Metro is celebrating architect Paul Revere Williams (1894-1980), a leading practitioner of mid-century modern design in Southern California, during February in observance of Black History Month.
Metro’s Purple Line Extension, also known as the D Line, has a unique connection to one of William’s last commissioned works: the Linde Medical Center at the northeast corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Gayley Avenue in Westwood. The Linde Medical Center, now the Westwood Medical Plaza, will be a future entrance for the Purple Line Extension’s Westwood/UCLA subway station.
The 12-story Linde Medical Center has undergone many changes since it was built in 1962, but has retained historic elements of William’s original design, including the original pipe column balustrade next to the roof and portions of the original handrails.
Metro consulted with the California Office of Historic Preservation and other agencies to minimize the adverse effects of construction on the medical center’s historic features. Although decisions regarding the Westwood/UCLA station’s final design are pending, plans include retaining some of the Linde Medical Center’s original character-defining features such as the building’s box-like form, the canted balustrade and black granite base.
In 1923, Williams became the first Black architect to become a member of the American Institute of Architects. He was inducted in 1957 as the AIA’s first Black fellow and he was posthumously awarded AIA’s 2017 Gold Medal. Williams retired from practice in 1973 and died in 1980 at the age of 85.
For information, visit metro.net.
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