Dream Builder: The Story of Architect Philip Freelon

By: Kelly Starling Lyons

Illustrator: Laura Freeman

Philip Freelon's grandfather was an acclaimed painter of the Harlem Renaissance. His father was a successful businessman who attended the 1963 March on Washington. When Phil decided to attend architecture school, he created his own focus on African American and Islamic designers. He later chose not to build casinos or prisons, instead concentrating on schools, libraries, and museums—buildings that connect people with heritage and fill hearts with joy. And in 2009, Phil's team won a commission that let him use his personal history in service to the country's: the extraordinary Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.

ISBN: 9781620149553

JLG Release: May 2020


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School Library Journal

School Library Journal

Philip Freelon (1953–2019) was an artist, an architect, and a dreamer. This book begins with a peek into Freelon’s childhood. Lyons explores both his strengths and his struggles: his ability to excel at math and science as well as his challenge to learn to read. Lyons discusses her subject’s family, including mentions of his siblings, and his Philip Freelon (1953–2019) was an artist, an architect, and a dreamer. This book begins with a peek into Freelon’s childhood. Lyons explores both his strengths and his struggles: his ability to excel at math and science as well as his challenge to learn to read. Lyons discusses her subject’s family, including mentions of his siblings, and his mother’s and his father’s occupations. His grandfather, who was a Harlem Renaissance artist, made a large impact on Freelon. He helped his grandson appreciate the small things in life. The narrative continues through Freelon’s high school experience, then follows his college career attending Hampton University and later North Carolina State. Lyons adds several references to the civil rights movement: Freelon watched Dr. King’s speech on TV and his father experienced segregation when traveling for business. An interesting page discusses Freelon’s research in discovering architects of other cultures and races, many of whom were not part of his higher education curriculum. The author highlights his masterwork as the architect of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. Freelon was not as well known as architects Frank Lloyd Wright or Ludwig Mies van der Rohe but hopefully, with the exposure gained from biographies such as Lyons’s, his work and life story can inspire young readers to follow in his footsteps.

Book Details

ISBN

9781620149553

First Release

May 2020

Genre

Nonfic

Dewey Classification

Trim Size

11" x 9 1/4"

Page Count

40

Accelerated Reader

N/A

Scholastic Reading Counts

N/A

Lexile

N/A

Format

Print Book

Edition

Hardcover edition

Publisher

Lee & Low

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