There is so many beautiful forms of
Architecture like those Big Pyramids
the Africans invented.
nice to see the Louvre, which is a
pyramid in Paris. See how those people
in Paris admire the African invention
of the Pyramid that they made a glass
pyramid. But that’s their form of the
No one has ever been able to
duplicate the African pyramids just
exactly like the Africans made them.
So I just love architecture and the way
houses come in all sorts of designs
like jacuzzi tubs, glass showers, double
sinks, double ovens, arch driveways,
spiral stairs, bay windows, balconies.
That’s all good.
But speaking of Architecture, I would
like to inform you of this great Black
Architect named Leon Bridges.
He was born August 18, 1932 in
East Los Angeles California.
As a young boy, he used to draw
floor plans and building designs. So
he knew early on he wanted to go into
architecture. That is convenient to know
early on because the more practice you
get the better. Plus, he don’t have to
make a transition. He’s already there
in the career mind of where he wants
to be. That’s wonderful and fantastic.
He had a mentor who is an AFRICAN
amERICAN MAN named Paul Williams. He is
an architect. The name sounds familiar-
Paul Williams. I’ve researched him before.
But anyways, Leon Bridges graduated
Dorsey High School. Then he attended
East Los Angeles Junior College and Los
Angeles City College and the University
of California Los Angeles. He was in the
military, and one of the great benefits
of being in the military is free college.
But yes, as a soldier, he continued
studying architecture. He was an actor in
several movies and toured with Griffith
Park Greek Theatre Light Opera Company from
1950-1952. This great man earned his
4 year degree at the University of
Washington in Seattle in 1960.
His first job was a draftsman
which he got hired for in 1956. He worked
as an intern for California architect
Alan MOrris supervising the building
of a house. Leon worked for a small
firm designing houses. The first design
he did for a home was a 1350 sq feet
Mr. Bridges worked for the
architecture firm Gottleland and
Kocarski as a draftsman and designed
catholic churches and buildings in
Seatlle. By 1962, he became a registered
Then he formed his own architecture
firm, which showed more and more of his
independence. That firm is called Leon
Bridges AIA. It’s so great to be able
to run things. Building this own architecture
firm was like going beyond like a marathon
runner crossing the finish line.
Mr. Bridges was the first Registered
African American architect in Maryland.
By 1971, he took the role of
National Director of the Amrerican Institute of Architects (AIA). He also co-founded
the AA/Ford Minority fund which has given
millions of dollars in college scholarships
to those in need. So much props to him for
both being great, doing his own thing,
and giving back.
He is a partner in the Obsidian
Group, an architectural, design and planning
firm with buildings in Baltimore, NEw York,
and North Carolina. He is also a very
active mentor in the NAACP’s ACT -SO
national mentoring program.