AIA honored Paul Williams, Frank Clementi: Area homes, Grand Park among their works

| June 1, 2017 | 0 Comments

Paul Williams                 Photo: Herald Examiner Collection / Los Angeles Public Library.

The most prestigious individual award of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) is its Gold Medal. Since 1907, the medal has been awarded to individuals whose significant bodies of work have had a lasting influence on the theory and practice of architecture.

This year, the Gold Medal was awarded posthumously to Los Angeles architect Paul Revere Williams, FAIA.

Present for the ceremonies held at the annual conference of the AIA, this year in Orlando, Florida, were Williams’ grandchildren, banker Paul C. Hudson of Brookside, and author Karen E. Hudson of Lafayette Square. Hudson is the author of three books about her grandfather and his work.

Williams, born in Los Angeles in 1894, died in 1980. During his extraordinary five-decade career, he was responsible for more than 3,000 buildings. Many are in our Mid-Wilshire neighborhoods. He was the first black member of the AIA, the first black Fellow of the AIA, and now he is the first black winner of the AIA’s Gold Medal.

PAUL R. WILLIAMS’ grandchildren, banker Paul C. Hudson and author Karen E. Hudson, with her husband Don Freeman, at the College of Fellows dinner at the American Institute of Architects annual convention in Orlando in late April.

The bestowing of the Gold Medal, received by Karen Hudson, who made remarks, was followed by a plenary session speech by former First Lady Michelle Obama. The First Lady, who had been waiting in the wings when Hudson made her acceptance remarks, went out of her way to acknowledge Karen, her family, and her grandfather.

A few days later, the Hudsons and Karen’s husband, Don Freeman, were honored guests at the annual Fellows Dinner that helps wrap up the annual convention.

NEW FELLOW of the American Institute of Architects, Frank Clementi, FAIA (center), is accompanied by Bob Hale, FAIA, and Clementi’s wife, Julie Smith-Clementi, IDSA, all of whom work on Larchmont Blvd. at Rios Clementi Hale Studios.


Also honored that evening was another local — Frank Clementi, FAIA, of the architecture and landscape architecture firm, Rios Clementi Hale Studios, located on Larchmont Blvd., across the street from the Larchmont Chronicle.

Attending to honor Clementi, who became a Fellow of the AIA this year, were Bob Hale, FAIA, and Clementi’s wife, Julie Smith-Clementi, IDSA. Also an architect, Smith-Clementi is the person, as president and CEO, behind notNeutral, the internationally known line of coffeeware, dinnerware, and other products. Notable local works from Clementi and his firm include Grand Park, Hollywood & Vine Station Plaza, and the firm’s offices at 639 N. Larchmont Blvd.

Clementi is the third member of the firm to receive the honor. Mark Rios was named a Fellow in 1999, and Bob Hale was elevated in 2006.

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