The man who designed the Harvey B. Gantt Center will soon be the subject of a Gantt Center exhibition.

Phil Freelon died in 2019 but left an architectural legacy.

In addition to The Gantt, his body of work includes:

  • the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C.
  • the National Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta
  • the Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco
  • Emancipation Park in Houston, and
  • the forthcoming North Carolina Freedom Park in Raleigh.

Freelon was known for saying that architecture should be more than a container, that it should help tell the story of and be integral to the content of public institutions.

His Gantt Center design, for example, tells the story of Charlotte’s once-thriving Brooklyn community, which was razed in the 1960s.

Gantt Center President and CEO called the design “genius.”

The exhibition — “Container/Contained: Phil Freelon – Design Strategies for Telling African American Stories” — was created by faculty and students in the UNC Charlotte School of Architecture.

It will be on display at the Gantt Center Oct. 29 – Jan. 17. It then travels to Raleigh for a Feb. 6 opening at the North Carolina Museum of Art.

Founder and publisher of Qcitymetro, Glenn has worked at newspapers including the Los Angeles Times, St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times, Philadelphia Inquirer, Wall Street Journal and The Charlotte Observer.

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