Remembering Emanuel Kelly

It is with profound sorrow that we announce the passing of Emanuel Kelly FAIA, longtime Board member of the Association for Public Art (aPA) and co-founder of Kelly Maiello Architects in Philadelphia.

Emanuel Kelly at the rededication of Louise Nevelson’s Atmosphere and Environment XII in 2007.

Recognized as a leader in the space of architecture and design, Kelly contributed his expertise and passion for public art as a member of aPA’s Board for over 20 years. His journey with the Association began in 2001, shortly after joining the City of Philadelphia’s Art Commission, of which he became Chairman in 2015. At the time of his passing, Kelly was also a Board member of The Fabric Workshop and Museum and a Design Advocacy Group (DAG) Steering Committee member.

Watch: Mayor Cherelle Parker and Emanuel Kelly in Conversation for DAG

Kelly was a respected architect in the city – a former AIA Philadelphia president – with over 40 years of experience. His firm’s projects include “The President’s House” at Independence Park; the Pennsylvania Convention Center expansion; the new West Philadelphia High School (where Kelly himself graduated); Big Cat Falls at the Philadelphia Zoo; the Dorothy Emanuel Recreation Center; and the Family Court master plan and renovations.

Raised in West Philadelphia, Kelly earned a Bachelor of Architecture from Drexel University and a Master of City Planning and Urban Design from Harvard University. He went on to teach at Temple University for 25 years. He was living in University City near Clark Park, maintaining a close connection to the communities he served and loved.

Kelly left an impressive legacy as a leader, architect, educator, and advocate in a city he dedicated his life to shaping. Our thoughts are with his family, friends, and all those who had the privilege of knowing and working alongside him.

Philadelphia Inquirer: Emanuel Kelly, renowned Black architect, longtime Temple professor, and social equity advocate, has died at 80