Conserving Black Modernism

In the 20th century, Black architects and designers helped shape the modern architecture movement in the United States by innovating, experimenting, and pushing the limits of how people interact with the built environment. Yet their contributions have been largely overlooked and undervalued, and as a result, many Black Modernist pioneers remain invisible today.

Conserving Black Modernism is a $3.1 million grant program funded by Getty and managed by the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund. Its focus: to preserve modern architecture by Black architects and designers. The program identifies Modernist historic sites and enables planning, professional training, and storytelling to sustain these places and celebrate the work of these architects, long term.

As part of the Action Fund’s national grant program, Conserving Black Modernism grant applications are managed by the National Trust, with the first round of grantees being announced in spring 2023. The program extends the Getty Foundation’s Keeping It Modern initiative to add support for building preservation, and overall will assist with convenings, education, and partnerships to strengthen protection for Black Modernist sites.

By highlighting the stories of leading Black Modernist architects who contributed innovative designs and architectural creativity to the American landscape, Conserving Black Modernism will protect and recognize these architects’ collective and individual works for a new generation.

Each year, America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places sheds light on important examples of our nation’s heritage that are at risk of destruction or irreparable damage.

Find Out Who Is Listed