Williams, Alfred

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To see a list of projects by this architect 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 on the Online Archive of California. 

Alfred Williams PortraitAlfred C. Williams (1906-2006)

Alfred Charles Williams was born and educated in California. In his early career, he worked in California, New York, and Oregon, and spent six months traveling in Europe.  He returned to California in 1934.  He designed some commercial and industrial structures, including department stores, but focused on designing modern houses.  He developed a series of designs for modern living using contemporary materials (concrete masonry and interlocking block). In 1949 Williams resigned from the AIA and ceased his formal practice of architecture.  He devoted the rest of his life to advocating for world peace and international law, though he designed a few structures in later years.  He died January 22, 2006 at the age of 99.

Twenty Designs for Modern Living cover

This collection, which spans the years 1926-1991 (bulk 1926-1948), consists of publications, drawings, photographs, and a smattering of correspondence relating to the architectural career of Alfred C. Williams.  It includes a sampling of his student work, his travel sketchbooks, and project records relating to his work in private practice in the San Francisco Bay Area. Professional papers include a small amount of correspondence but consist primarily of an assortment of his published articles and designs. The project series includes drawings for his own home, the homes of several other clients, a few commercial and industrial designs, several entries in architectural competitions, and numerous residential designs.  Of note is Williams's interest in small, modern homes, evinced by his 1948  pamphlet, with corresponding plans and elevations, for Twenty Designs for Modern Living in Concrete Masonry Homes. His intent was to sell sets of plans for the residences in the pamphlet.  The collection contains no records of his work outside the architectural field.