Monday, April 30, 2012


Reporter: Miguel Dominguez

On April 24th, at Rizzoli New York, I had the gratifying experience of looking through Paul R. Williams: Classic Hollywood Style, while covering for this blog the book signing event by his granddaughter Karen E. Hudson, the writer, and featuring the photography of Benny Chan.

Author and Paul R. Williams granddaughter,
Karen E. Hudson, PhD in Folklore

In his use of architectural styles, including American Colonial, Spanish Mediterranean, English Tudor, French Normandy, Art Deco, and California Ranch, architect Paul Revere Williams, the first African-American member of the American Institute of Architects, created the sophisticated and understated interiors that are showcased  in Paul R. Williams: Classic Hollywood Style.

Rizzoli's editors Douglass Curran and Ron Broadhurst (Far left and right)
with Karen and assistant publisher David Morton

Williams boasted celebrity clients such as Frank Sinatra, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, Tyrone Power, and Barbara Stanwyck, and many members of Los Angeles high society. He was also very much involved in the black community in Los Angeles and in African-American affairs nationally. 

Karen with the book's photographer Benny Chan

With professional affiliations in Vernacular Architecture Forum, Board of Directors, 1990-1992; The National Trust for Historic Preservation, Forum Member; The Society of Architectural Historians; The Southeast Chapter Society of Architectural Historian, and Recent Past Preservation Network, author Karen E. Hudson is owner of one of Williams’ homes. A third generation Angeleno, she chronicles the African-American experience in Los Angeles using words and pictures. Other books she has published include Paul R. Williams, Architect: A Legacy of Style, and Basic Black: Home Training for Modern Times.

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