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Lincoln High Group Works to Preserve South Dallas Grave of Architect William Sidney Pittman - Dallas, TX
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member QuarrellaDeVil
N 32° 45.302 W 096° 44.830
14S E 711053 N 3626376
Quick Description: The Dallas Morning News reported on December 4, 2012, that efforts were being made to recover the headstone of black architect, William Sidney Pittman, and to clean up the cemetery where he is buried, Glen Oaks Cemetery in Dallas, TX.
Location: Texas, United States
Date Posted: 1/12/2015 6:53:11 AM
Waymark Code: WMN7FP
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member lumbricus
Views: 0

Long Description:
Today, the cemetery is very well-maintained, with both Lincoln High School and L. Butler Nelson Cemetery in view. Interestingly, though, Mr. Pittman's two markers are quite some distance from the actual Pinkston plot, which is near the eastern cemetery boundary between the two entries that form a loop through the cemetery. It's possible that Mr. Pittman is in the Pinkston plot, as they say, or possibly, given the cemetery is known as "Pinkston Cemetery," someone may have equated "cemetery" with plot."

Norma Adams-Wade
Published: 04 December 2012 11:01 PM
Updated: 05 December 2012 12:07 AM

William Sidney Pittman was once a prolific and skillful architect who made history as an African-American trailblazer — working across the country, but largely in Texas, including Dallas, where he lived for 45 years.

The former Tuskegee Institute architecture department head was the first practicing black architect in Texas, as well as a socialite and in-demand entrepreneur.

Yet he died penniless and shamed in 1958 at age 83 and over time was forgotten — buried in an unmarked grave in the Glen Oaks Cemetery in South Dallas.

A coalition of high school students and black history and black community advocates is working to restore Pittman’s final resting place, much as the group did for the L. Butler Nelson Memorial Park, another important but once-forgotten adjoining cemetery, which now has a historical marker.

Lincoln High School's Silent Souls project, which aims to preserve the history of nearby black cemeteries, is inviting the public to join students from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday in recording who is buried at Glen Oaks. Glen Oaks is off Hatcher Street at Cason Street and Vannerson Drive. People are asked to bring information about relatives buried at Glen Oaks.

Pittman is buried in the Pinkston family plot, owing to the charity of Dallas physician L.G. Pinkston.

The physician, who is also buried there, owned the family plot and his family was close to the Pittman family.

Educator and community advocate Jerry Chambers, who spearheads the Silent Souls project, and Dallas black history guru Don Payton, who has researched Pittman and Glen Oaks for years, will help guide students in exploring preservation options.

Chambers and Payton say it's time to refocus on Glen Oaks and Pittman because national efforts are growing to bring the architect out of obscurity and illuminate the many buildings he designed across the nation — including the historic Pythian Temple, which still stands on Good-Latimer Expressway near downtown Dallas.

Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price pitched in to help a county work crew clean up brush and debris at Glen Oaks last week, which helped uncover Pittman’s overgrown site. Dallas City Council member Carolyn Davis is helping to explore support options.

"We had been looking for Pittman's stone for some time," Chambers said of the marker donated 27 years after Pittman’s death.

Payton said the preservation effort will balance changes happening south of downtown.

"With so much new development going up in the southern sector, it’s significant to remember the people in these cemeteries who laid our foundation," he said.

To learn more, contact Chambers at 972-693-1489.
Type of publication: Newspaper

When was the article reported?: 12/4/2012

Publication: The Dallas Morning News

Article Url: [Web Link]

Is Registration Required?: no

How widespread was the article reported?: local

News Category: Society/People

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