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Robert P. Madison

Designing Victory: The Architect Who Dared, Dreamed, and Achieved International Acclaim ***

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As a proud member of the historic Buffalo Soldiers, 2nd Lt. Madison returned to civilian life in 1946 to resume his education. But his application for admittance to the School of Architecture at Western Reserve University in Cleveland was summarily denied. The stated reason? He was black. A few days later, Madison returned in full dress uniform, complete with the Purple Heart awarded to him as a result of battlefield wounds sustained in Italy. Shamed and under duress, the university grudgingly admitted Madison. Still, school administrators taunted Madison: “You will never work as an architect.”