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William L. Pereira & Associates records

 Collection
Identifier: 0326

Scope and Contents

The William L. Pereira & Associates records contain over 400 distinct documents from the corporate archives of the architectural firm, William L. Pereira & Associates. The majority of the collection consists of the firm's project files, which contain architectural plans, materials for presentations to clients, site studies, project workbooks, interim progress reports, executive summaries, feasibility studies, master plans, concept studies, land use projections, long range development plans, and environmental impact statements documenting the majority of the firm's projects from 1960 to 1989. The collection also holds six pre-1960 project documents created under Pereira's earlier firm, Pereira & Luckman. Projects with significant amounts of documentation in the collection include expansions to the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX); long range development plans for the University of California, Irvine; various projects for the Lockheed Corporation and North American Rockwell Corporation; master plans for the University of Missouri; and urban development planning for Burlington Northern Railroad concerning various properties. Records in this collection also document architectural projects that were never built, such as the pyramidal tower for the ABC headquarters in Manhattan.

Aside from the project files, the collection holds a smaller quantity of news clippings, photographic prints (the majority of which were photographed by Julius Shulman), speech transcripts, and audiovisual material about Pereira and the works of William L. Pereira & Associates. This material covers a much larger period of time, spanning 1939 to 1985.

Johnson Fain, a successor firm to William L. Pereira & Associates, donated additional project files, photographs, and administrative files from the offices of Johnson Fain in 2021. Some of the material from these additional files are branded under "Johnson Fain and Pereira Associates" and "Johnson Fain."

Dates

  • 1939 - 1989
  • Majority of material found within 1960 - 1980

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE: Advance notice required for access.

Conditions Governing Use

All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Manuscripts Librarian. Permission for publication is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.

Biographical / Historical

William L. Pereira & Associates was founded in 1958 by William Leonard Pereira. Pereira had already been working as an architect in Chicago and Los Angeles since the 1930s, gaining some of his earliest experience while helping to draft the master plan for the 1933 "A Century of Progress" Chicago World's Fair. Pereira then moved to Los Angeles and worked as a solo architect, a Hollywood art director, and a professor of architecture at the University of Southern California (USC) before co-founding his first large architectural firm, Pereira & Luckman, with Charles Luckman in 1950. By 1958, Pereira and Luckman parted ways and Pereira founded the final company of his career, William L. Pereira & Associates, based in Los Angeles.

William L. Pereira & Associates took on large-scale projects in its early years, including the project started in 1960 to develop a master plan for the University of California, Irvine campus and the surrounding 93,000 acres of land that comprised the larger community of Irvine itself. The firm also designed much of USC's University Park Campus as part of USC's 1961 Master Plan. Other university campuses that William L. Pereira & Associates helped plan and develop include Pepperdine University, Occidental College, Brigham Young University, and the University of Missouri.

Pereira's signature concrete, futuristic aesthetic left its mark on many of his firm's large-scale institutional projects throughout Southern California. Specific projects by William L. Pereira & Associates in the Southern California region include multiple expansions to the Los Angeles International Airport, the original three buildings of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), and the Hollywood Film Museum. William L. Pereira & Associates also designed many well-known structures outside of Southern California, such as the Transamerica Pyramid in San Francisco and The Woodlands, Texas -- a planned community near Houston.

After Pereira's death in 1985, two primary associates at the firm, Scott Johnson and William Fain, managed the firm under the name Johnson Fain and Pereira Associates. Subsequently, Johnson and Fain formally acquired the company and changed its name to Johnson Fain.

Extent

102 Linear Feet (114 boxes)

Language of Materials

English

Abstract

The William L. Pereira & Associates records consist of architectural plans, materials for presentations to clients, site studies, project workbooks, and interim reports documenting the majority of the firm's projects from 1960 to 1989. William Leonard Pereira, who had already been working as an architect in Chicago and Los Angeles since the early 1930s, founded the company in 1958. William L. Pereira & Associates designed over 300 buildings, including the Transamerica Pyramid in San Francisco; the University of California, Irvine campus (its infrastructure, campus layout, and early buildings); the original three buildings of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA); and much of the University of Southern California's University Park Campus -- where Pereira also taught as a professor in USC's School of Architecture. The collection also holds six pre-1960 project documents created under Pereira's earlier firm, Pereira & Luckman, as well as news clippings dating back to 1939, photographs by Julius Shulman, and audiovisual material about William L. Pereira & Associates. Johnson Fain, a successor firm to William L. Pereira & Associates, donated additional project files, photographs, and administrative files from the offices of Johnson Fain in 2021.

Organization

The collection is organized into two series: (i) Project files and (ii) News clippings, photographs, and films about William L. Pereira & Associates. Project files are organized alphabetically by project. If the collection holds multiple documents for a particular project, that project becomes a sub-series with document titles grouped underneath. William L. Pereira & Associates often conducted multiple projects for the same client (e.g., Lockheed Corporation and North American Rockwell Corporation). In cases where multiple project files exist for the same client, projects are grouped under sub-series titled by client company. There is one film within the Project files: "Ford Dearborn Site Movie, 1969." All other audiovisual materials are described under the smaller second series.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Johnson Fain, 1997 and 2021.

Processing Information

Many of the project files in this collection were previously held in William L. Pereira & Associates binders. During processing, most of these binders were removed and each binder's contents were rehoused in acid-free folders. If a binder included a title, that title was reused for its corresponding archival object record.

This collection often includes multiple copies of the same document with slight variations across copies (e.g., hardcover vs. spiral-bound or changes in cover design). Sometimes the titles of these documents also vary slightly across copies, but their contents are the same. If these title variations occur, they are usually described in the notes of their corresponding archival object records. Hardcover and spiral-bound copies of the same document are described under separate archival object records with the format included in brackets at the end of each title.

Title
Finding aid for the William L. Pereira & Associates records
Status
Completed
Author
Bo Doub
Date
2018 September
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin

Revision Statements

  • 2021 May: Finding aid updated by Bo Doub: accessioned and minimally described an accrual of project files, photographs, and office files from Johnson Fain.

Repository Details

Part of the USC Libraries Special Collections Repository

Contact:
Doheny Memorial Library 206
3550 Trousdale Parkway
Los Angeles California 90089-0189 United States