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Design Justice Architect

I AM HOW IT HAPPENS

Pittsburgh. The green sofa and the rough-red exposed brick. The picture window view of East Liberty, Penn Plaza apartments, late 1970s.  I look out at the brick monoliths, blotting out the sun.

How do you make a building span an entire boulevard?

Buffalo.  I finished my BS in Architectural studies at Florida A&M University.  As an intern, Robert Traynham Coles FAIA challenges me to re-envision a decaying theater on Buffalo’s East Side.  My vision comes to life as the Apollo Theater Public Access Television studio.  I work to establish the Hamlin Park Historic District, where my father grew up, where I spent my childhood summers.  

I earned my Masters of Architecture from SUNY-Buffalo while working as an intern architect at Foit-Albert Associates. My involvement with Buffalo’s historic landscape continued with the new South American Rain Forest Exhibit at the Buffalo Zoo and several Buffalo Public School renovations.

How do you save a neighborhood?

Pittsburgh again. I’ve returned to my hometown as a registered architect, specializing in the adaptive reuse of historic buildings.  I am also a visual and installation artist drawing homes, painting sidewalks, trying to understand the places we live, the margins, the overlapping of the genres, the interstices.

How does design make a place?

I am passionate about reusing buildings.  I revitalize our cities to promote economic development, environmental responsibility, social justice, and sustainable growth- without sacrificing cultural and architectural heritage.  

I am how it happens.

When I'm not busy working as a Project Architect , I am developing artwork about Pittsburgh's African American neighborhoods and the meaning and legacy of displacement. - KLP