1990Much More Than Peanuts

Tuskegee University

Much More Than Peanuts

Tuskegee University
Tuskegee, AL
Completed in: 1990
Client: Tuskegee University


Tuskegee University is world renown private, historically black, university established in 1881 by Booker T. Washington on 100 acres of land purchased from a former plantation in northern Alabama. The earliest campus buildings were constructed on that property frequently by the students themselves as part of their work-study programs under the guidance of Robert Robinson Taylor, the first African American to graduate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

By the start of the 20th century, the Tuskegee Institute comprised nearly 2,300 acres supported by donations from wealthy American philanthropists such as Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller. Washington attracted notable scholars to Tuskegee, including the botanist George Washington Carver who promoted alternative crops to cotton such as peanuts and sweet potatoes and methods to prevent soil erosion.

In 1965, Tuskegee University was declared a National Historic Landmark for the significance of its academic programs, its role in higher education for African Americans and its status in American history. The campus is designated as the Tuskegee Institute Historic Site by the National Park Service and is the only one in the U.S. to have this designation.

Centric Architecture was hired to prepare a Master Plan for the development and protection of this historic and culturally significant campus. From this work, several important university structures (Tompkins Hall, Sage Hall Dormitory, Old Administration and Grey Columns) have been renovated within this National Historic Site.