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Memphis Lays Claim to LA's Paul Williams With Eponymous Project

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Paul Williams and the Lafayette Square house he built for his family in 1952 via the Paul R. Williams Project

The American Institute of Architects, Memphis chapter and the University of Memphis have launched the Paul R. Williams Project, to collect and share knowledge about the first black member of the AIA. Williams was born in Los Angeles and primarily practiced in Southern California, but Memphis claims him with a "historical interest," because his parents were from the city and because he designed the St. Jude Research Hospital there.

The project website encourages Williams study with a big gallery of his work and a bibliography of publications about the architect. An exhibition called Paul R. Williams, Architect: The Power of Example will open in Memphis in the fall, and will start traveling in 2012. It "focuses on Williams' leadership in the design of buildings for 20th American century life and his important role as an African-American in the architectural profession and in the civic life of his time," with new and old photographs, models, film, and interactive portions. The project also helps K-12 teachers incorporate architecture education into their curricula.
· Paul Revere Williams Project [Official Site]
· Paul Williams Archives [Curbed LA]