The honorees were chosen from among eighteen thousand historical figures contained in the American National Biography by “selectors” whose own fame guaranteed that they would not be included in a subsequent volume, among them William F. Buckley Jr., Andy Rooney, Gloria Steinem, and Helen Gurley Brown.

“Although we made no systematic attempt to define ‘invisible giant,’ ” editor Marc C. Carnes writes, “we explained that we were looking for the type of figure who, though often overlooked in history books, warranted special consideration.”

Hornbostel was selected by architect Michael Graves, who became familiar with Hornbostel’s work when he converted the Old Law Building into the Michael C. Carlos Museum in 1985. (Graves also designed the new museum building adjacent Carlos Hall.)

Among Hornbostel’s fellow honorees are Bronislava Nijinska, the younger sister of the most famous dancer of the twentieth century, Vaslav Nijinsky, with whom she shared the stage at the Diaghilev Ballet; and Blind Lemon Jefferson, considered the most popular male blues recording artist of the 1920s.

Much of Hornbostel’s design for the Emory campus, in fact, remains as invisible as the architect himself. His original plans called for a mammoth central building topped with a pyramid of terra-cotta tiles at the center of the Quadrangle. The Theology Building and the Old Law Building were to flank the stately giant, joined to it by an elegant colonnade; two obelisks would have marked the entrance to the courtyard created by the juxtaposition of the three buildings.

Hornbostel’s grand plan was scaled back by Chancellor Warren A. Candler, who wrote to Hornbostel, “From the start . . . my policy was not to expend large amounts in buildings; but to deliver the strength of our resources on the employment of strong men. I regard strong men as more important to an institution than costly buildings.”–A.B.

For more on the original plans for Emory’s campus, see “Unbuilt Emory,” at

Other Précis articles:

A return to scholarship

End of an era

• Triumph of imagination

• A not-so-modest proposal

• Seeing with new eyes

• Faculty author resigns

• Way cool

• SAT prep made easy

• Remembering Michael C. Carlos

• Remembering Sanford S. Atwood

• Henry who?

• Awakening the demon

• Bringing science to life




© 2003 Emory University