In 1954, Robert Madison started Robert P. Madison International Inc., Ohio's first architectural firm started by an African-American. In this 2006 interview, Madison discusses the challenges he faced as a black man trying to become an architect and the discrimination he faced at various points in his life. He describes serving in World War II and coming back to Cleveland, where he successfully challenged racial discrimination at Case Western Reserve University, graduating with a degree in architecture before moving on to graduate studies at Harvard and in Europe. Madison describes the establishment of his architecture firm and some of the projects on which he worked, including the American Embassy in Senegal and churches for the African Methodist Episcopal Church. More broadly, Madison remarks on the role of African-Americans in architecture and what he views as his legacy as an African-American architect.


Madison, Robert (interviewee)


James, Greg (interviewer)


American Institute of Architects



Document Type

Oral History


61 minutes

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License.

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