WALTER SCOTT BLACKBURN
Blackburn Architects, Inc.
African American AIA Fellow
SAY IT LOUD - Washington DC Exhibitor
Indiana Based Designer
Outside of Indianapolis, Blackburn designed several important structures such as Purdue University’s Black Cultural Center, the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati, and the Malcolm X Institute at Wabash College in Crawfordsville.
WALTER SCOTT BLACKBURN
Walter Scott Blackburn was born on February 21, 1938. He grew up in Indianapolis and attended Purdue University, where he studied engineering. Blackburn later transferred to Howard University’s School of Architecture. While at Howard, Blackburn met his wife and future business partner, Alpha Coles. Blackburn was a gifted architect and quickly gained national prominence for his projects. He designed several of Indianapolis’s well-known structures including the HOOSIER DOME, INDIANAPOLIS ARTSGARDEN at CIRCLE CENTER MALL, Grace Apostolic Church, and the INDIANA CONVENTION CENTER expansion. Outside of Indianapolis, Blackburn designed several important structures such as Purdue University’s Black Cultural Center, the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati, and the Malcolm X Institute at Wabash College in Crawfordsville. Blackburn received numerous awards for his work. He was named a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects in 1990 and received the Edward Pierre Award from the Indiana chapter of the American Institute of Architects in 1998. Both of his alma maters presented Blackburn with honors, including an honorary doctorate from Purdue University’s School of Engineering and Technology and the Distinguished Alumni Award from Howard University. In 1993, Mayor Stephen Goldsmith recognized Blackburn’s contributions by proclaiming December 15, 1993, as Walter S. Blackburn Day.
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Design, Plan & Execution in Collaboration with Ehrenkrantz Eckstut & Kuhn
Featured Project Description:
The Artsgarden is both a signature architectural element of a revitalized downtown and a public space devoted to public art. Rising seven stories above the intersection of Washington and Illinois streets, the hemispherical thin-shell structure is an iconic element in the heart of the MILE SQUARE. Though the Artsgarden may appear like a “fragile nest” hovering perilously above the busy intersection, the triangular-shaped glass dome is rigid enough to withstand substantial heavy loads.