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our history

In the late ‘50s through mid ‘60s, African-American architects in New York City were united under the Council for the Advancement of the Negro in Architecture (“CANA”).  When this organization disbanded, a vacuum for influence and opportunity was created, leading a younger group of Black architects to unite and create a stronger voice through a newly organized structure, NYCOBA.

timeline SNAPSHOT

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After attending an AIA Convention in Detroit, 12 African-American architects met to discuss the idea for a national organization to fight for the advancement of minorities in the profession. The National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA) was formed.


In 1975, fifteen Black architects, including principals and others representing Black firms, gathered to establish the New York Coalition of Black Architects (nycoba). 


The original member firms of nycoba included:

Oman & Associates

Garrison McNeil Architect

Gittens & Ince

LeGendre & Associates

Lewis & Turner Partnership

Simmons Architects

L.E. Tuckett & Thompson


Robert L. Wilson, AIA

Ifill & Johnson Architects

Bond Ryder Architects


In 1992, Roberta Washington as NOMA's Vice-President extended an invitation to NYCOBA for it to become NOMA’s New York chapter.  NYCOBA’s President Bill Davis accepted - with the caveat that ‘NYCOBA’,  because of its long history, should remain a part of the name. Thus nycoba|NOMA was born.


Following a period of dormancy period, a nycoba|NOMA re-boot was organized by previous active members including Roberta Washington, William Davis, Jr., and Max Bond. 

The first three presidents following the reboot – Heather O’Neal, Zevilla Preston, and Robin Fleming - were nycoba|NOMA’s first female presidents. 


In 2004, nycoba|NOMA hosted its first NOMA Conference in New York at the Grand Central Hyatt.


nycoba|NOMA hosted the 47th Annual National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA) Conference in Brooklyn. It's theme was "Believe the Hype: A Global Collective of Industry Change Agents."

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