Archive for August 10, 2011

Founders Library, Howard University, Washington, DC, thinking insomniac, vernelle noel, architecture, sketches, urban sketchers

Founders Library - Howard University, Washington, DC

This is a drawing of Founders Library at my alma mater, Howard University in Washington, DC more than 8 years ago in the summer of 2003.  I think if I were to sketch it now, I would do a better job. Howard University is indeed a leader for the global community. I will never forget the first time I stepped foot on the Campus with my cousin. Walking on “the yard” I was in awe, looking at the buildings surrounding me, the space surrounding me … “Am I really here?!!” I thought.

At HU I had great professors who I continue to admire, friends, sparring partners (taekwondo), mentors, parties, the beautiful city, and more. We all worked hard, and when we needed a break, we played hard. I thank Howard University for being a great teacher in being socially conscious, teaching us to stand up for others – especially the unfortunate, the disadvantaged – and for its strong community spirit. I had a very moving experience in my final year when our entire class stood up for a fellow student in a very emotional situation. I was blown away by our quiet love and deep respect for each other… it confirmed for me there and then that I was a part of something great, and had to continue standing up for those who were unable to stand up for themselves. I won’t ever forget that. Students are always involved in community activities to help others and take a brave stand on issues affecting lives. To my fellow HU Alumni, professors, current, and prospective students…I thank you. Here is to appreciating everyday, and remembering to always stand up for what you believe in… BUT, you must first believe in something.


Howard University Founders Library (Photo from Wikipedia)

Albert I. Cassell, FAIA, is the architect of The Founders Library and several major buildings on the Howard University main campus. He lived for 74 years during a period of American history when professional opportunities in architectural design and construction were severely limited for African Americans. Mr. Cassell completed his architectural degree at Cornell in 1919. His career as an architect began in that year when he and William A. Hazel, an architect at Howard, planned the initial architectural and structural designs of five trade buildings at Tuskegee Institute. In 1920, Mr. Cassell joined in the Architecture Department of Howard University as assistant professor.

Built at a cost of $1,106,000, this was one of the most important academic structures of the period. It was the largest and most complete library among the historically black colleges and universities. It was considered one of the most modern and sophisticated facilities of its type in the nation. Intended to house 200,000 volumes with future capacity reaching 500,000 volumes, it was a marvel.

Reference: Albert I. Cassell & The Founders Library: A Brief History >>

Abstract Architecture of the day:

thinking insomniac, vernelle noel, abstract architecture

3.5″ x 5″ Strathmore Sketchbook, ink pens and Sharpies

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This work byVernelle Noel is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.