Philip Freelon, an educator, architect, and a key figure in the design of the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C., died on July 9 after a three-year battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. He was 66 years old.
A native pf Philadelphia, Freelon studied architecture at North Carolina State University and earned a master of architecture degree at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He founded his architectural practice in Durham, North Carolina, in 1990. The firm was involved in the design of many structures relating to the African American experience including the National Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta, the Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco, and the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum in Jackson.
In addition, Freelon taught and lectured at colleges and universities throughout the United States. He was a professor of practice at MIT.