NBC honors Atlanta architect for Black History Month

10:41 PM, Feb 21, 2013   |    comments
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ATLANTA, Ga. -- Oscar Harris has the mind of a genius.

"My God given talent was given to me in the world of creativity," said Harris.

He has the creativity of one whose works will be studied for quite sometime.

"I never imagined that I would be able to accomplish what I've accomplished," said Harris.

We caught up with the world renowned architect to learn more about his life and his indisputable skill set.

"My mother and father were pharmacists and when I told them that I wanted to be an architect they actually said this is not a profession that you should look into - be a doctor - be a lawyer," said Harris.

He chose to follow his heart.

"I said I am going to take this challenge. I was one of the first African-Americans to go into graduate school at Carnegie Mellon and when I showed up there, everybody was like - who is this guy - they did not know that I was going to out perform most of all of them. I rose to the top of my class," he said.

"My pathway to present for an African-American - we estimate to be less than one percent."

Yet, the humble giant, taller than most of his family, friends and employers, credits something greater for his success.

"I chose it because God gave me the talent."

The architect works his magic when he's not running one of the most prominent African-American-owned architecture firms in the country.

His projects include International Concourse E and the Atrium at Hartsfield- Jackson along with Centenial Olympic Park.

"I've done most of all court houses in the city," said Harris.

He has also designed MARTA stations.

Revitalized Underground Atlanta and also on his resume Georgia State's Student Center.
Nearly 40 years after starting his craft, you'll find Harris giving back to the community by working with students.

"I am a maker," Harris said. "I'm trying to make kids makers. Your mind is the greatest computer that has ever been created and ever will be created."

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