holds a master of fine arts degree from the Yale University School of Art.


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