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Julian Francis Abele
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Birth: Apr. 21, 1881
Pennsylvania, USA
Death: Apr. 18, 1950
Philadelphia County
Pennsylvania, USA


Timeline: The Life of Julian Abele.

The legacy of architect Julian Francis Abele was brought into focus in the mid-1980s when in the midst of a student protest at Duke University his great grandniece reminded the campus community that her long unsung ancestor was responsible for the eleven original architectural drawings for the campus. Born in Philadelphia on April 21, 1881, Abele entered the Pennsylvania Museum and School of Industrial Arts at age sixteen and, as the school's highest ranking student and only black, graduated with a certificate in architectural design in 1898. He excelled in his studies at the University of Pennsylvania where he was elected president of the University of Pennsylvania Architectural Society and graduated with a degree in architecture in 1902.

Hired by the Philadelphia Architectural firm of Horace Trumbauer in 1902, he set about designing mansions and country homes for the wealthy elite mainly along the Eastern Seaboard, large public buildings like the Philadelphia Free Library and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, churches, mausoleums, banks, stores, school buildings, hotels, and apartments. Late in his career as chief designer for Horace Trumbauer he joined the T-Square Club and was elected to the American Institute of Architects.

Abele, an unassuming fair-skinned black man who lived in a white world, was careful to avoid situations that potentially could cause him embarrassment or humiliation because of his race. While his employer, Mr. Trumbauer, who dropped out of school as a teenager, brought in the clients, Abele worked quietly in the background as the most successful black architect of his era. Abele died in his hometown of Philadelphia on April 18, 1950.

Sources: Fikes, Robert
Dreck Spurlock Wilson, ed., African American Architects: A Biographical Dictionary 1865-1945 (New York: Routledge, 2004);
Free Library Philadelphia.

Friends of Historic Eden Cemetery. History Matters. Ancestors Speak Featured Julian Francis Abele. Headstone Memorial Marker Photo. Place of Burial. Courtesy of sims0021. Appreciates your time and effort. Thank you so much.

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Eden Cemetery
Delaware County
Pennsylvania, USA
Plot: Lehmann 178
Created by: Noname
Record added: Jan 10, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 46528052
Julian Francis Abele
Added by: sims0021
Julian Francis Abele
Added by: Noname
Julian Francis Abele
Added by: Noname
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West Palm CS church a favorite of mine!!!! Love driving by it.
- Bernard Johnson
 Added: Feb. 19, 2017

- Angel of Flowers
 Added: Nov. 26, 2015
Thank you for your contribution to the beauty of Duke University.
- agagee
 Added: Feb. 19, 2015
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