During a recent visit to Philadelphia, I paid my respects to two of my favorite people from the history of Duke University: Julian Abele and Horace Trumbauer. Trumbauer’s architecture firm was hired to design the new campuses of Duke University, which were constructed between 1925 and 1932.
Abele was the first African-American graduate of the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Architecture (1902). As Trumbauer’s chief designer, he designed Duke Chapel. In addition to Duke, Abele’s work can be seen at the Free Library of Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Trumbauer never received a formal education in architecture but designed some of the grandest residential homes of the Gilded Age, and later hotels and office buildings. One of his clients was James B. Duke, who hired Trumbauer to design his Fifth Avenue mansion in NYC (construction was completed in 1912). The success of the project likely led to Trumbauer’s firm receiving the commission to design Duke University.
Julian Abele is buried in the Lehman section of Eden Cemetery, designated the oldest African-American cemetery in the United States.
Horace Trumbauer is buried in the Franconia section of West Laurel Hill Cemetery.
You can track the progress of the construction of Abele’s designs for Duke’s East and West Campuses in our digital collection, “The Construction of Duke University, 1924-1932.”
Post contributed by Kim Sims, Technical Services Archivist for the Duke University Archives.
Search The Devil’s Tale
Tag Cloud2011acquisitions 2012acquisition 2013acquisition advertisements advertising African American history archives artistsbooks civilwar conservation diaries digitization documentary dorisduke dukehistory durham durhamhistory economists events film fullframe games Haiti Heschel holidays human rights letterhead literature longcivilrights madmen Mad Men madmenmondays medicine movediary move prep movinghom photography recipes renovation rubensteinstaff scrapbooks sports students women's history zines
The Devil’s Tale Archive
- Internationalist Books and Community Center records, 1960s-2011. August 26, 2014
- Marcel Montassut papers, 1914-1975. August 21, 2014
- Bengal Chamber of Commerce letter of gratitude to Daniel Mackinlay upon his retirement, 1860 February 21. August 21, 2014
- John Symonds Breedon diaries and account books, 1736-1808. August 18, 2014
- Rosina Lyon letters, 1846-1849. August 15, 2014
- Walden; or, Life in the woods August 22, 2014
- Precationes ex veteribus orthodoxis doctoribus : ex ecclesiae hymnis et canticis, ex Psalmis denique Dauidis collectae, et nunc recens recognitae & auctae August 8, 2014
- The danger of premature interment : proved from many remarkable instances of people who have recovered after being laid out for dead, and of others entombed alive, for want of being properly examined prior to interment : also a description of the manner the ancient Egyptians, and other nations preserved and venerated their dead, and a curious account of their sepulchral ever burning lamps and mausoleums : likewise, the pernicious effects of burying in the body churches, and confined church-yards pointed out, whereby many valuable lives have been lost to the public, and their friends : selected from historical records August 7, 2014
- Conseils aux femmes de quarante ans August 7, 2014