Paul S. Devrouax

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Paul S. Devrouax
Born (1942-10-04)October 4, 1942
New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.
Died March 22, 2010(2010-03-22) (aged 67)
Washington, D.C., U.S.
Nationality American
Practice Devrouax+Purnell Architects and Planners, PC
Buildings PEPCO Headquarters
Washington Convention Center
Nationals Park
Projects African American Civil War Memorial

Paul S. Devrouax (October 4, 1942 — March 22, 2010) was an African-American architect in Washington, D.C.. He founded the architectural design firm of Devrouax+Purnell, and helped design the Verizon Center, Nationals Park, the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, and the D.C. headquarters of Freddie Mac and Pepco. He co-designed the African-American Civil War Memorial, and provided design adjustments to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial.

Life and career[edit]

Devrouax co-designed the Pepco headquarters.

He was born in October 1943 to in New Orleans, Louisiana, to Paul Devrouax, Sr. and Freddie Warner Devrouax.[1] He had two brothers, Edward and Charles,[2] and was raised in New Orleans and Los Angeles, California.[3] He graduated in 1966 with a degree in architecture from Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.[1]

Devrouax was drafted into the United States Army, and was promoted to the position of sergeant in the 6th Armored Cavalry Regiment. In 1968, he was stationed at Fort Meade in Maryland. On April 5, 1968, his unit was deployed in D.C. to restore order in the wake of the Martin Luther King, Jr. assassination riots.[3]

Devrouax married Brenda Stallworth on September 9, 1972. The couple had a daughter, Lesley.[1]

With African American architect Marshall E. Purnell, he founded Devrouax+Purnell Architects and Planners, PC, in 1978.[3] He was elected president of the National Organization of Minority Architects in 1980,[4] and the Washington Project for the Arts in 1988.[5]

In 1986, Devrouax designed the Frank D. Reeves Municipal Building for the D.C. city government, a structure which helped revitalized the U Street NW historic neighborhood.[6] He designed the renovation of the Reverend Jesse Jackson's apartment home at the Rittenhouse Building in LeDroit Park in Washington, D.C., in 1990.[7] In 1995, Devrouax+Purnell won the design for one of Freddie Mac's headquarters building in McLean, Virginia. They were the first African American architects to design a headquarters for a Fortune 500 company.[8][9] Five years later, Devrouax+Purnell became the first African American owned architectural firm to design a corporate headquarters in downtown Washington, D.C., when they won the design competition for the new Pepco building.[8]

Devrouax also helped design the Verizon Center (home of the Washington Wizards professional basketball team and the Washington Capitals professional ice hockey team), which was finished in 1997, and Nationals Park (home of the Washington Nationals professional baseball team), which was completed in 2008.[3] He also helped lead the design team for the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, which opened in 2003.[10]

In 2009, Devrouax+Purnell's design was one of six chosen as finalists for the National Museum of African American History and Culture.[3]

Memorial work[edit]

Devrouax also worked on several important national monuments. He and landscape architect Edward D. Dunson designed the site for the African-American Civil War Memorial in 1998.[11]

In 2004, Devrouax helped build the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in Washington, D.C. He and members of his firm made design refinements to the memorial, made presentations to federal and city agencies with design approval over the memorial, and helped develop, monitor, and approve construction documents.[12]


Devrouax died of a heart attack at his home in Washington, D.C., on March 22, 2010.[13]


  1. ^ a b c Jakes, Thomas D. and York, Jennifer M. Who's Who Among African Americans. Detroit: Gale, 2003, p. 341.
  2. ^ "Paul S. Devrouax Jr." Washington Post. March 27, 2010.
  3. ^ a b c d e Risen, Clay. "Paul Devrouax, 1942-2010: Pathbreaking Architect Helped Revive Washington." The Architect's Newspaper. April 21, 2010. Accessed 2012-02-25.
  4. ^ "People." Jet. December 4, 1980.
  5. ^ "Appointments." Washington Post. October 31, 1988.
  6. ^ Gutheim, Frederick A. and Lee, Antoinette J. Worthy of the Nation: Washington, D.C., From L'Enfant to the National Capital Planning Commission. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006, p. 334-335.
  7. ^ Shaw, Terri. "Rebuilding Jackson's House." Washington Post. April 26, 1990.
  8. ^ a b "Black Architects Design History in Nation's Capital." The Crisis. July–August 2004, p. 10.
  9. ^ Haggerty, Maryann. "Behind the Design of a New Headquarters." Washington Post. June 19, 1995.
  10. ^ Plumb, Tierney. "Architect Paul Devrouax Dies." Washington Business Journal. March 22, 2010.
  11. ^ Stevenson, Richard W. "Civil War Regiment Receives Capital Tribute." New York Times. July 12, 1998.
  12. ^ Forgey, Benjamin. "Washington Firm Joins King Memorial Project." Washington Post. February 19, 2004.
  13. ^ Johnson, Bruce. "Paul Devrouax: He Helped Build Today's DC." March 30, 2010. Accessed 2012-01-25

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