Paul R. Williams Apartments
Los Angeles, California


The building is set on a triangular site at Jefferson Boulevard and 35th Street located less than one block from the South-Central Avenue corridor which at the time of the building’s construction was the heart of the African American community. Designed by prominent architect Paul R. Williams as the Angelus Funeral Home in 1934, the Angelus Funeral Home is a one- and two-story hybrid of Spanish Colonial Revival, Georgian and Art Deco architectural.

Abandoned since 2000 and fire damaged, the historic structure is adaptively reused to include a resident community lounge in the restored lobby, a large restored multi-use room for resident and public activities, and on-site manager’s office and resident services office in the paneled former office rooms. The historic component of the project also includes 7 affordable units including one unit in the former small chapel, one unit in the former display room and two units in the former garage.

The new construction is designed to be sympathetic to the historic building through simple gable roof massing and matching the tile roofs of the historic structure. The L-shaped addition is set around a open courtyard thirty feet from the historic structure with most of the building along the secondary façade of 35th street. Fourth-floor setbacks reduce the overall mass and period detail such as the decorative ironwork, balconies, corner pilasters and horizontal belt bands further tie the projects together.

The 50,000 square foot project consists of the two buildings configured to include 41 units of housing broken out into 11– one bedroom flats, 17 – two bedroom flats, 5 – three bedroom flats and 8 – three bedroom townhouses. Theater in Huntington Park was one of 3 art deco theaters, often referred to as sisters, built .