On October 11, 2023, in the Crystal Ballroom of the landmark Beverly Hills Hotel, more than 250 guests gathered to celebrate the legacy of legendary architect Paul R. Williams, FAIA, and the official launch of the Paul R. Williams Scholarship & Education Fund.
Karen E. Hudson, the Fund’s executive director and her grandfather Paul R. Williams’ longtime biographer, was joined by her brother, Paul C. Hudson, to present the first-ever Paul R. Williams Awards.
Architect Philip G. Freelon, FAIA, was honored with “The Torchbearer” Award posthumously for his contributions to architecture, including designing the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of African American History & Culture. Nnenna Freelon, the Grammy-nominated jazz vocalist, accepted the award on her late husband’s behalf. Karen E. Hudson also announced the creation of a new award in Philip G. Freelon’s name, which will be presented next year.
Architect and diversity champion Gabrielle Bullock, FAIA, received the “One Who Dares” Award for her decades of social impact while breaking new ground for Black women in architecture. Ms. Bullock serves as Principal and Director of Global Diversity for the firm Perkins & Will.
Real estate expert and architectural historian Jeff Hyland was honored with “The Advocate” Award posthumously for his unwavering efforts to preserve historic Los Angeles residences. Lori Hyland, chairman of Hilton & Hyland, accepted the award on her late husband’s behalf.
Wren T. Brown, actor, director, and Founder & Producing Artistic Director, Ebony Repertory Theatre, served as the event’s master of ceremonies. The evening also featured a vocal performance by Emmy and Tony Award-winning performer Keith David, accompanied by a live jazz quartet.
The evening’s theme, “Strollin’ on the Avenue,” celebrated Los Angeles’ historic Central Avenue, which served as the cultural, social, and commercial hub of the city’s Black community from the 1920s through the 1950s.
Karen E. Hudson, Lori Hyland, Nnenna Freelon, Gabrielle Bullock, Paul C. Hudson
Keith David with jazz quartet
Beverly Hills Hotel general manager John Scanlon with Karen E. Hudson
A peach cobbler sundae was the perfect end to a wonderful evening