Walter T. Bailey

Walter T. Bailey

1882–1941
BS Arch Eng 1904
Inducted in 2018

Walter T. Bailey was the first African American graduate with a BS in architectural engineering and the first licensed African American architect in the state of Illinois. Following graduation, Bailey worked in firms in his hometown of Kewanee, Illinois, and in Champaign. In 1905, Bailey was appointed head of the Architecture Department at Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, where he also supervised planning, design, and construction of several campus buildings. In 1910, the U of I awarded him an honorary master's degree. He left Tuskegee in 1916 to open his own office in Memphis. In 1924, he moved his office to Chicago. Bailey's best-known work, the eight-story National Pythian Temple in Chicago, is one of the major African American architectural projects of the early 20th century.