Clyde Henry Grimes was born in 1924 in Los Angeles, California. During WWII, Grimes served as a member of the US Army Air Force intelligence team of the 477th Bomber Group. Former President George W. Bush presented him with the Congressional Gold Medal in 2007 for his distinguished military service. Grimes attended UC Berkeley receiving a B.A. in Architecture in 1950. Following graduating he began his architectural career working for Paul R. Williams in Los Angeles.
In 1956, Grimes started his architectural firm in Los Angeles and later in Oakland. During Governor Jerry Brown's first administration, Clyde became the first Black man to hold the position of Deputy State Architect in California. He later became the City of Oakland's Architect and advised the Oakland Unified School District. Grimes passed away in 2015.
A longtime community activist who moved to East Oakland in 1987 with his wife, Minnie, Grimes served as president of the Oak Knoll Neighborhood Improvement Association in the early 1990s and was instrumental in protecting the King Estate Park where the oak grove is now named for him.
This collection documents both the personal life and the architectural career of Clyde Grimes. Grimes’ family donated the material to the EDA in 2019. Due to COVID-19, the processing of the materials was delayed.
The collection dates from 1939 through 2010 and spans eight linear feet. Organized into four series, the first series Personal Papers (1939 - 2006) is comprised of biographical information, student work from Grimes' high school education, and his study of Architecture at UC Berkeley.
The second series, Professional Papers (1961-2007), contains correspondence and writings about architecture; committees and associations; employment history; documentation regarding terms served as Deputy State Architect and City Architect of Oakland; and awards and honors spanning his entire career.
Office records, the third series (1956-circa 1985), is composed of correspondence, portfolios, job number lists, and official firm documents such as letterhead and design statements.
The fourth series, Architectural Projects documents sixty-nine projects Grimes worked on during his architectural career, including drawings, photographs, 35mm slides, correspondence, and notes.
The EDA is pleased to announce that the Clyde Grimes collection is now available to researchers. If you would like a list of projects, please look at the file list and project index available on the Online Archives of California: https://oac.cdlib.org/findaid/ark:/13030/c8h99cgh/?query=grimes,+clyde.
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