Gaston Alonzo Edwards (1875-1943)

Success In Many Fields
Indianapolis Recorder
28 Aug 1909

Rising Young  Architect Who Designed Masonic Temple at Raleigh

An example of what thorough preparation will do for those who are willing to qualify themselves for the higher duties of life along educational lines is found in the thrift and industry of G.A. EDWARDS of Raleigh, NC.  Mr. Edwards after graduating from the Agricultural and Mechanical College at Greensboro, NC, spent three years at Cornell and one year at Chicago university, doing postgraduate work.  His high averages in studies at these schools won for him the special prize.  As instructor in natural sciences at Shaw university, where he was also superintendent of the men’s industrial department, he displayed rare ability both as teacher and manager.  Because of his ability to bring things to pass himself and start others on the road to success the state board of managers of the Institute for the Deaf and Dumb at Raleigh, which is maintained for the benefit of Afro-Americans, appointed Mr. Edwards to organize a mechanical department, which has proved a great blessing to the students.  Professor Edwards is now devoting his time to architecture and is meeting with splendid success.

Gaston Alonzo Edwards

He was the first Afro-American to design and superintend the construction of buildings for the American Baptist Home Mission Society.  The main building of Waters Institute at Winton, N.C., which is conceded to be the prettiest Afro-American school structure in the state, was designed by Professor Edwards. He is now designing the new A.M.E. church at Raleigh.  The old church was recently destroyed by fire.  The new structure when completed will cost about $75,000.  He has also been given a contract to design school building in Missouri that will cost $600,000.  The new three story brick Masonic temple at Raleigh, the finest structure owned by Afro-American Masons in the state, was built by his design.  His success is largely due to the fact that he makes a specialty of church and school architecture.  Realizing that Afro-Americans must perfect commercial institutions if they are to contribute to the upward movement of this age, this young man is connected with many concerns in Raleigh that are giving Afro-Americans larger opportunities and is a director in the following corporations: Capital City Savings Bank, Pioneer Mercantile and Investment Company and Capital City Building and Loan Association.


Article transcribed by Taneya Koonce from online digital issues of the Indianapolis Recorder newspaper.