Paul Revere Williams opposite a man explaining a project | Courtesy of J. Paul Getty Trust. Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles

Paul Revere Williams: An African-American Architect in Jet-Age L.A.

Although best known for designing the homes of celebrities like Lucille Ball and Frank Sinatra, the pioneering African-American architect Paul Revere Williams also contributed to some of the city’s most recognizable civic structures — all while confronting racial barriers. In this episode, we visit LAX’s iconic Theme Building with Rebecca Choi who studies politics, culture and representation of urban space and architectural form; a Williams-designed church with photographer Janna Ireland, who is training her lenses on many of the architect’s surviving projects; and the Pueblo del Rio public housing project archive.

The following changes were made to the original episode:
The statement about Mr. Williams’ adoption was removed.
The statement about Mr. Williams’ self- awareness of his racial identity was removed.
The statement about the extent of damage to the materials belonging to Mr. Williams was removed.

LA as SubjectA collaboration between the USC Libraries and KCETLink, Lost LA features the member collections of L.A. as Subject, a research alliance dedicated to preserving and telling the sometimes-hidden stories and histories of the Los Angeles region.

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