Amaza Lee Meredith
|Born||August 14, 1895|
|Died||1984 (aged 90)|
|Resting place||Eastview Cemetery, Petersburg, Virginia, U.S.|
|Education||Virginia State Normal and Industrial Institute, Columbia University|
|Partner(s)||Edna Meade Colson|
Amaza Lee Meredith (August 14, 1895 – 1984) was an African American architect, educator and artist. Meredith was unable to enter the profession as an architect because of "both her race and her sex" and worked primarily as an art teacher at Virginia State College, where she founded the art department.She is best known for her residence, Azurest South, where she and her partner, Edna Meade Colson, resided together.
An architect is a person who plans, designs and reviews the construction of buildings. To practice architecture means to provide services in connection with the design of buildings and the space within the site surrounding the buildings that have human occupancy or use as their principal purpose. Etymologically, architect derives from the Latin architectus, which derives from the Greek, i.e., chief builder.
Virginia State University (VSU), also known as Virginia State, is a historically black public land-grant university in Ettrick, Virginia. Founded on March 6, 1882, Virginia State developed as the United States's first fully state-supported four-year institution of higher learning for black Americans. The university is a member school of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund.
Azurest South, the home and workplace of Amaza Lee Meredith is one of the few examples in Virginia, United States of the Post World War I German style: International Style. Meredith was the founder of the fine arts department of Virginia State University in 1930. She shared the home with her companion, Dr. Edna Meade Colson, dean of the Virginia State University School of Education. When Meredith died, she left half of the property's interest to the Virginia State University National Alumni Association, and after Colson's death, the association purchased the other half of the estate.
Meredith was born in Lynchburg, Virginia.Her father, Samuel Peter Meredith, was white, and was also a master stair builder. Her mother, Emma Kennedy was black, so her parents were prohibited by anti-miscegenation laws from marrying in Virginia. Eventually, her parents traveled to Washington, D.C. to get married. Not long after their marriage, her father began to lose business, "apparently as a result of the marriage" and committed suicide in 1915.
Lynchburg is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia in the United States. As of the 2010 census, the population was 75,568. The 2017 census estimates an increase to 81,000. Located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains along the banks of the James River, Lynchburg is known as the "City of Seven Hills" or the "Hill City". In the 1860s, Lynchburg was the only major city in Virginia that was not recaptured by the Union before the end of the American Civil War.
In the United States, anti-miscegenation laws were state laws passed by individual states to prohibit interracial marriage and interracial sex.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington or D.C., is the capital of the United States. Founded after the American Revolution as the seat of government of the newly independent country, Washington was named after George Washington, the first President of the United States and a Founding Father. As the seat of the United States federal government and several international organizations, Washington is an important world political capital. The city is also one of the most visited cities in the world, with more than 20 million tourists annually.
Meredith started teaching in a one-room schoolhouse in Indian Rock after she completed high school.Later, she went back to Lynchburg and taught elementary school, before returning to college. In 1922, she attended Virginia State Normal and Industrial Institute, and afterwards, taught at Dunbar High School for six years. In 1926, she moved to Brooklyn, New York, where she attended the Teacher's College of Columbia University. She studied fine arts, receiving a bachelor's degree in 1930 and then her master's degree in 1934. she then returned to Virginia where she founded the Arts Department for Virginia State University in 1935.
One-room schools were commonplace throughout rural portions of various countries, including Prussia, Norway, Sweden, the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Spain. In most rural and small town schools, all of the students met in a single room. There, a single teacher taught academic basics to several grade levels of elementary-age boys and girls. While in many areas one-room schools are no longer used, it is not uncommon for them to remain in developing nations and rural or remote areas. Examples include remote parts of the American West, the Falklands, and the Shetland Islands.
Brooklyn is the most populous borough of New York City, with an estimated 2,648,771 residents in 2017. Named after the Dutch village of Breukelen, it borders the borough of Queens at the western end of Long Island. Brooklyn has several bridge and tunnel connections to the borough of Manhattan across the East River, and the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge connects it with Staten Island. Since 1896, Brooklyn has been coterminous with Kings County, the most populous county in the U.S. state of New York and the second-most densely populated county in the United States, after New York County.
Columbia University is a private Ivy League research university in Upper Manhattan, New York City. Established in 1754, Columbia is the oldest institution of higher education in New York and the fifth-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. It is one of nine colonial colleges founded prior to the Declaration of Independence, seven of which belong to the Ivy League. It has been ranked by numerous major education publications as among the top ten universities in the world.
Despite having no formal training in architecture, Meredith designed many homes for family and friends in Virginia, New York and Texas.Her first building was Azurest South, which was completed in 1939 and was designed "both inside and out" completely by Meredith. She and her partner, Colson, moved in together and it would be their primary residence for the rest of their lives. Azurest South is considered a rare example of Virginia's International Style and displays her interest in avant-garde design. Meredith also used Azurest South as her own art studio. Meredith was active in documenting her lifestyle and accomplishments at Azurest though photographs.
New York is a state in the Northeastern United States. New York was one of the original thirteen colonies that formed the United States. With an estimated 19.54 million residents in 2018, it is the fourth most populous state. In order to distinguish the state from the city with the same name, it is sometimes referred to as New York State.
Texas is the second largest state in the United States by both area and population. Geographically located in the South Central region of the country, Texas shares borders with the U.S. states of Louisiana to the east, Arkansas to the northeast, Oklahoma to the north, New Mexico to the west, and the Mexican states of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo León, and Tamaulipas to the southwest, and has a coastline with the Gulf of Mexico to the southeast.
The International Style is a major architectural style that was developed in the 1920s and 1930s and was closely related to modernism and modern architecture. It was first defined by Museum of Modern Art curators Henry-Russell Hitchcock and Philip Johnson in 1932, based on works of architecture from the 1920s.
In 1947, Meredith started developing a 120 lot subdivision in Sag Harbor called Azurest North.Azurest North was created for her family and friends to use. In order to develop Azurest North, she and her friends created a group, called Azurest Syndicate, which worked to create an African American leisure community. Lots were sold to investors who built cottages in Sag Harbor. Terry Cottage and Edendot were both designed by Meredith. Meredith was also an inventor. In 1955, she received a patent for an accessory to be attached to a golf bag.
Sag Harbor is an incorporated village in Suffolk County, New York, United States, in the towns of East Hampton and Southampton on eastern Long Island. The village developed as a working port on Gardiner's Bay. The population was 2,169 at the 2010 census.
Leisure has often been defined as a quality of experience or as free time. Free time is time spent away from business, work, job hunting, domestic chores, and education, as well as necessary activities such as eating and sleeping. Situationist International proposes that leisure does not evolve from free time, and free-time is an illusory concept that is rarely fully "free"; economic and social forces appropriate free time from the individual and sell it back to them as the commodity known as "leisure". Certainly most people's leisure activities are not a completely free choice and may be constrained by social pressures, e.g. people may be coerced into spending time gardening by the need to keep up with the standard of neighbouring gardens or go to a party because of social pressures.
In 1958, she retired from teaching.She continued to design buildings and paint throughout the 1960s. In the 1970s, Meredith designed logos to be used for a proposed name change for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Meredith died in 1984 and is buried alongside Edna Meade Colson at Eastview Cemetery, Petersburg, Virginia.
Archie Alphonso Alexander was an African-American mathematician and engineer. He was an early African-American graduate of the University of Iowa and the first to graduate from the University of Iowa's College of Engineering. He was also a governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Anne Bethel Spencer was an American poet, teacher, civil rights activist, librarian, and gardener. While a librarian at the all-black Dunbar High School, a position she held for 20 years, she supplemented the original three books by bringing others from her own collection at home. Though she lived outside New York City, the recognized center of the Harlem Renaissance, also known as the New Negro Movement, she was an important member of this group of intellectuals. Following her marriage to Edward Spencer in 1901, the couple moved to Lynchburg, Virginia where they raised a family and lived for the reminder of their lives.
Julian Francis Abele was a prominent African-American architect, and chief designer in the offices of Horace Trumbauer. He contributed to the design of more than 400 buildings, including the Widener Memorial Library at Harvard University (1912–15), Parkway Central Library (1917–27), and the Philadelphia Museum of Art (1914–28). He was the primary designer of the west campus of Duke University (1924–54). Abele's contributions to the Trumbauer firm were great, but the only building for which he claimed authorship during Trumbauer's lifetime was the Duke University Chapel; after Trumbauer's death, he was more open in claiming credit for his work, which included the original architectural drawings for Cameron Indoor Stadium.
The Overton Hygienic Building is a Chicago Landmark and part of the Black Metropolis-Bronzeville District in the Douglas community area of Chicago, Illinois. It is located at 3619-3627 South State Street.
John A. Lankford was an American architect. He was the first professionally licensed African American architect in Virginia in 1922 and in the District of Columbia in 1924. He has been regarded as the "dean of black architecture".
The Golden State Mutual Life Insurance Building was built in 1928 and for many years housed one of Los Angeles's most successful African American-owned businesses, the Golden State Mutual Life Insurance Company. It is located in the heart of the city's Central Avenue commercial district that was a center of the jazz world in the 1930s and 1940s. The two-story building was designed by architect James H. Garrott and constructed by Louis Blodgett in the Mission Revival style. The company occupied the second floor, while the first floor was rented out to local merchants. The noted Dunbar Hotel is located on the next block to the north.
Walter Thomas Bailey (1882–1941) was an American architect from Kewanee, Illinois. He was the first African American graduate with a bachelor of science degree in architectural engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the first licensed African-American architect in the state of Illinois. He worked at the Tuskegee Institute, and practiced in both Memphis and Chicago. Walter T. Bailey became the second African American that graduated from the University of Illinois.
Ethel Bailey Furman née Ethel Madison Bailey was an American architect who was the earliest known African-American female architect in Virginia.
Temple Beth Am is a historic Conservative synagogue in Los Angeles, California. Founded in 1935, it moved into a new building designed by one of the earliest African-American architects in Los Angeles, Ralph A. Vaughn, in 1959. In recent years, it has received significant donations from Holocaust survivor Sigi Ziering and his wife, Marilyn, whose names are on the building.
Elizabeth Carter Brooks (1867-1951) was an African American educator, social activist and architect. She was passionate about helping other African Americans achieve personal success and was one of the first to recognize the importance of preserving historical buildings in the United States. Brooks was "one of the few Black women of the era who could be considered both architect and patron."
Georgia Louise Harris Brown is considered to be the second African American woman to become a licensed architect in the United States. She was also the first black woman to earn a degree in architecture from the University of Kansas. She was also the only black member of the Chicago chapter of Alpha Alpha Gamma.
Beverly Loraine Greene was an American architect. According to architectural editor Dreck Spurlock Wilson, she was "believed to have been the first African-American female licensed as an architect in the United States." She was registered as an architect in Illinois in 1942.
Alberta Jeannette Cassell was an African American architect who worked for the Navy.
Alma Fairfax Carlisle is an African American architect and architectural historian who worked in Los Angeles. Her work led to the preservation of many historic districts and sites in the city of Los Angeles.
The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards estimates that, at the end of 2013 there were 105,847 licensed architects in the United States. Of these, 2,006, or about 2%, are self-identified as African American, and listed in the Directory of African American Architects; only 343 of these are African American women. "If there is any kind of profession that's gotten away with a kind of benign neglect of diversifying itself over the course of last 30 years, it's architecture," says Ted Landsmark.
Martha Ann Cassell Thompson was a member of the prominent Cassell Family of African-American architects. She was the chief restoration architect for the National Cathedral.
Edna Meade Colson was known for her contributions to improving access to education to Virginian African Americans.
Isaiah T. Hatton (1883–1921) was an architect in the United States known for his designs of buildings for his fellow African Americans. Several are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Romulus C. Archer Jr. was an American architect. An African American, Ae is credited with designing Virginia University of Lynchburg in Lynchburg, Virginia and Saint Paul African Union Methodist Church in Washington D.C.. Both are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.