Live Tour: Hollywood Architect vs. Community

Join us for a in-depth look into the life and work of the trailblazer architect, Paul R. Williams.

When: Tuesday, November 10, 4pm EST

  • To register, click "Add to Cart," then complete the checkout process. But before you check out, add this event to your calendar >
  • You will receive a registration confirmation email from AIAU Live Events. On the day of the event, you can access the tour from the confirmation email or by signing into AIAU, and selecting the session from your My Courses list.



The impact Paul Revere Williams, FAIA, has had on the Black community has often been overlooked. This experience will share his lasting impact.

Many know Paul as an architect to the stars, designing nearly 2,000 homes during a time when Black people were sidelined by redlining, Jim Crow, and other racial inequities. Although he is known for creating homes and spaces for the Hollywood glitterati, Paul was unable to publicly attend the venerable hot spots he created—like Chasen’s and the Palm Springs Tennis Club—due to racial segregation.

Join Drake Dillard, AIA, senior project manager, Perkins+Will, and Rochelle Mills, for a rare look at another facet of Paul’s work—the spaces and places where he lived, socialized, and conducted business.



Learning objectives

  • Describe the history and significance of the 28th Street YMCA, designed by celebrated African American architect Paul R. Williams, FAIA in the Spanish Colonial Revival style.
  • Discuss how Paul Williams’ work, in capturing the elegance and possibility of the Southern California dream, made him the go-to architect for the Hollywood glitterati and Palm Springs socialites, despite redlining and other Jim Crow laws that precluded Williams and Blacks as a whole from participating in the celebration of the work, music, and entertainment that Hollywood became known for.
  • Explain the ways in which L.A’s Black community created its own entertainment center along Central Avenue—and how, as the restrictive covenants were relaxed, the Black community expanded into previously forbidden communities south, west and north including the Crenshaw District and West Adams.
  • Investigate other neighborhoods that feature Williams’ iconic work, such as West Adams, where Williams designed the Golden State Mutual Life building (1949) and altered the neighboring First AME Church (1965)—both of which continue to be icons in the Black community.

Los Angeles Architecture Tours >

In partnership with

User rating:
Average: 5 (1 vote)
 $50  non-member
 $35  member
1.25 LUs
  • RIBA


  • Drake Dillard


    Perkins & Will

    Drake Dillard is a registered architect with more than 32 years of experience in the management...
  • Rochelle Mills


    President, CEO | Innovative Housing Opportunities (IHO)

    Rochelle Mills is President and CEO of Innovative Housing Opportunities (IHO) where she is...

Course details

Contents: Live session, evaluation