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Paul R. Williams: Classic Hollywood Style Hardcover – April 24, 2012

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Since receiving the book, I have barely put it down. Have you seen me? I’m the girl carrying the book like it’s my new favorite toy. Yeah that was me.  Whether you are a designer, a design historian or a design lover I highly recommend, Paul R. Williams: Classic Hollywood Style. It is a rich celebration of an important architect who shaped Hollywood sense of style and the joy his homes continue to bring." ~Design Wonderland

About the Author

Karen E. Hudson is Paul Williams’ granddaughter, an owner of one of his homes, and the author of Paul R. Williams Architect. A third-generation Angeleno, she chronicles the African-American experience in Los Angeles in writings and photographs.  

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Rizzoli (April 24, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0847838471
  • ISBN-13: 978-0847838479
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 1 x 12.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #309,644 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A Book Collector on April 30, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This compilation of selected work of the late, brilliant Los Angeles architect Paul R. Williams is thoughtfully authored by his granddaughter and, as a result, we are given a rare, personal view of the Man Behind the Houses. Twenty-two of the architect's residential projects are presented in photographs and text. Each is an example of Williams' tremendous skill and incredible grasp of architectural style, while never losing sight of the all-important element of appropriateness. Williams' great talent to make even very large homes approachable, livable, and unpretentious is apparent in the selected houses.

The reader is treated to a quote from the architect's own writings or interviews at the beginning of the text accompanying each of the houses presented. These gems describe his philosophy of architecture and the design process, or give hint to the barriers to be overcome by a black man working in the architectural profession in the early twentieth century. A portrait of Williams emerges as one who chose to overcome race-related obstacles in the same positive, forthright manner in which he tackled design challenges - apparently with equal success. A fascinating example is his self-taught ability to sketch upside down, so that he and his clients could be on opposite sides of the desk during planning meetings, thus preserving their respective personal space.

There are two significant shortcomings with the production of this book however. The most glaring is the absence of floor plans - not a single one! To present an architect's work, especially one as gifted as Williams, without any spatial reference is unforgiveable. Secondly, the photography, while technically excellent, fails to really capture the depth, or layers, of the architecture.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jerry B on June 30, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A slightly flawed, but still glorious book. As another reviewer mentioned, floor plans of these wonderful homes would have been a nice addition, and there are puzzling disconnects between some of the narrative and the images that accompany it. And bedrooms, for some reason, seem largely overlooked. But overall, I was thrilled with the opportunity too see inside, around and into the architectural heart of these strikingly beautiful homes. A definite 5-star recommend.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Conrade C. Hinds on February 19, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Great Book! Once again Karen Hudson has made her grandfather's legacy available to the public. Especially after many of the records and drawings of his work was destroyed by fire during that un-necessary L.A., Calif. riot in the early 1990's. But, this also presents a fine opportunity for students of architecture and architectural preservation to do graduate study projects in re-creating the floor plans, elevations, sections and other details that were lost. Such work goes on constantly in the architecture education community and there are grants available to fund such work. In time others will start to publish additional books about the work of Paul Williams. Then we will see the results of additional efforts to preserve his work as a historic American treasure. So stay tuned.

Conrade C. Hinds, Architect
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By M. Anita Clayton on January 12, 2013
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The pictures are wonderful and the stories behind the houses as well. Very inspiring. It is a shame this Architect is not recongized in the architectural world as much as others in the field. This man was ahead of his time and a genius who fought through such descrimination in a field that is still mostly white and male. This history should be shared in colleges and universities around the country.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By LA Jazz4sho on July 27, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is the third in a series of presentations on the work of African American architect Paul Revere Williams all done by his grand daughter Karen Hudson. They are all worthy of note with this one being very notable for the fine photography and meticulous presentation of details of William's work. Mr. Williams is perhaps the most distinguished of the few African American architects extant or passed especially his rich contributions to Los Angeles area residential design. His work is elegant and clear. I would commend this book to anyone who is interested in residential architecture; especially the period from 1920 through the 1950's and to anyone interested in becoming familiar with the outstanding contributions of African American's to this country's rich history of pioneers in design arts.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kellyt93 on November 20, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Hello, I believe there are no house plans because his archives/etc. were stored in a bank in LA, that was destroyed in the LA riots/fires.
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By Constant Reader on February 10, 2015
Format: Hardcover
Paul Williams was one of the finest architects working in southern California in the first half of the 20th century. His homes were designed to reflect his sense of refined elegance. They weren't the most innovative in design but they were breathtakingly beautiful. The photographs in this book are magnificent. The reminisces of his granddaughter are an added bonus.

This book is not inexpensive but it is worth every penny. If you are interested in Paul Williams or southern California homes then this book is a must for your library.
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By Michael Kerley on September 17, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If one is interested in Hollywood history, this book provides an informative background of a somewhat unknown legend in L.A.'s
architectural legacies and homes not normally open to the public.
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