Article by By Meghan E. Irons
Their designs are part of the fabric of Boston — they can be seen in the new police headquarters, the Ruggles T station, Roxbury Community College, the Southwest Corridor.
But there is much more to the 40-year legacy of Donald Stull and David Lee, nationally praised and one of the first African-American architectural teams in the country.
Stull and Lee were tops in their field in the 1960s, and forces for change in one of Boston’s most tumultuous eras. With major projects in neighborhoods like Roxbury, they are credited with helping to unify neighborhoods and redraw a city that had been socially and racially divided.
Now that they are aging — Stull is 73 and Lee is 66 — they want to pass on their work to the next generations, and it is a legacy that Northeastern University wants to help preserve.
The university, which has collections from other black Boston trailblazers, recently acquired 1,400 tubes and boxes containing their sketches, designs, and drawings, and it plans to apply for a grant to hire staff to sift through the papers and archive them.
“This is a unique collection,’’ said university archivist Joan Krizack. “You can’t go anywhere and get this.’’
Stull opened his firm in Boston in 1966, at a time of heightened social and political activism. Lee joined two years later. The Vietnam War was raging, poor people were rising up and demanding greater control of their communities, and the federal government was actively seeking minority contractors and architects to build low-income housing.
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