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Everett L. Fly Delivers First Frederick Law Olmsted Lecture

Grace United Methodist Church and cemetery, Brazoria County, Texas (C) 2020 Everett L. Fly

On October 27, Everett Fly delivered his first Frederick Olmsted Lecture on “American Cultural Landscapes: Black Roots and Treasures.” Fly discussed research, discovery, interpretation, and applications of his preservation and cultural landscape work, including autonomous Black settlements, urban enclaves, districts, schools, churches, cemeteries, cultural rituals, and traditions. 

Click here to access the recording of Everett Fly’s Frederick Olmsted Lecture.

Mr. Fly earned a five-year Bachelor of Architecture professional degree with honors from the University of Texas at Austin School of Architecture (1975), and a Master in Landscape Architecture (1977) from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. He is the first African American to earn the Master in Landscape Architecture from Harvard. 

President Bill Clinton appointed Mr. Fly to two terms (1994–2001) on the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities. President Barack Obama awarded him one of ten 2014 National Humanities Medals for his body of work preserving the integrity of African-American places and landmarks. 

President Obama, Everett Fly, and Michelle Obama in 2015—Photo courtesy of Everett L. Fly

In addition to serving on the State of Texas National Register Board of Review (1980–1986), Mr. Fly was the Mayor’s appointee to the City of San Antonio Historic and Design Review Commission (1988–1994). He chaired the board of Humanities Texas from 1993 to 1994.

The San Antonio Power of Preservation Foundation awarded Mr. Fly its “Champion of Preservation Award” in the fall of 2018 for his work exposing, preserving, and conserving the city- and county-wide presence of African American history. The Alamo Heights School Foundation awarded him one of its three inaugural Alumni (Alamo Heights High, 1970) Hall of Fame Awards in February of 2020. The Conservation Society of San Antonio awarded him its “Texas Preservation Hero Award” in March of 2020 for his work which embodies the purpose of the Conservation Society through historic preservation or conservation accomplishments.

Mr. Fly is a co-founder of the San Antonio African American Community Archive and Museum (SAAACAM). SAAACAM is one of the first independent digital community archives in the United States.

Learn more about Everett Fly:


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