Architect, author, architectural historian and photographer, Patrick McGrew received his Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Oklahoma in 1965. He has been actively engaged in the architectural profession, specializing in historic preservation, since then. McGrew has been a licensed architect in the State of California since 1970, as well as a holder of the NCARB (national licensing) certificate. As an author and historian, McGrew places a high value on the objectivity and completeness of his written works. He has several years' experience in research, writing, practicing and teaching architecture with academic and historical agencies and institutions. He has made a substantial contribution to the recorded knowledge of California architectural history through research and publication of a body of scholarly work in the field. His experience has included the preparation of numerous historic research reports, National Register nominations, and San Francisco and Palm Springs historic site nominations, as well as the preparation of plans and specifications for architectural preservation projects.
Patrick McGrew's knowledge and reputation in the field of historic preservation derives from his public service as the long-time President of San Francisco's Landmarks Preservation Advisory Board, which extended over an eighteen year span beginning in1978 when he was first appointed by then-Mayor George Moscone; he served the next ten years under Mayor Dianne Feinstein. Although he served less than a year under Mayor Art Agnos, it was Agnos who declared November 17, 1991 "Landmarks of San Francisco Day" to honor the publication of McGrew's first book, Landmarks of San Francisco (Harry Abrams, New York, 1991). Reappointed in 1992 by Mayor Frank Jordan, McGrew served four more years on San Francisco's Landmarks Board. McGrew's second book, Landmarks of Los Angeles was published by Abrams in 1994.