We can’t have enough books on the great Paul Revere Williams, one of Los Angeles’s most significant architects, who designed a number of homes the in the neighborhood. The latest book, “Paul R. Williams,” is the fourth in a twelve-volume series, “Master Architects of Southern California from 1920 to 1940,” and is the subject of a virtual book talk this Wednesday evening at 7 p.m., organized by the Windsor Square Hancock Park Historical Society and featuring one of the book’s co-authors, Bret Parsons.
Parsons, a local realtor and self-taught expert on local architectural, along with architect Marc Appleton and researcher Stephen Gee, have created the series of Master Architects books from historic photos of the homes taken around the time they were completed and published in the magazine “The Architectural Digest,” the forerunner of contemporary “Architectural Digest” Magazine. The Williams book features wonderful images of the exteriors as well interiors of some of Williams’ most notable commissions.
Parsons told us that Williams is one of the most popular architects in the series.
“Our books cover twelve prominent architects who practiced in Southern California during the golden era of architecture, that period between World War I and World War II,” explained Parsons. “Williams ranks in the top six. He was truly special, a master of every architectural style.”
Williams’ personal story is quite incredible too.
“An orphan son of an African American fruit and vegetable merchant, Williams was repeatedly told he had no chance of ever realizing his childhood dream of being an architect. And yet, he ignored the naysayers to reach the pinnacle of his chosen profession, while overcoming widespread discrimination through early to mid-twentieth century America. The odds against him succeeding were enormous,” write the authors.
Parsons is a great storyteller, so this program will not disappoint, especially if you are interested in learning more about this amazing architect whose work is part of our neighborhood heritage. Click here for reservations. Tickets are $10 for members, $15 for non-members. The book is available for $60 from Angel City Press.