Paul R William (1894 - 1980)
Visionary architects of the 20th century, I'm talking Frank Lloyd Wright, Kenzo Tange, le Corbusier, and Mies van der rohe are just a few of many other architects who are popularly known for their outstanding work. However, upon my research, I was quite pleased to find out about a few African American architects of the same century who equally contributed to society and had significant work. Other African American architects apart from Paul William who also built a successful career in this very challenging industry are Robert Taylor, J Max Bond Jr, Robert Traynham Coles, Albert Cassel, etc, etc.
Born in 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.
During his thriving career, Paul Williams designed numerous private, public buildings and monuments. From churches, schools, to offices. My fascination with 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".