Esteemed Chicago architect, Wendell Campbell, dies

Wendell Jerome Campbell, nationally recognized architect and urban planner, died July 9.

Wendell Jerome Campbell, nationally recognized architect and urban planner, died July 9. 

He was 81 years old.

Born April 27, 1927, Campbell grew up in East Chicago, Ind., and was the second of six children.

Campbell was drafted into the U.S. Army to serve in World War II. After serving for 14 months in Japan, designing bridges in the engineering unit, Campbell returned home to study architecture.

The recipient of a full scholarship from Commonwealth Edison, Campbell graduated from the Illinois institute of Technology in 1957 with a B.A. in Architecture and City Planning.

Known for his quiet, tenacious will and unwavering vision, Campbell was instrumental in diversifying the canvas of professionals practicing architecture in the United States.

He began his architectural career in 1956, working as both an architect and urban planner before launching his own firm, Wendell Campbell Associates in 1966, which was renamed to Campbell Tiu Campbell.

Campbell oversaw hundreds of design and planning projects including: The McCormick Place Expansion, DuSable Museum of African American History, the New Bronzeville Military Academy, Metcalf Federal Building, Trinity United Church of Christ and residential plans for U.S. embassies in Saudi Arabia and Gabon, to name a few.

Campbell was also a founder and first president of the National Organization of Minority Architects.

“Dee-Dee,” as he was affectionately called by his granddaughters, will be remembered by his wife of 54 years, June Crusor Campbell; their daughters Susan Campbell- Smith (Don Smith) and Leslie Campbell; his granddaughters Lauren Smith and Maya and Aliya Spieske; his grandsons, Brian and Brandon Smith; three siblings, Dorothy Lawshe, Jean Martin and Norman Campbell; multiple nieces and nephews; and eight decades of friends and family, innumerable professional colleagues and his former employees whom he considered family.

Memorial Service will be held today at 4:30 p.m., at First Unitarian Church of Chicago, 5650 S. Woodlawn. In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that the contributions be made to the National Organization of Minority Architects.

Please make checks payable to: National Organization of Minority Architects

Mail them to: NOMA c/o School of Architecture and Design College of Engineering Architecture and Computer Science Howard University 2366 6th Street, NW, Room 100 Washington D.C. 20059



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