Phil Freelon

A massive pile of debris sits outside of town on Ocracoke Island as cleanup efforts continue a month after Hurricane Dorian. All of the waste must be collected and then loaded into trucks before being transported off the island by boat.
Madeline Gray / For WUNC

As the year comes to a close, we take a look at some of the photos that helped tell the story of 2019. From hurricanes to controversy over confederate monuments and a deadly gas explosion, here are the moments – big and small – that shaped the year in North Carolina news.

Jeffrey Camarati / Courtesy of PNC

Renowned architect Phil Freelon has died after a three year battle with ALS.

Phil Freelon, Architect, ALS
Jeffrey Camarati / Courtesy of PNC

Phil Freelon, the decorated architect most celebrated for his work on the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History And Culture, has died. He was 66.

Phil Freelon, Architect, ALS
Jeffrey Camarati / Courtesy of PNC

Phil Freelon is one of the most acclaimed African-American architects of his generation. While his work is known nationwide, he's called the Triangle home for many years. It’s where the NC State graduate raised his family and built his firm.

Now, business and civic leaders and friends are mostly just celebrating Freelon, after he was diagnosed with ALS last year.

Image of architect Phil Freelon with wife Nnenna Freelon
Courtesy Sufis Doucet

For Durham-based architect Phil Freelon, 2016 was a year of triumphs and setbacks. Freelon was the lead architect for the National Museum of African American History & Culture and celebrated the museum’s opening in Washington D.C. last fall. But months before the opening, Freelon was diagnosed with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.