Three Decades After His Death, Pioneering Architect Remains L.A.'s Hottest Designer

Lauren Beale looks at the work of pioneering architect Paul Revere Williams, the first African American fellow of the American Institute of Architects, whose luxury homes designed for some of L.A.'s most prestigious residents remain in high demand.
June 24, 2013, 9am PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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"He's one of the hottest architects in Hollywood: The houses designed by Paul Revere Williams have attracted generations of stars — Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, Bill Cosby, Denzel Washington," writes Beale. "Actress Debra Messing recently sold a home he designed in Bel-Air for $11.4 million in less than a month — a rapid exchange for a transaction at that price."

"Williams' homes caught the imagination of the entertainment elite starting in the late 1920s and are still sought-after today, more than three decades after his death," she continues. "During a half-century in practice, the Los Angeles architect left a legacy of close to 3,000 residential and commercial projects worldwide."

"That his refined style remains coveted among a Who's Who of celebrities is remarkable."

"When Williams opened his own firm in 1922, there were no black architects designing luxury homes, according to [granddaughter Karen E. Hudson's] research. It would be 25 years before Jackie Robinson broke Major League Baseball's color barrier and 33 years before Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a segregated bus."

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Published on Friday, June 21, 2013 in Los Angeles Times
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