Impossible Dreams:

Spotlight on Paul R. Williams


Don't let anyone tell you
Your dreams are impossible--
Because they will; and it may be true
But miracles are made possible.
Born in the wonder of stubbornness
And cultivated with persistence
A little hard work can be the spark
To an arsenal of fireworks...
The bursting of potential
Lit by the fire of accomplishment
Blazing in the sky for all to see
And you can gloat or remain humble
Knowing you've done the unthinkable.
Paul R. Williams

Who Was Paul R. Williams?

Paul R. Williams was told as a child that he couldn't be an architect; he quoted his teacher as saying "Who ever heard of a Negro being an architect?" [1] Orphaned at the age of four, Williams went on to study at the University of Southern California where he won an architecture competition at 25 years old [4]. Against the odds, Williams opened his own practice in 1922 and became the first black member of the American Institute of Architects in 1923. In 1957, he would become the first elected black Fellow of the American Institute of Architects. Managing to avoid a hard hit during the Great Depression, Williams became known as the architect for Hollywood stars [2]. Among these stars were Frank Sinatra, Betty Grable and Cary Grant, from whom he designed homes [3]. He designed approximately 3000 buildings [2]. Williams also had a hand in the design of LAX (the Los Angeles Airport) [2][4]. In 2004, USC's Black Alumni Associated opened the first exhibit to be devoted entirely to Williams [1]. He is quoted as saying "If I allow the fact that I am a Negro to checkmate my will to do, now, I will inevitably form the habit of being defeated." [4]

References

  1. Shashank Bengali. "Williams the Conqueror". USC News. February 1, 2004
  2. "Paul R. Williams, Architect". The Paul R. Williams Project; visited 2014
  3. Richard K. Dozier. "Black Architects Have a Rich American History"; African American Registry; visited 2014
  4. Jackie Craven. "Biography of Paul Revere Williams". ThoughtCo; visited 2014

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Author Image Author Image I love reading the Word of God. With prayer God's Word reveals so much: from comfort to temperance, from perspective to affirmation. Digging into the depths of the Word, cross-referencing history, language and time differences, is a passion of mine. In March of 2015 I decided to go back through the Bible doing an in depth study on each section I read. Eventually I decided to share my journal of notes as I partake in this journey. I hope you are blessed by God and inspired to pursue a deeper relationship with Him. I love reading and learning about God, nature, and science. I am interested in how it all connects. The Creator's fingerprints are all over his creation. We can learn so much about Him and how we came to be by exploring the world around us. Join me as I explore the world and draw closer to the One who created it all.
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