Thursday, February 12, 2015

Robert R. Taylor, Forever Stamp, Booker T. Washington, and Tuskegee University......

Image of Robert R. Taylor U.S. postage stamp. Courtesy of United States Postal Service.

From the Tuskegee University Website:

"TUSKEGEE, Ala. (January 23, 2015) —The most prolific contributor to Tuskegee University’s structural design and the architecture and construction school’s namesake will soon be remembered with the launch of a U.S. postage stamp. On Feb. 12, the United States Postal Service will issue a limited edition of the Forever Stamp of Robert Robinson Taylor. The stamp is the 38th addition to the service’s Black Heritage series.

"Robert R. Taylor's historic and stellar legacy and association with Tuskegee University is already etched in the annals of American history. With this stamp, it will be permanently etched in all of world history," Johnson said.

Taylor is believed to have been both the first black graduate of MIT and the country’s first academically trained black architect. Recruited by Tuskegee’s first president, Booker T. Washington, Taylor came to the university in 1892 and spent nearly his entire career teaching, developing the architecture and construction trade program, and designing more than 20 campus buildings until his death in 1942.

Legacy for students and nation

Tuskegee’s Robert R. Taylor School of Architecture and Construction Science is named after him. Daya Irene Taylor (no relation), interim dean of the school continues to marvel at the significance of Taylor's contributions to the university. She believes the stamp recognition could have a long-lasting impact.

"Acknowledging the contributions of black architects like Taylor is paramount to building the future generations of leaders in design and construction,” she said.

Many of Robert R. Taylor’s Tuskegee structures such as Armstrong Hall, Emery residence halls, Rockefeller Hall, Tantum Hall, White Hall and the Willcox buildings still stand and are used to this day. He was also the architect of The Oaks, Washington’s home and modern day historic site.

“These buildings were an inspiration to our past alumni in the building trades and they remain as student-built icons that motivate our current students to excel,” Daya Irene Taylor said. “Now, through the launching of the Black Heritage Stamp in his honor, Robert R. Taylor will be an inspiration not only to the Tuskegee University community, but to the country as well."


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