Architect known designing for African American museum dies

July 09, 2019 - 6:51 pm

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The architect who designed buildings ranging from local libraries to the National Museum of African American History and Culture has died in North Carolina. Phil Freelon was 66 years old and had suffered from ALS for several years.

Spokesman and friend Michael Reilly says Freelon died Tuesday in Durham.

Freelon was a native of Philadelphia who worked for years at architectural firms in Texas and North Carolina. When he opened his own firm, he was the only employee. He declined to design prisons, casinos or strip shopping malls, instead focusing on libraries, museums and schools.

He was the principal architect for the African American history museum, which opened in September 2017 in Washington, D.C.

A service will be held Sept. 28 in Durham. Survivors include his wife, the singer Nnenna Freelon; and three children.

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