Grimes, Clyde

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To see a list of projects for this collection in an Excel spreadsheet, see the Project Index. For instructions on interpreting the Project Index, see The Guide to the Project Index. To view the finding aid for this collection, see the Finding Aid at the Online Archive of California.



Clyde Grimes

Clyde Henry Grimes (1925-2015) was born in Los Angeles, CA. During WWII, Grimes enlisted and served as a member of the US Army Air Force Intelligence Team of the 477th Bomber Group. After his honorable discharge in 1946, Clyde attended UC Berkeley and received a B.A. in Architecture in 1950. His architectural career began under mentor, Paul R. Williams, one of the first notable Black architects in the country. Grimes started his own architectural firm in Los Angeles and later in Oakland. His firm worked with the US Navy and on prominent projects that include the UCSF Dental School and other public and private buildings in Los Angeles and the Bay Area. Under 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.

This collection documents both the personal life and the architectural career of Clyde Grimes. Organized into four series: personal papers, professional papers, office records, and project records; this collection spans 8 linear feet and dates from 1939 through 2007. Personal papers in the form of biographical information and student work from Grimes' high school education and college career studying Architecture at UC Berkeley compose the first series dating from 1939 to 2006. The second series, professional papers dating 1961-2007, is composed of correspondence and writings on 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, spanning 1956-circa 1985, is composed of correspondence, portfolios, job number lists, and official firm documents such as letterhead and statement of design. The Architectural projects series documents 69 projects Grimes had a hand in over his architectural career, including drawings, photographs, 35mm slides, correspondence, and notes.