J. Max Bond, Jr. papers, 1955-2009

J. Max Bond, Jr. papers, 1955-2009
28 linear feet and 4 oversize boxes.
The collection is made up of six series: Office Records, Personal Papers, Faculty Papers, Professional Papers, Project Records, and Reference Materials.
Finding Aid
Finding aid available online. See Online Link.
This collection documents the life and career of J. Max Bond, Jr., one of the most influential and prominent African-American architects and educators in the United States. The collection primarily documents Bond's professional activities rather than his building projects; however, the collection does contain project records and office records. Series I: Office Records contains papers related to the architectural firms where J. Max Bond, Jr. served as principal or partner. The series is made up of financial papers, the firms' mission statements, firm brochures, project photographs for the firm brochure, project lists and portfolios, some correspondence, and legal papers. Series II: Personal Papers is made up of some correspondence, pocket diaries/day planners, event invitations, Bond's Ghana Driver License, alumni material for the Cambridge School and Harvard Graduate School of Design, photographs and slides from various travels and of family members, an oral history transcript of Bond's mother Ruth Clement Bond, and papers related to South Africa protests and activism. Series III: Faculty Papers documents J. Max Bond, Jr.'s diverse career as an educator at institutions including Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Kumasi, Ghana, Columbia University, and City College of New York. Series IV: Professional Papers is the heart of the collection and contains materials related to work done by J. Max Bond, Jr. outside of the various architectural firms where he practiced. The majority of the material in the series relates to the many juries, panels, design award juries and working groups Bond served on throughout his career, as well to Bond's work with Architects' Renewal Committee in Harlem (ARCH). The series is also includes lectures and writings by Bond. Series V: Project Records covers J. Max Bond, Jr.'s architectural career spanning from his work in Ghana during the 1960s to his work with Davis Brody Bond Aedas in the 2000s. Project records for each project are very incomplete and rarely include original architectural drawings. Series VI: Reference Materials includes clippings, pamphlets, essays, and books collected by Bond on topics such as architecture, urban planning, public housing, Harlem, Africa, and other related themes.
Biographical / Historical Note
J. Max Bond, Jr. (1935-2009) was one of the most influential and prominent African-American architects and educators in the United States. Some of the notable projects Bond worked on include: Apollo Performing Arts Center, Bolgatanga Library (Bolgatanga, Ghana), East St. Louis Housing, Frederick Douglass Circle, Harvard Club of New York City, Kentucky Center for African American Heritage, Langston Hughes Branch Library, Lionel and Gladys Hampton Houses, Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Social Change, New York University Dormitory, Permanent Mission of India to the United Nations, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, and The Studio Museum in Harlem.
In 1969, Max co-founded with Donald P. Ryder the architectural firm Bond Ryder Associates. The firm quickly became one of the leading African-American architecture firms in New York and the East Coast. From its inception, the firm was involved in a broad range of projects, including: medium and high density urban housing; urban planning and design; university, religious, and community complexes.
In 1983, the firm became Bond Ryder James, Architects, P.C. Alongside J. Max Bond, Jr. and Donald P. Ryder as principals was John A. James.
In 1991, Bond Ryder Associates joined forces with Davis, Brody Associates. As one of the four partners of DBA, Bond continued to be responsible for the planning and design of major institutional, residential, cultural, and commercial developments. DBA associates included Tibbalds-Monro in London, Mwamuka-Mercuir in Harare, and Linda Mvusi/DA in Johannesburg. In 1994, the firm became Davis Brody Bond, which later became Davis Brody Bond Aedas. Davis Brody Bond served as the associate architect for the National September 11 Memorial and Museum at the World Trade Center. At his death, Bond was the partner in charge of the museum portion.
In 1968, Bond started teaching at Columbia University in the Graduate School of Architecture & Planning. He served as Assistant and Associate Professor from 1969 until 1980, Professor from 1980 to 1985, and Chairman Division of Architecture from 1980 to 1984. After leaving Columbia, Bond became the Dean of the School of Architecture and Environmental Studies at City College of New York until 1991.
Besides being an educator and an architect, Bond was also very active in a larger professional realm. His extensive community service commitments included membership on the New York City Planning Commission from 1980 to 1986, the Municipal Arts Society Board, Board of Regents to the American Architectural Foundation, and the Trustee Board of the Studio Museum of Harlem. Bond also served on many juries, panels, and design award juries including New York State Council on the Arts-Infill Housing Design Competition, Jamaican Governor General's Design Awards, the National Endowment for the Arts panels and the Presidential Design Awards Jury, and the Chrysler Awards. He was also a part of President-Elect Clinton's Round Table on "Design Initiatives Toward an Inclusive and Competitive America."
This collection is available for use by appointment in the Department of Drawings & Archives, Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, Columbia University. For further information and to make an appointment, please call (212) 854-4110 or email
Permission to publish must be obtained in writing from the Director, Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, Columbia University, 1172 Amsterdam Ave., MC 0301, New York, NY 10027.
Bond, J. Max, Jr.
Architects' Renewal Committee in Harlem (New York, N.Y.)
Architects/Designers/Planners for Social Responsibility/New York.
Columbia University. Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation.
American Institute of Architects. New York Chapter.
City University of New York. City College. School of Architecture, Urban Design and Landscape Architecture.
Pratt Institute. Center for Community and Environmental Development.
Harvard University. Graduate School of Design.
National Organization of Minority Architects (U.S.)
Urban Land Institute.
Regional Plan Association (New York, N.Y.)
Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change.
Harlem Urban Development Corporation.
City University of New York. City College.
Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.
National University of Science and Technology (Bulawayo, Zimbabwe)
Birmingham Civil Rights Institute (Birmingham, Ala.)
Studio Museum in Harlem.
Architecture > South Africa.
Architecture > Zimbabwe.
Architecture > Ghana.
Architecture > United States > Designs and plans.
Architecture > Study and teaching.
Library architecture.
Public housing > New York (State) > New York.
Public housing > Africa.
Public housing > Designs and plans.
Urban renewal > New York (State) > New York.
Community development > New York (State) > New York.
Housing rehabilitation > New York (State) > New York.
Harlem (New York, N.Y.) > Buildings, structures, etc.
Harlem (New York, N.Y.) > Social conditions.
Morningside Park (New York, N.Y.)
Manuscript/Archive Manuscript/Archive
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