Marshall Purnell Selected to Compete for Design of African-American History Museum

The National Museum of African American History and Culture has named Marshall Purnell, B.S.’72, M.Arch.’73, among the six award-winning architecture teams that will compete to design its signature building on the Mall in the shadow of the Washington Monument. Purnell’s firm, Devrouax & Purnell, is based in Washington, DC and designed the Washington Nationals Park.

Each architectural team is receiving a $50,000 stipend from the Smithsonian. One of the hurdles is that the architects have to demonstrate they can complete the project in three years. Construction is to start in 2012, and the museum is scheduled to open in 2015.

The architect will be selected in mid-April by an 11-member jury that includes Robert Kogod, a Smithsonian regent and president of Charles E. Smith Management; Adela Naude Santos, dean of the MIT school of architecture; Richard D. Parsons, co-chair of the African American museum’s council and former chairman of Time Warner; and two former chairmen of Fannie Mae, James A. Johnson and Franklin D. Raines.

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