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Roberta Washington Architects
African American AIA Fellow

SAY IT LOUD - New York
SAY IT LOUD - NOMA 50th Exhibition
SAY IT LOUD - Washington DC Exhibitor

New York Based Designer

What do you do?

Roberta Washington is an American architect. She is the founding principal of Roberta Washington Architects, one of the only architecture firms in the United States led by an African-American woman. She is a Commissioner on the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission.



The great architect, Roberta Washington became interested in studying architecture after a chance encounter with a neighbor who was an architect. For a grade 8 project, she was required to write about three professions she was interested in. Missing a third person to interview, her mother suggested the next door neighbor, whose description of architecture inspired her.

Washington received her bachelor's degree in architecture from Howard University. She received a full scholarship along with 25 other African-American students from Columbia University as a response to its campus riots in 1968. There, she earned her master's degree in architecture. After earning her master's degree, she spent four years working on hospital and housing projects in Mozambique.

During her education, she was active in organizations including the Women’s Caucus at the AIA and Alliance of Women in Architecture. Forming bonds with fellow architects helped inspire Washington to work to ensure legacies of blacks and women aren’t lost. To note, she has been researching and writing about Beverly Loraine Green and Georgia Louise Harris Brown since 1997.

In 1983, she founded Roberta Washington Architects.

She served on Community Board 10 in Central Harlem where she was chair of the Housing Committee and co-chair of the Land Use Committee. In 2007, she was appointed to the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission.



Object Five - Alternative career, volunteer work with organizations not directly connected with the built environment, or service to society


Year of Elevation: 


Featured Project Name: 

The Museums at 18th & Vine


Featured Project Location: 

Kansas City, MO


Featured Project Completion Date: 




Role in Featured Project: 

Consulting Architect


Featured Project Description:

The Museums at 18th & Vine were created as part of an effort to revitalize what had been one of the city's grandest and most vibrant neighborhoods. The project included the restoration and interior detailing of the El Capitan building which houses the Jazz Club, Museum components, and administrative offices. As consultants to the architect, studies of the overall site were developed and detailing of the new portion of the complex, which will house the Negro Baseball Museum and grand lobby.

Photography Credit:

Roberta Washington Architects

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