Robert P. Madison, FAIA
Diversity advocacy, professional outreach
Pioneering Ohio architect Robert P. Madison, FAIA, received the Whitney Young Award in recognition of a distinguished career devoted to social responsibility and mentorship.
After serving as a second lieutenant in World War II, Madison earned a B.Arch from Case Western Reserve University and M.Arch from Harvard University. Following time at the École des Beaux Arts in Paris on a Fulbright scholarship and an assistant professorship at Howard University, he returned to his hometown of Cleveland in 1954 to open his own practice—the first in Ohio owned by an African American.
With major works including the U.S. Embassy in Dakar and Cleveland Browns Stadium, Madison’s award-winning firm has made time to mentor a diverse pool of talent, helped to counsel careers and directly advising young designers on projects.
An AIA member since joining a student chapter as an undergraduate at Case Western, Madison has pushed the organization to reconsider its role in shaping communities. He served on major AIA committees for years, and as president of AIA Cleveland in 1973. In 1999, Madison was confirmed by the AIA Board of Directors as chair of the National Ethics Council, the highest judicial authority for overseeing the professional behavior, conduct, and architectural practice.