Cap Wigington was a Midwestern architect

Cap Wigington
Sat, 1883-04-21

On this date in 1883 the birth of "Cap" Wigington is marked. He was the first African American municipal architect.

Clarence Westley Wigington (his name at birth) was born in Kansas City and raised in Omaha. He had a talent for drawing at an early age and won first prize at the Trans-Mississippi Worlds Fair in 1899. The first job in his career was as an intern at a prestigious Omaha architectural firm. After six years, in 1908 he had his first commission; a factory in Sheridan, Wyoming. Municipal Architects generally don't enjoy the same level of recognition as their peers in private practice.

Their projects are designed to serve basic needs such as education, tangible storage, or transportation. Wigington, moved to St. Paul, MN in 1913 and two years later, after a record score on an entrance exam he was hired by that city as one of their architects. For the next 34 years, he designed numerous buildings and facilities. Many are Minnesota Historical Landmarks including the Highland Park Water Tower and the Roy Wilkins Auditorium. “Cap” Wigington died in 1967.

Minnesota Historical Society
345 W. Kellogg Blvd.
Saint Paul, MN 55102-1906

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