Paul R. Williams

Paul R. Williams

by Marc Appleton Stephen Gee, and Bret Parsons

Master Architects of Southern California 1920-1940, a new twelve-volume series by Marc Appleton and Bret Parsons showcases the work of the Golden Era's most important residential architects as originally featured in the earliest issues of The Architectural Digest. Featuring some of the earliest known photographs of the work of legendary architects, the series is devoted to the era when oil titans, film industry moguls, bankers, and successful entrepreneurs who were new to the region hired the most accomplished and talented architects they could find.

Paul Revere Williams’s inspirational story has fascinated historians for the simple fact that his journey was so improbable. The orphan son of an African American fruit-and-vegetable merchant, he was repeatedly told he had no chance of ever realizing his childhood dream of becoming an architect. And yet, he ignored the naysayers to reach the pinnacle of his chosen profession, while overcoming widespread discrimination throughout early- to mid-twentieth century America. The odds against him succeeding were enormous.

Often working in neighborhoods where, because of highly discriminatory racial covenants, he himself would not be allowed to live, his designs were at the same time graceful and relaxed. His mastery of harmonious proportions and signature undulating lines, and his innovative use of color helped define a golden age of Southern California architecture. The more than three thousand structures that carry his architectural imprimatur ranged from modest, affordable homes to extravagant mansions for Hollywood’s elite, as well as important civic and commercial projects.

  • 208 pages
  • vintage photography throughout
  • 12"h x 9"w
  • hardcover: ISBN 978-0-9996664-5-6; $60.00
  • *** published by and available from Tailwater Press ***

    (Currently, Angel City Press has no available stock of this product.)