At eight years old Allison Brown knew he wanted to be an architect—to help rebuild housing after the Newark riots in 1967. From a family of modest means, Allison scored scholarship money to attend a prestigious boys’ school in Morristown, New Jersey, Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut, and the University of Virginia, where he received his Master’s Degree as the second African American student in the graduate architecture program.
Throughout he kept his focus, despite naysayers and professors who thought his path was social work rather than architecture. He did it his way, going on to a stellar architectural career, right out of school becoming Construction/Facilities Manager for the design, development, and construction of Bell Communication Research (Bell Core) the headquarters for the seven Bell Telephone Operating Companies. His career led him overseas where he became a Senior Construction Manager for the first McDonald’s Restaurants in South Africa. Upon his return he went on to work for Davis Brody Bond on residential complexes in Harlem, and then redevelopment of Newark, his boyhood dream, and most recently logging in more than 16 years at the New Brunswick Development Corporation, where he is Vice President. Allison’s advice: “You can be anything you want to be; don’t worry about what other people think or say. You come up against a roadblock, work around it, or simply go through it!”