Contents 1 Early years 2 Architectural career 3 Publications 4 Posthumous honors 5 Works 5.1 Private homes 5.2 Works 5.3 Professional records 6 Death 7 Quotes 8 Legacy 9 Notes 10 References 11 Further reading 12 External links


Early years[edit] Orphaned at four years of age, Williams was the only African-American student in his elementary school. He studied at the Los Angeles School of Art and Design and at the Los Angeles branch of the New York Beaux-Arts Institute of Design Atelier, subsequently working as a landscape architect. He went on to attend the University of Southern California, designing several residential buildings while still a student there. Williams became a certified architect in 1921, and the first certified African-American architect west of the Mississippi. He married Della Mae Givens on June 27, 1917, at the First AME Church in Los Angeles. They had three children: Paul Revere Williams, Jr. (born and died June 30, 1925, buried in Evergreen Cemetery, Los Angeles); Marilyn Frances Williams (born December 25, 1926); and Norma Lucille Williams (born September 18, 1928).


Architectural career[edit] Poster from Office of War Information. Domestic Operations Branch. News Bureau, 1943 Williams won an architectural competition at age 25, and three years later opened his own office. Known as an outstanding draftsman, he perfected the skill of rendering drawings "upside down." This skill was developed because in the 1920's many of his white clients felt uncomfortable sitting directly next to a black man. He learned to draft upside down so that he could sit across the desk from his clients who would see his drafts right-side-up. Struggling to gain attention, he served on the first Los Angeles City Planning Commission in 1920. From 1921 through 1924, Williams worked for Los Angeles architect John C. Austin, eventually becoming chief draftsman, before establishing his own office. In 1923, Williams became the first African-American member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA).[1] In 1939, he won the AIA Award of Merit for his design of the MCA Building in Los Angeles (now headquarters of the Paradigm Talent Agency). A. Quincy Jones (1913–79) was an architect who is claimed to have hired Williams and later collaborated with him on projects in Palm Springs, including the Palm Springs Tennis Club (1947) and the Town & Country (1948) and Romanoff's on the Rocks (1948) restaurants.[3] During World War II, Williams worked for the Navy Department as an architect. In 1951, Williams won the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., Man of the Year award and in 1953 he received the Spingarn Medal from the NAACP for his outstanding contributions as an architect and member of the African-American community. Williams also received honorary doctorates from Lincoln University of Missouri (doctor of science, 1941), Howard University (doctor of architecture, 1952), and the Tuskegee Institute (doctor of fine arts, 1956). In 1956, he won an award for service, from Wisdom magazine, for "contributions to knowledge and distinguished service to mankind." In 1957, he became the first black member to be inducted into the AIA's College of Fellows. An April 2, 1957 letter from the Executive Secretary of AIA, offered Williams the honor of Fellowship and membership in the College of Fellows "for your notable contribution in Public Service."


Publications[edit] Book: The Small Home of Tomorrow (1945), with a successor volume New Homes for Today (1946). Essay: "I Am a Negro," American Magazine (1937).


Posthumous honors[edit] In 2004, USC honored him by listing him among its distinguished alumni, in the television commercial for the school shown during its football games. In 2017, Williams will be posthumously honored with the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Gold Medal. “Our profession desperately needs more architects like Paul Williams,” wrote William J. Bates, FAIA, in his support of William’s nomination for the AIA Gold Medal. “His pioneering career has encouraged others to cross a chasm of historic biases. I can’t think of another architect whose work embodies the spirit of the Gold Medal better. His recognition demonstrates a significant shift in the equity for the profession and the institute.”


Works[edit] Private homes[edit] Lon Chaney High Sierra House designed by Williams - Inyo National Forest Williams designed more than 2,000 private homes, most of which were in the Hollywood Hills and the Mid-Wilshire portion of Los Angeles (including his own home in Lafayette Square, part of historic West Adams, Los Angeles, California).[citation needed] He also designed at least one home in the San Rafael district along with many others in Pasadena and La Cañada Flintridge. The Linda Vista Area of Pasadena has many Spanish Colonial and French Country homes of his design including many commissioned by business magnates (Chrysler Corporation) and actors. His most famous homes were for celebrities, and he was well regarded for his mastery of various architectural styles. Modern interpretations of Tudor-revival, French Chateau, Regency, French Country, and Mediterranean architecture were all within his vernacular. One notable home, which he designed for Jay Paley in Holmby Hills,[4] and the current residence of Barron Hilton, was used as the 'Colby mansion' in exterior scenes for The Colbys television series. Williams's client list included Frank Sinatra (the notorious pushbutton house), Bill "Bojangles" Robinson, Lon Chaney, Sr., Lucille Ball, Julie London, Tyrone Power (two houses), Barbara Stanwyck, Bert Lahr, Charles Correll, Will Hays, Zasu Pitts, and Danny Thomas. In contrast to these splendid mansions, Williams co-designed with Hilyard Robinson the first federally funded public housing projects of the post-war period (Langston Terrace, Washington, D.C.) and later the Pueblo del Rio project in southeast Los Angeles. Williams famously remarked upon the bitter irony of the fact that most of the homes he designed, and whose construction he oversaw, were on parcels whose deeds included segregation covenants barring blacks from purchasing them.[citation needed] A number of his works are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[5] Works[edit] (In Los Angeles, unless otherwise noted) The Theme Building at Los Angeles International Airport during daylight. 28th Street YMCA, 1006 E. 28th St., Los Angeles (Williams, Paul R.), NRHP-listed[5] Angeles Mesa Elementary School, Los Angeles, California Angelus Funeral Home, 1010 E. Jefferson Blvd., Los Angeles (Williams, Paul R.), NRHP-listed[5] Arrowhead Springs Hotel & Spa, San Bernardino, California; Beverly Hills Hotel (redesigned & added rooms in the 1940s); Carver Park Homes, Nevada;[6] Cord Estate (late 1930's) for E.L. Cord of Cord/Auburn/Dusenberg Motorcars (Beverly Hills, California); First A.M.E Church[7] First Church of Christ, Scientist, 501 Riverside Dr., Reno, NV (Williams, Paul Revere),[8] NRHP-listed[5] Founder's Church of Religious Science (1960)- 3281 W. 6th Street - mid-century modern in Mid-Wilshire District of Los Angeles Luella Garvey House (1934), 589-599 California Ave., Reno, NV (William, Paul Revere)[9] Golden State Mutual Life Insurance Building Goldschmidt House, 243 Avenida La Cuesta, San Clemente, CA (Williams, Paul R.), NRHP-listed[5] Guardian Angel Cathedral, Las Vegas, Nevada;[10] Hollywood YMCA; Hotel Nutibara, Medellin, Colombia, the city's first grand hotel inaugurated in 1945 The La Concha Motel, Nevada;[11] The concrete paraboloid La Concha Motel in Las Vegas (disassembled and moved to the Neon Museum in Las Vegas, Nevada, for use as the museum lobby 2006; Los Angeles County Courthouse; Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration; Marina Del Rey Middle School[12] Nickerson Gardens; Palm Springs, CA, Tennis Club;[13]:70 Perino's restaurant at 4101 Wilshire Boulevard. Williams managed the interior and exterior redesign in 1950, then oversaw a second renovation after the restaurant was badly damaged by fire in 1954.[14] Roberts House Ranch "The Tropical Terrace", Malibu, CA (The remains of the burned down structures can be explored on Solstice Canyon Trail in Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area.)[15] Saks Fifth Avenue Beverly Hills, Beverly Hills, California SeaView Palos Verdes, a mid-century modern tract neighborhood built from 1959-1960 Second Baptist Church, 1100 E. 24th St., Los Angeles (Williams, Paul R.), NRHP-listed[5] Shrine Auditorium (Williams helped prepare construction drawings as a young architect.); The retro-futuristic googie styled Theme Building at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). (In the 1960s as part of the Pereira & Luckman firm and with consulting engineers, Williams helped design this futuristic landmark.) The Gatehouse (1940), for aviation pioneer Thomas F. Hamilton (Lake Arrowhead, California); Woodrow Wilson High School One or more works in 27th Street Historic District, along 27th St., Los Angeles (Williams, Paul), NRHP-listed[5] One or more works in Berkley Square, area bounded by Byrnes Ave., D St., Leonard Ave., and G St., Las Vegas, NV (Williams, Paul R. He also designed the Al Jolson tomb in Hillside Memorial Park, to which Jolson's body was moved in 1951. The tomb and fountain is prominently visible from the adjacent San Diego Freeway. It is perhaps a fitting tribute to both Williams and Jolson that he was chosen to design Jolson's resting place, as Jolson had a long history of supporting African-American entertainers, in a time when that was controversial. Professional records[edit] Williams' business records (letters, drawings, photographs) are lost. They were stored at the headquarters of Broadway Federal Savings in Watts. Williams renovated and repurposed this former Woolworth's building in 1954 for the bank. During 1992 Los Angeles riots in the aftermath of the jury's verdict in the Rodney King case, the building and all contents were burned.[16]


Death[edit] Memorial to Paul R Williams north of the Golden State Mutual Life Insurance Building dedicated October, 2015 Williams retired his practice in 1973, and died from diabetes on January 23, 1980, at age 85.[17] Williams was interred in the Sanctuary of Radiance, Manchester Garden Mausoleum at Inglewood Park Cemetery, Inglewood. Williams's widow Della Williams (1895–1996) co-founded (with Fannie Williams) 'The Wilfandel Club' Established November 21, 1945, by black women active in the Los Angeles, California, community. The Wilfandel Club’s goal has been to promote civic betterment, philanthropic endeavors, and general culture. The Wilfandel Club is the oldest African-American women's club in Los Angeles. Club meetings are still held at the beautiful Wilfandel Club House on 3425 West Adams Blvd in Los Angeles. Della Williams survived her famous husband by 16 years, living to the age of 100; she died on July 24, 1996. She was interred in the Williams crypt Inglewood Park Cemetery, Inglewood. On October 29, 2015 a monument and memorial plaza to Paul Williams was dedicated just to the north of the Golden State Mutual Life Insurance Building as part of its recent renovation. The monument features a 9 foot tall bas relief of Paul Williams with many of his significant works. The bas relief is flanked with interpretive panels with a biography of Mr. Williams as well as a history of the Golden State Mutual Life Insurance Company.


Quotes[edit] "If I allow the fact that I am a Negro to checkmate my will to do, now, I will inevitably form the habit of being defeated." "Planning is thinking beforehand how something is to be made or done, and mixing imagination with the product – which in a broad sense makes all of us planners. The only difference is that some people get a license to get paid for thinking and the rest of us just contribute our good thoughts to our fellow man." “Without having the wish to ‘show them,’ I developed a fierce desire to ‘show myself,’” Williams wrote in his 1937 essay for American Magazine, I Am a Negro. “I wanted to vindicate every ability I had. I wanted to acquire new abilities. I wanted to prove that I, AS AN INDIVIDUAL, deserved a place in the world.”


Legacy[edit] Williams is featured on the documentary series Profiles of African-American Success. The 99% Invisible podcast "The Architect of Hollywood" looks into Williams' life and influence


Notes[edit] ^ a b Hudson, Karen E., Paul R. Williams Architect: A Legacy of Style, Rixxoli International Publications, Inc., New York, New York, 1993. ^ Hudson, Karen E., The Will and the Way: Paul R. Williams, Architect, Rixxoli International Publications, Inc., NY 1994. ^ Barbara Thornburg, "The man behind the look", Los Angeles Times, February 14, 2009. ^ "Jay Paley Residence". Paul Revere Williams Project Gallery. 2010.  ^ a b c d e f g National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.  ^ "Test your knowledge of black history in Southern Nevada": "Name the black architect who designed Carver Park's homes. Answer: Paul Williams who, White says, also designed the La Concha motel, homes in Berkeley Square -- a black housing area -- and other Las Vegas properties." Las Vegas Review Journal, February 2009. ^ "First African Methodist Episcopal Church", Los Angeles Conservancy. ^ NRHP nom doc ^ Mella Rothwell Harmon (August 2003). "National Register of Historic Places Registration: Luella Garvey House" (PDF). National Park Service.  and accompanying four photos ^ "Guardian Angel Cathedral, Las Vegas, NV". Paul R. Williams Project. Retrieved 2015-12-25.  ^ (Includes photo of La Concha Hotel) ^ MDRMS: History Archived 2009-11-28 at the Wayback Machine. ^ Niemann, Greg (2006). Palm Springs Legends: creation of a desert oasis. San Diego, CA: Sunbelt Publications. p. 286. ISBN 978-0-932653-74-1. OCLC 61211290.  (here for Table of Contents) ^ "Perino's Restaurant, Los Angeles". PaulRevereWilliamsProject.com. Retrieved 2017-05-15.  ^ "Solstice Canyon Trail in the Santa Monica Mountains". hikespeak.com. Hikespeak. Retrieved 2017-01-02.  ^ Paul Revere Williams Timeline. ^ The Political Graveyard


References[edit] Hudson, Karen E. (1993). Paul R. Williams, Architect: A Legacy of Style. New York: Rizzoli. p. 240. ISBN 0-8478-1763-6.  LCC NA737.W527 H84 1993 Hudson, Karen E. (1994). The Will and the Way: Paul R. Williams, Architect. New York: Rizzoli. p. 64. ISBN 0-8478-1780-6.  LCC NA737.W527 H85 1994 Sennot, Stephen, Samudio, Jeffrey B.(contributing editor), "Encyclopedia of 20th Century Architecture: Paul Revere Williams", Routledge, Taylor & Francis Publishers, January, 2004, 1,500 word biography of life and professional work Yenser, Thomas (editor), Who's Who in Colored America: A Biographical Dictionary of Notable Living Persons of African Descent in America, Who's Who in Colored America, Brooklyn, New York, 1930-1931-1932 (Third Edition)


Further reading[edit] The Will and the Way: Paul R. Williams, Architect By Karen E. Hudson, Paul R. Williams Edition: illustrated Published by Rizzoli, 1994 ISBN 0-8478-1780-6, ISBN 9780847817801


External links[edit] Wikimedia Commons has media related to Paul R. Williams. Biography portal USC Trojan biographical page 1928 Paul Williams Renovation Photos, James V. Coane & Associates Architects Paul Revere Williams Project Website Paul Williams at Find a Grave Authority control WorldCat Identities VIAF: 22945708 LCCN: no93018464 ISNI: 0000 0000 3777 3673 GND: 119187604 SUDOC: 163546223 BNF: cb123719840 (data) ULAN: 500016793 SNAC: w6j10vt7 Retrieved from "https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Paul_Williams_(architect)&oldid=825083950" Categories: Paul Williams (architect)African-American architectsAmerican architects20th-century American architectsArchitects from Los AngelesMediterranean Revival architects1894 births1980 deathsFellows of the American Institute of ArchitectsPeople from South Los AngelesBurials at Inglewood Park CemeteryUSC Viterbi School of Engineering alumniSpingarn Medal winnersHidden categories: Webarchive template wayback linksArticles needing additional references from September 2009All articles needing additional referencesArticles with hCardsAll articles with unsourced statementsArticles with unsourced statements from May 2013Articles with unsourced statements from October 2013Find a Grave template with ID same as WikidataWikipedia articles with VIAF identifiersWikipedia articles with LCCN identifiersWikipedia articles with ISNI identifiersWikipedia articles with GND identifiersWikipedia articles with BNF identifiersWikipedia articles with ULAN identifiersWikipedia articles with SNAC-ID identifiersNRHP architects


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