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2017 AIA Gold Medal: Paul Revere Williams, FAIA



my grandfather was Paul Revere Williams born in Los Angeles in 1894 he was raised by a foster mother who was not well educated and from elementary school through college people told him the majority of white people would not hire him until he should be a doctor or a lawyer because his people would always be those people often ask me how he fell into becoming an architect and then you think back on it LA at that time was being feels an orange grows they were tearing down buildings so he was looking at a blank slate envisioning it Paul Williams is the first African American architect to be registered west of Mississippi and the first african-american architect become a member of the American Institute of Architects there was this incredible architect out on the west coast that was doing things in the 40s and 50s that very inspirational to me you know my favorite team building at LAX still when people fly into that Airport with thousands and thousands of people every day that's one of the first things they see and then the Beverly Hills Hotel in the late 1940s it was just a wonderful building he renovated that building and made it what it is today he probably did close to 3,000 projects around the world he was building mansions for Hollywood in the 20s time Paul Williams was involved in clients who were very wealthy very successful and these homes were in communities that he couldn't live there any other african-americans who beautiful out but he can stop him from design museums because he knew what he did and open doors for other people he thought about what he could do to contribute to the african-american community that time churches and buildings and community centers it was also building public housing starting with the first federal public housing and I think 37 awash in d c– they believed and no matter what your station in life underserved regulate Hollywood you should live in the same country I live said he got home safe Paul Williams whizzed this lighthouse lit lit the path that I could follow I'm glad that his body of work is being appreciated

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