Paul R. Williams - Blazing Trails and Breaking Molds

Virtual event

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Part Four of California Preservation Foundation's "Modernist Masters and Methods" five-part series. 

Get a first-hand look at the work to restore architect Paul R. Williams’ personal residence in Los Angeles. Frank Escher of Escher GuneWardena Architecture will take us on a journey through the year-long process to rehabilitate a jewel of Los Angeles design history and the home of America’s most recognized and revered African American Architect. 

Prolific architect Paul R. Williams, who in 1957 was the first African-American to be named an AIA  Fellow, designed more than 3,000 buildings, the majority of which were homes in his native Los Angeles, often in neighborhoods where he was not allowed to reside. Williams was part of the team behind the remarkable Theme Building at LAX, and also includes the stately Golden State Mutual Life Insurance headquarters in L.A.’s Adams District; the city’s First AME Church; and the Palm Springs Tennis Club (with A. Quincy Jones). Williams was posthumously awarded AIA’s 2017 Gold Medal, the first Black architect to receive the honor.


Tuesday March 30, 2021
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm Pacific

Free, registration required


Ravi GuneWardena, Principal, Escher GuneWardena Architecture. In Los Angeles, a city with an extraordinary collection of 20th century architecture and a globally important contemporary art scene, the office of Frank Escher and Ravi GuneWardena occupies a unique position: since 1997 they have routinely worked with artists (Eliasson, Kelley, Lockhart, Prina), as well as with significant buildings (e.g. restoring John Lautner's Chemosphere, and the Eames House, in collaboration with the Getty Conservation Institute).

Mr. GuneWardena studied architecture, as well as art history (Cal Poly Pomona and Florence, Italy) and has served on the Art Advisory Panel for the Hollywood Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) and has taught and lectured at various schools in the United States and Europe.

Stephen Gee is a writer and television producer based in Los Angeles. He is the author of Iconic Vision: John Parkinson, Architect of Los Angeles (2013), and co-author, with Arnold Schwartzman, of Los Angeles Central Library: A History of its Art and Architecture (2016). Most recently Stephen authored Los Angeles City Hall: An American Icon (2018).

Additional speakers to be announced.