SoCal Notables & Newsmakers
Robert Kennard, FAIA (1920 – 1995)
by Gail Kennard, kennard design group architecture & planning
Robert Kennard was in the second generation of African American architects who were inspired by Paul Williams. Like Williams, Kennard was born in Los Angeles and founded his firm here in 1957. He began with residential design and completed some 40 residences through the early 1960s. One of his first homes, the Zeiger Residence, has been nominated as a City of Los Angeles Cultural-Historic Monument. But in the mid- 1960s he shifted his practice to public work.
Notable projects include the City of Carson City Hall and Community Center that he designed with architects Robert Alexander and Frank Sata, Van Nuys State Office Building with architect Harold Williams, and Parking Structures 1, 3 and 4 at the Los Angeles International Airport. Two of his last projects completed in the mid-1990s were the City of Los Angeles 77th Street Police Headquarters in which the community room is named in his honor, and a new entrance to the Hollywood Bowl.
He encouraged other minority and women architects to enter the profession and was an early member of NOMA. He was active in the both the Los Angeles and California chapters of the American Institute of Architects and in numerous community organizations. He was recognized as a fellow of the AIA, a Distinguished Alumnus of the USC School of Architecture, and he received the Whitney M. Young Jr. Citation from the AIA in 1991 for his contributions to the profession.