Paul R. Williams Redesigned the Beverly Hills Hotel. Because He Was Black, He Couldn't Stay There

Paul R. Williams was the architect behind some of the most iconic buildings in Los Angeles and the homes of many of Hollywood’s biggest stars of the 20th century. The Los Angeles County Courthouse, Saks Fifth Avenue in Beverly Hills, the Los Angeles International Airport are just a few of the designs that sprang from his imagination. But despite the genius of his vision, Williams still had to overcome the discrimination of clients who saw his race before his talent. In fact, even though he designed The Beverly Hills Hotel, he couldn’t stay there. This is his story.