‘Architect to the Stars’ contest; 3,000 projects to his credit

| October 31, 2013 | 0 Comments
ONE OF THE MANY nearby is this home on McCadden

ONE OF THE MANY nearby is this home on McCadden

The Larchmont Chronicle is running a contest to see who will send in the most photos with addresses of homes designed by Paul Williams.

The homes must be limited to locations between Highland and Western avenues, Melrose Ave. and Olympic Blvd. The first three winners will receive a membership in the Windsor Square-Hancock Park Historical Society.  Contest deadline is Fri., Dec. 20. E-mail to jane@larchmontchronicle.com.

Hancock Park and Windsor Square neighborhoods are dotted with houses designed by Paul Revere Williams.

His career spanned almost 60 years, and his architectural vision is seen all over the city. Williams’ style evolved along with Los Angeles.

The architect attended classes at Los Angeles School of Art, the Beaux-Arts Institute and USC engineering school. He became a licensed architect in 1921 and in 1923 he joined the Southern California chapter of the American Institute of Architects, becoming the first African American member of the national organization.

Initially it was difficult for him to find a job in architecture. In 1922, he started his own firm, not limiting himself to either residential or commercial but taking on a variety of projects that reflected his wide-ranging talents and versatility.

An African American with 3,000 projects to his credit, many of his clients were white. The residences he designed were in areas of the city in which he was not allowed to live because of restrictive covenants instituted in some areas in the 1920s, and outlawed by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1948.

The majority of Williams’ residential work can be seen all around the Los Angeles area, but specifically, Beverly Hills, Hancock Park, La Cañada Flintridge, Pasadena and Palos Verdes.

During the 1920s and 1930s his great success was in designing homes for wealthy clients in the hillside subdivisions of Bel Air, Brentwood, and Beverly Hills.  Sought by entertainment industry leaders, Williams became known as “Architect to the Hollywood Stars.”

His commercial work included the former MCA building in Beverly Hills, alterations/additions to the Beverly Hills Hotel, alterations and additions to the Ambassador Hotel, alterations to Perino’s Restaurant and the Al Jolson Memorial Shrine in Hillside Memorial Park. He also worked with the firm of Welton Beckett on the theme building at Los Angeles International Airport.

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Category: Real Estate

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