We Built This: Profiles of Black Architects and Builders


April 3 – July 23, 2023, Gateway Gallery, NC History Center

Hiding in plain sight is the physical manifestation of our labor, because most of the historic structures in this country were built by, constructed by Black people… and yet those stories have never been told.

— Darren Walker, President of the Ford Foundation (2020)

This traveling panel exhibit highlights the stories of those who constructed and designed many of North Carolina’s most treasured historic sites.  Spanning more than three centuries, We Built This provides more than two dozen personal profiles and historic context on key topics including slavery and Reconstruction; founding of HBCUs and Black churches; Jim Crow and segregation; and the rise of Black civic leaders and professionals.  We Built This acknowledges and celebrates the Black builders, craftsmen, and architects who constructed or designed many of North Carolina’s most treasured historic places. 

This is a FREE exhibit.

Presented by Preservation North Carolina.