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NEW YORK (1010 WINS) — If the name McKissack & McKissack rings a bell to you, it’s probably because the family-owned business has contributed to dozens of high-profile architectural endeavors in the Northeast and Deep South.READ MORE: Rangers Start Fast, Then Come Unglued And Fall In Columbus
With a history steeped in tradition, pride and legacy, McKissack & McKissack began its operations in 1822 and continues to remain a thriving family business more than 100 years later.
Cheryl McKissack Daniel — current president and CEO of the company and 2015 Black History Month honoree — said she likes to think of it as more than 200 years of business.
“Because the first descendant of our family came to this country in 1790 as a slave. And he worked for a contractor named William McKissack who taught him the trade of making bricks,” she said.
That first descendant, Moses McKissack I, passed along the knowledge of his trade to his son Moses McKissack II and in 1905 Moses McKissack III and his brother Calvin McKissack incorporated the business.
“They were the first black licensed architects in the country,” McKissack Daniel said.Bad Goal In Final Seconds Of Second Period Dooms Islanders In Loss To Kings
To this day, McKissack & McKissack operates with a tenacity carried on for generations.
“We’re quite busy here in New York,” McKissack Daniel said. “We’ve had the opportunity and are currently working at Columbia University at Manhattanville — a huge expansion, about $10 billion.”
But McKissack Daniel said of all the projects that her company has had a hand in over the years, her favorite is Medgar Evers College.
“We worked for an amazing president, Dr. Edison O. Jackson, and it was signature architecture, and it just transformed Brooklyn, the area of Brooklyn around Medgar Evers,” she said. “So when I go over there I look at that and I just say ‘Oh my God. It will be a long time before they build something like that again.'”
While still holding her family’s past as a torch to light the way, McKissack Daniel has paved her own path for the company in the 21st Century.
And like those who have come before her, McKissack Daniel gives back to the community through operating a minority and women outreach program in partnership with Harlem Hospital and Columbia University.MORE NEWS: Cirelli's Goal In Third Period Lifts Lightning Over Devils
The programs help local residents prepare for careers and participation in different phases of construction.