Southern California architect William Krisel is a pioneering designer of mid-century residential and commercial architecture,
known mainly for his affordable homes expressing the modern aesthetic. Consisting of drawings, photographs, documents, and
articles, the archive contributes greatly to the study of mid-century modernism and postwar housing trends, particularly the
development of tract housing, in California.
William Krisel was born in 1924 in Shanghai, China to American parents and was raised there until the family relocated to
Beverly Hills, California in 1937. Krisel developed an early interest in architecture that he attributes to his father's correspondence
with Rancho Santa Fe architect Lilian Rice, who designed a home for the family in California. He enrolled at the University
of Southern California (USC) as an architecture student in 1941, but his studies were interrupted by the onset of World War
II. He served for three years as a Chinese interpreter before returning to USC in 1946. As a student, Krisel apprenticed at
the offices of Paul Laszlo and Victor Gruen and Associates. He graduated in 1949 and obtained his license in 1950, the same
year he formalized his partnership with architect Dan Saxon Palmer. He earned his license as a landscape architect in 1954.
390.6 linear feet
(57 boxes, 411 flatfiles, 36 boxed rolls)
Library Reproductions and Permissions.
Open for use by qualified researchers, with the exception of the unreformatted computer files. Flat file folder 131A is restricted