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."