Gwendolyn Wright is Professor of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation with joint appointments in history and art history. Her recent book, USA, is part of a series on Modern Architectures in History published by Reaktion Press and the University Chicago Press. Here she talks about Beverly Willis.
Suzannah Lessard, architecture writer and critic, is the author of The Architect of Desire: Beauty and Danger in the Stanford White Family of which she is part. She was the winner of the 1995 Whiting Award and a staff writer for the New Yorker. She is currently writing a book about living in a society committed to accelerating change, which she explores through changes in the American landscape in the last 50 years. Here she talks about Beverly Willis.
The year 1982 was marked by the ceremonial ground-breaking for the San Francisco Ballet Building, the first such U. S. structure designed and constructed for dance. The building was dedicated in November of 1983 on the 50th anniversary of the Ballet company and amid great fanfare. This audio interview of the building’s architect, Beverly Willis, was one of many stories about the building.
In 1971, Beverly Willis and her firm developed one the of the nation’s first three computer software programs for use by an architectural firm. She and her firm used the CARLA program to plan and design projects from 50 acres to thousand of acres, including new towns in Hawaii and Nevada. This video was made to both document the firm’s skills and to illustrate how CARLA worked.
In 1991, Beverly Willis moved to New York City and purchased a five story, 14 feet wide townhouse at 119 East 35th Street built in 1865 that was in substantial need of restoration. This video tells the story of this unique renovation in Manhattan.
In 1980, Beverly Willis organized a design-build team, headed by the developers, Olympic York, Marriott Hotels and Beverly Willis, that won the International Design Competition to plan and design 24 acres in downtown San Francisco between Third and Fourth Streets and Mission and Folsom Streets. This video is about the team she assembled and their winning presentation to the Redevelopment Agency.
In 1983, the Olympic York, Marriott Hotels and Beverly Willis, with the architectural team Ziedler Roberts and Willis and Associates presented their plans and designs for the 24 acres in downtown San Francisco between Third and Fourth Streets and Mission and Folsom Streets. This video presents the designs developed for the site.
WB 11 News at Ten Narrator, Marvin Scott. WB 11, 21 July 2002. Includes interviews with Beverly Willis and Kathryn Wylde-President, New York City Partnership. Discussing the six plans for Ground Zero World Trade Center site. (15 minutes 57 seconds)
In 2000, as part of he German celebration of the World Expo in Hanover, a University for Women, called IFU, was established attracting graduate students from over 100 countries. Beverly Willis represented the United States in organizing the university and served as one of the full professors. This video shows her class talking about their projects as the IFU term drew to a close.
KRON TV San Francisco January 13, 1998, anchor Belva Davis interviewed Beverly Willis about her book, Invisible Images – The Silent Language of Architecture, and using some of Willis’s book images with others, interwove a story about her architecture to illustrate the concept of Invisible Images.