Groundbreaking Ohio Architect Honored Tonight

Robert Madison is being saluted for his sixty-year career
Robert Madison is being saluted for his sixty-year career
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Robert Madison got his professional start thanks to a sense of personal frustration. Speaking on 90.3 in 2004, Madison said the struggle began as soon as he graduated with a BA in Architecture from Case Western Reserve University.

ROBERT MADISON:When I received my degree from Reserve, the firms in town wouldn't allow me to fill out an application ---"we don't hire colored people." And then, when I received my degree from Harvard and was elected president of the class, nobody bothered to interview me.

And so, he opened his own office, in 1954 --- the first minority-owned architecture firm in Ohio. And now, sixty years later, Robert P. Madison International has built everything from a hospital on Cleveland's eastside, to the U.S. Embassy in Dakar, Senegal. Madison has won honors from the American Institute of Architects and the Cleveland Arts Prize. In a 2005 ideastream interview about his profession, Robert Madison suggested that a healthy society respects its architectural heritage over the wrecking ball of urban renewal.

ROBERT MADISON: New is not necessarily better. If we begin to destroy all we've built, we will never have a history.

The long-running history of Robert Madison's professional career will be saluted tonight at 6:00 at Cleveland State University's Levin College of Urban Affairs.

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