Friday, 20 April 2012

Paul William Architect

Paul R William (1894 - 1980)



Visionary architects of 20th century, I'm talking Frank Lloyd Wright, Kenzo Tange, le Corbusier, and Mies van der rohe are just few of many other architects who are popularly known for their outstanding work.  However, upon my reaserch, I was quite pleased to find out about few of African American architects of the same century who equally contributed to the society and had significant work.  Other African American architects apart from Paul William who also built successful career in this very challenging industry are  Robert Taylor, J Max Bond Jr, Robert Traynham Coles, Albert Cassel, etc, etc.

I would  like to talk about Paul William, an African American architecture of the 20th centrury.
Born in the 1894 and was an orphan at the age of 4.  He was then raised and educated in Los Angeles by a foster family.  It  is recorded that he was the only African American from his early elementary class to his higher education.

William continued to pursue his education and also working in several different architects offices in Los Angeles in late 1910.  He was licenced as an architect by the state of California by 1921.  In 1923 he was the first African American to become a member of the American Institute of Architects .

During his thriving career, Paul Williams designed numerous private, public buildings and monuments.   From churches, school, to offices.   My fascination of the building below is actually what ignited this research.  I wanted to know the architect behind this design.  I was delighted to know it was actually an African American architect who designed it.



"Arhitect Paul Williams in Front of His Famous Project, the Theme Building, Los Angeles Airpot"












"The Ambassador Hotel, was owned by one family, the Shines, from its opening in 1921 until 1971.  The hotel closed in 1989 and was vacant until demolished in 2006.  During its long life, the hotel was the location of the famous Cocoanut Grove Nightclub, hosted the Academy Awards, and was the site of the assassination of Robert Kenedy.  Nixon wrote his "Checkers Speech" in 1952 while staying there.  Paul William's 1949 contributions to the Los Angeles icon were an extensive renovation to the interior as well as additional bungalows".


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