Williams, Paul Revere
- Mark Alan Hewitt
(b Los Angeles, CA, Feb 18, 1894; d Los Angeles, CA, Jan 23, 1980).
African American architect. Educated in Los Angeles public schools, Williams was asked by a high school counselor why he wanted to be an architect rather than a doctor, lawyer, or fine artist. His answer was “that I had heard of only one Negro architect in America, and I was sure this country could use one or two more.” Williams went on to become the first African American licensed to practice architecture in California (1921), the first African American Fellow of the AIA (1957), and the designer of more than 3000 projects for clients as diverse as the US Navy, Frank Sinatra and Lucille Ball.
Williams’s parents, Chester Stanley and Lila Wright Williams, had migrated to California from Tennessee at the beginning of the 1890s to establish a fruit business. Following their early deaths a few years later Paul was raised by family friends. He graduated from the Polytechnic High School in Los Angeles in ...