Willis, Beverly A.

Beverly Willis, FAIA–architect, artist, author, activist/ philanthropist–retired from architectural practice in 1988. Willis began her prolific career in 1954 in Hawaii as a painter and multi-media artist. By 1958, when she moved to San Francisco, she expanded her repertoire to include industrial and architectural design. Architecture increasingly took over her work, and by 1966 Willis had obtained her architectural license, and a decade later was running the 35-person firm, Willis and Associates, Inc. Architects. For Willis, architectural practice has always embraced multiple approaches: whether designing residential or civic structures, pioneering adaptive re-use to revitalize downtown commercial zones, or innovating technology-driven land use planning. Her most famous building is the San Francisco Ballet Building in the City Civic Center. In the 1970s, Willis complemented her architectural practice with professional organizational leadership– often holding positions never before held by a woman. In 1979 Willis served as President of the California Council of American Institute of Architects, which governs 22 California chapters that include San Francisco and Los Angeles. Willis also held leadership roles on the national level such as serving on the US delegation to the United Nations Conference on Habitat I in 1975, as well as serving on the executive committee of the National Academy of Science”s Board on Infrastructure and Constructed Environment, or chairing the Federal Facility Council. In 1975. Willis was a founding trustee of the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C., a position she still holds. In 2002, she founded the Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation, http://www.bwaf.org/about.html. Her work and extended biography cn be viewed at http://www.BeverlyWillis.com

Firm size: 35

Major Buildings and Projects

  • San Francisco Ballet Association Building, Civic Center, San Francisco, California
  • Yerba Buena Gardens 24 acres Master Plan 1980-1984 Downtown San Francisco (partially realized)
  • Manhattan Village Academy High School, New York, NY
  • Nob Hill Court Condominiums, San Francisco, CA
  • Union Street Stores, San Francisco CA
  • CARLA (Computerized Approach to Residential Land Analysis) software written in-house 1971
San Francisco Ballet Association, 1982 Photo courtesy of beverlywilis.com
Press and Awards

Books Authored

  • Jenks, Mike. Ed. Future Forms and Design for Sustainable Cities. Architectural Press and imprint of Elsevier, Ltd, Oxford, UK. Willis Chapter, “Towards a Sustainable City: Rebuilding Lower Manhattan”, 2005
  • Terlinden, Ulla ed. City and Gender. International Discourse on Gender, Urbanism and Architecture. Leske + Budrich, Opladen, Hanover, Germany. 2003, Willis’s chapter “Towards a Sustainable City”, pg.. 191-208.
  • Willis, Beverly, Invisible Images: The Silent Language of Architecture. Washington, D.C. National Building Museum, 1997.
  • Miller, Iris and Robert A. Bosser, ed. Visions and Reflections on Utopia and Reality. Washington, D.C.: American Institute of Architects, 1991.
  • Willis Chapter: “If It”s Tuesday, It Must be Singapore”
  • Jain, Ravinder K and Bruce M. Hutchings, ed. Environmental Impact Analysis: Emerging Issues in Planning. Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1978.
  • Willis Chapter: “The Environmental System Decision-Making Process”
  • Willis, Beverly, ed. The Architect and the Shelter Industry. Washington, D.C.: The American Institute of Architects, 1975. (All chapters (except 5 and 6) authored by Beverly Willis)
  • Golemon, Harry A., ed. Financing Real Estate Development. New Jersey: Aloray, 1974.
  • Chapter 9: Computerized Financial Analysis Co-Authored by: Dr. Ronald S. Graybeal and Beverly Willis

Books, Citations of Work

Lorenz, Clare.Women in Architecture. Trefoil Books Ltd, London, 1990, pg. 134

Lorenz, Clare.Women in Architecture. Rizzoli, New York. 1990, pg. 134

Mazzurco, Phillip. Bath Design: Concepts, Ideas, Projects. New York: Quarto Marketing Ltd., 1986.

Project: River Run, St. Helena, California

Beebe, Morton, et al., eds. San Francisco. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1985.

Project: San Francisco Ballet Building, and Union Street, San Francisco, California.

Armstrong, Leslie and Roger Morgan. Space for Dance. Washington, D.C.: Publishing Center for Cultural Resources, 1984. Project: San Francisco Ballet Building, San Francisco, California

Woodbridge, Sally B. and John M.. Woodbridge. Architecture: San Francisco. The Guide. San Francisco: 101 Productions, 1982.

Project: Yerba Buena Center and Gardens, Nob Hill Court, Margaret

Hayward Playground/Building, San Francisco Ballet Center, Koret of California, San Francisco, California

Spence, William P. Architecture: Design. Engineering. Drawing. Illinois: McKnight and McKnight, 1972. Project: Contributing Author to Chapter 15, Grocery Stores.

The Junior League of San Francisco, Inc. Here Today: San Francisco”s Architectural Heritage. Chronicle Books, 1968.

Project: Union Street, San Francisco, California

Projects Published

Fouque, Antoinette, Ed., “Les Editions des Femmes,” to be published in 2011.

2001 – 2003 Co-founded and directed Rebuild Downtown Our Town (R.Dot) – articles which referenced R.Dot, ARI, and Beverly Willis were published in many newspapers and magazines such as Architectural Record, Associated Press, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, New York Observer, Newsday, US New and World Report, national and international television such as CNN, NBC, Voice of America, WB News Fox News, BBC, Irish Broadcasting, Japan TV, Canadian TV, Glasgow Herald and many others

Lerner, Kevin, “R.Dot recommends new retail corridors in Lower Manhattan”, Architecture Record, March 2003

Mellins, Tom, “Symposium looks to the Grands Travaux for Inspiration in Rebuilding Lower Manhattan”, Architecture Record, November 2002

Szenasy, Susan, “Experience Mapping,” Metropolis Magazine September/October 2002

Gould, Kira, “New York City”s Cool Schools,” AIArchitect May 1999

Moed, Andrea, “Class Conscious,” Interiors Magazine, May 1999, pgs. 62,63

Green, Harris “Dancescape,” Dance Magazine, February 1998, pg. 12

Merkel, Jayne “Back to School” – Oculus Sept 1995, pg 10

Thrush Glenn “Visionaries in Exile – “New York”s Small School Movement” Metropolis Magazine Sept. 1994, pg 5

Oliver, Joan Duncan “Bathed in Glory” New York Times Magazine, January 24, 1993, pg 35

Mann, Lian Hurst “Forest” Architecture California, November 1993, pg 52

Davidson, Cynthia Chapin. “Ballet Building Takes the Stage” Inland Architect. March/April 1989. pg. 59-63

Project: San Francisco Ballet Building, San Francisco, Ca.

Lewis, Barbara. “Rimless Pool Seems to Glide Right into Vineyard” Sunset September 1989 pg. 86

Project: River Run Residence, St. Helena, Ca.

Allen Freeman. “City Beautiful Civic Center”. Architecture. December 1988. pg. 82-85.

Project: San Francisco Ballet Building, San Francisco, Ca.

Lewis, Barbara. “Compact and wide Open to the Living Area” Sunset June 1988 pg. 106. Project: Greenwich Apartment, San Francisco, Ca.

Lewis, Barbara. “Fool-the-Eye Book Nook” Sunset May 1988, pg. 188

Project: Greenwich Apartment, San Francisco, Ca.

Staff Writer. “Homes 88”. Northwest Portfolio. October l988. pg. 18.

Project: River Run Residence, St. Helena Ca.

Nelson, Christina. “Modern Retreats.” Home XXXII 1986 pg. 58-61.

Project: River Run, St. Helena, California

Staff Writer. “Powder Room Poise”. Home. August l986. pg. 70-74.

Project: River Run Residence, St. Helena, Ca.

Stockman, Leslie Ensor. “Builder”s Choice 1985 Design and Planning.” Builder 8 1985 pg. 161.

Project: River Run, St. Helena, California

Parman, John. “Inner City Setting for Play.” Architecture California 1984 pg. 20.

Project: Margaret S. Hayward Playground Building, San Francisco, California

Green, Lois Wagner. “The Willis Way.” California Living 1983 pg. 38-40.

Project: The San Francisco Ballet, San Francisco, California

Staff Writer. Project Reference File Urban Land Institute 11(1981).

Project: Green Valley, Henderson, Nevada

Staff Writer. “Apartments in Town.” Building Progress 1977 pg. 6.

Project: Vine Terrace Apartments (Nob Hill Court) San Francisco, California

McGrath, David J. “A-E Computerized Path to Large-Scale Housing.” Engineering News-Record 1976 Cover Story.

Project: Aliamanu Family Housing, Honolulu, Hawaii

Staff Writer. “Vine Terrace: An Architect”s Answer to In-City Housing.” Pacific Coast Builder 40 1976 pg. 22, 24.

Project: Vine Terrace Apartments (Nob Hill Court), San Francisco, California

Staff Writer. “Apartments, Townhouses Designed for Families in New Combined Military Community.” Multi-Housing News 11 1976 pg. 44, 45.

Project: Aliamanu Project, Honolulu, Hawaii

Staff Writer. “Vine Terrace: An Architect”s Answer to In-City Housing.” Western Building Design 12 (1976):14,15.

Project: Vine Terrace Apartments, (Nob Hill Court), San Francisco, California

Staff Writer. “Three Rental Winners.” House and Home 50 1976 pg. 86, 87.

Project: Vine Terrace Apartments, (Nob Hill Court), San Francisco, California

Staff Writer. “Low-Rise Multi”s Seen as Best Solution for New City Housing.” Apartment Construction News 111976 pg. 19.

Project: Vine Terrace Complex (Nob Hill Court), San Francisco, California

Hart, Leslie, “Captures City Ok: Overwhelms Local Project Resistance.” Homebuilding Business 1974 pg. 1, 6.

Project: Diamond Heights, San Francisco, California

Staff Writer. “Sure the Views Great…But This Site Posed Plenty of Problems.” House and Home 46 1974 pg. 64, 66.

Project: Diamond Heights, San Francisco, California

Ryder, Sharon Lee. “Getting at the Issues.” Progressive Architecture LV 1974 pg. 82-87.

Project: Environmental Impact – Methodology

Marlin, William. “The Streets of Camelot.” The Architectural Forum 138 1973 pg. 30.

Project: Union Street Shops, San Francisco, California

Staff Writer. “Economic Probes, Key to Developer Success Enhanced by Computers.” Building Design and Construction 13 1972 pg. 44-46.

Project: Computerized Land Planning.

Staff Writer. “All Set for Another 58 Years.” Building Progress 1968 pg. 8.

Project: Gavello Building

MacDonald, Ken. “Brick-“Aged” by Asphalt.” Masonry Industry 4 1968 pg. 14-16.

Project: Gavello Building

Staff Writer. “The Refinishing Touch.” Buildings 61 1967 pg. 70, 71.

Project: Trans-America Building

Staff Writer. “New Respectability for a Relic of the Barbary Coast.” Building Progress 1967, pg. 12,13.

Project: Campbell – Ewald Building

Staff Writer. “Steel on the Coast.” Building Construction 8 (1967 pg. 53, 54

Project: Gavello Building

Staff Writer. “Recapturing Past with Aged Look and New Materials.” California Architecture 1967 pg. 22, 23, 27, 28.

Project: Gavello Building

MacDonald, Kenneth R. “Lighting Helps Restore Old Building.” Lighting 83, 1967 pg. 44, 45.

Project: Campbell-Ewald Co. Building

Staff Writer. “New Store Design Hikes Volume.” Liquor Store 64 1966 pg. 32-35.

Project: Mike”s Liquor”s, Mountain View, California

Staff Writer. “Designing a Profit-Maker.” Masonry Industry 2 Nov. 1966 pg. 12.

Project: Trans-America Building, Oakland, CA

MacDonald, Kenneth R. “Barbary Coast Dance Hall is Now an Office Building.” The Office 63 Mar. 1966 pg. 82-84, 89, 90, 93.

Project: Campbell-Ewald Building, San Francisco, CA.

Staff Writer. “Lath-PIaster Updates San Francisco Relic for Ad Agency.” Plastering Industries 57 June 1966 pg. 15,16.

Project: Campbell-Ewald Building, San Francisco Ca.

Staff Writer. “Victorian Image Retained Through Planned Renovation.” Building Maintenance and Modernization 12 Dec. 1965 pg. 10-12, 42.

Project: Campbell-Ewald Building

Guiney, Timothy J. “How to Succeed by Selling “On” Brands.” Beverage Industry News 30 (15 Oct. 1965): p. 8, 9

Project: Mike”s Liquor”s, Mountain View, California

Staff Writer. “Retailer of the Month – Harbor Bottle Shop.” Patterson”s California Beverage Gazetteer 25 Oct. 1965 pg. 69.

Project: Harbor Bottle Shop

Staff Writer. “Design Skill Rehabilitates Old San Francisco Building.” American Journal of Building Design 1 July 1965 pg. 10-15.

Project: Campbell-Ewald Building

Goldrath, Bert. “A Store That Sells Up.” Liquor Store 60 May 1964 pg. 42-45

Project: The Jug Shop, Daly City, California

Staff Writer. “Campbell-Ewald Building on Barbary Coast.” Advertising Age 34 Apr. 1964 pg. 104.

Project: Campbell-Ewald Building

Staff Writer. “Save Mart Combines Discount Psychology with Elegance.” Progressive Grocer 42 March 1963 pg. 68, 69, 126, 128, 130.

Project: Save Mart Stores

Staff Writer. “The Jug Shop.” Package Store Management 30 May 1963 pg. 20, 21.

Project: Jug Shop, Burlingame, California

Rossi, Robert. “United Vintners Expands Its Madera Premises.” Wines and Vines Sept. 1962 pg. 24-27.

Project: United Vintners, Madera, California

Staff Writer. “Save Mart Super – First of its Kind in Modesto.” Pacific Coast Review 36 Aug. 1962 pg. 18,19, 38.

Project: Save Mart Store

Staff Writer. “Sid”s Newest Has Something for Everyone.” Progressive Grocer 41 Mar. 1962 pg. 52-57.

Project: Sid”s Store

Staff Writer. “Dozen”s of New Ideas in Sid”s Two New Stores.” Nargus Bulletin XLVIII Nov. 1961: 28-31.

Project: Sid”s Stores

Project Citations

Bathed in Glory. New York Times Magazine. 1993: pg 35.

Nelson, Chris. “Powder Room Poise.” Home XXXII Aug. 1986: 75.

Project: River Run, St. Helena, California

Staff Writer. Design News.” Architectural Record 172 July 1984: 49.

Project: Yerba Buena Gardens, San Francisco, California

Heymont, George. “Ballet Baron Richard E. LeBIond.” The Executive 8 Nov. 1983: SF4.

Project: San Francisco Ballet Building

Hilker, Collen. “Home for the San Francisco Ballet.” Scene 1 July/Aug. 1982: 31.

Project: San Francisco Ballet Building

MacDonald, Kenneth. “Case History I: Computer Aids in Project Design Helps Allay Community Opposition.” National Real Estate Investor 19 Dec. 1977: 26.

Project: CARLA Computerized Approach to Residential Land Analysis

Staff Writer. “San Francisco”s Magic Time Machine.” San Francisco Business 8 Oct. 1973: 8-14.

Project: Union Street, San Francisco, California

“Northern California AIA Design Awards Honor 17 Projects in 1967 Program.” Architecture/West 74 July 1968: 11.

Project: Union Street

Staff Writer. “Sid”s No. 8 Draws Industry Attention.” California Grocers Advocate 63 16 May 1958: 20, 21.

Project: Sid”s Stores

Thomas, Lynn. “Restored Commercial Buildings: How the City Saves Face.” San Francisco 10 Mar. 1968: 27.

Project: Union Street

Staff Writer. “1966 Citations for Modernization Excellence.” Buildings 60 Dec. 1966: 37.

Project: Trans-America Building

“21 City Scenes.” House Beautiful 107 Aug. 1965: 72, 73.

Project: Union Street

Kroeger, Albert R. “Television San Francisco.” Television XXI Nov. 1964: 33.

Project: Campbell-Ewald Building

Staff Writer. “Unusual Ideas in Piedmont”s Skyline Market.” Nargus Bulletin L Mar. 1963: 20.

Project: Piedmont Grocery

Staff Writer. “Modern Stores Gallery.” Nargus Bulletin XLIX Feb. 1962: 38.

Project: Sid”s Stores

Staff Writer. “The Impact of Color and Design in the Supermarket.” Progressive Grocer 40 Dec. 1961: 59.

Project: Sid”s Stores

Gutmanis, Ivars. “Royal Hawaiian Liquors.” Hawaii Industry 5 Apr. 1960: 44, 45.

Project: Royal Hawaiian Liquors

Articles About Beverly Willis

Rogers, Pat, “Renaissance Woman Looking Ahead,” Southampton Press, 2000

Staff Writer, “Challenging Historic Truths,” Progressive Architecture, June 1995, pgs. 69-70.

Deborah Dietch, “Muses, Furies, and Goddesses” Architecture Magazine, May 1995, pg 15

Sharon Haar and Clare Weisz, “Inherited Ideologies: A Reexamination” Oculus, June 1995 pg 5

Thompson, Julie “Shifting Perspectives” Update, October 1993, pg. 10

Davidson, Cynthia Chapin. “Beverly Willis – One Woman”s Story”. Inland Architect. January / February 1991 pg. 48-51.

MacKenzie, Janis. “Success By Her Own Rights.” San Francisco Business, 19 Aug. 1984 pg. 25.

Powell, Jim. “Ways and Means: Beverly Willis Listens.” Savvy, 3 Nov. 1982 pg. 4650.

Staff Writer. “Honorary Degrees Awarded.” Mount Holyoke Alumnae Quarterly LXV, Summer 1981 pg. 31.

Staff Writer. “Willis Says CCAIA”s Accomplishments Mean Strong Professional Organization.” Building News 34 16 Nov. 1979 pg. 1.

Marlin, William. “She Strives for “Affable, Affordable Buildings”. The Christian Science Monitor 20 Oct. 1977 pg. 27.

Bell, Joseph N. “The Architect as Visionary.” Signature, 12 Mar. 1977 pgs. 37, 38, 40,41,68,69.

Rochlin, Harriet. “From High Rises to Restaurants: Seven Architects Break Ground.” Ms. V Dec. 1976 pg. 15.

Putney, Michael. “Everyone Needs a Corner of the World.” The National Observer, 15 13 Nov. 1976 pg. 11.

Marlin, William. “City Shapers.” The Architectural Forum 138 April 1973 pg. 42, 43.

Citations of Beverly Willis

Fillip, Janice. “Architecture as an Image”. Architecture June 1989 pg. 18-25

Barber, Jean. “Spotlight on Beverly Willis FAIA” Women – in – Architecture Issue 2, October 1988. American Institute of Architects, Washington., DC

Rosch, Leah. “Modern Day Mentors” Working Woman August 1987 pgs. 55-580

Staff Writer. “Conversation: Beverly A. Willis, FAIA” Architecture California 7 Jan./Feb. 1985 pgs. 16,17.

Emrich, Ann Freeman. “Alumnae Life.” Alpha Phi Quarterly LXLII Winter 1980 pgs. 17, 18.

Staff Writer. “A Market for Marketeers.” Building Design and Construction 15 Sept. 1974 pgs. 42, 43.

Cano, William. “The Golden Gait: The People Who Set The Pace.” After Dark 7 Aug. 1974 pgs. 40, 41.

Staff Writer. “The Other Minority.” Building Design and Construction Magazine 13 July 1972 pgs. 43.

Staff Writer. “Small Firms” Future.” California Architecture 3 Apr./May 1967 pgs. 8, 22.

Alex Haley. “People on the Way Up.” The Saturday Evening Post 235 5 May 1962 pg. 26.

Alainoto, Jean. “Industrial Design.” Hawaii Industry 3 Mar. 1958 pgs. 44-45.

Articles Written by Beverly Willis

Willis, Beverly “If It”s Tueday, It Must Be Singapore” design +art in greece, Annual 1994, pg 180

Willis, Beverly. “Is the Master-Builder Dead?” Blueprints. The Journal of the National Building Museum. 1993 pg 13.

Willis, Beverly. “Design of The San Francisco Ballet Association Building. Theatre Design and Technology. Summer 1987 Cover Story pg. 10.

Willis, Beverly. “New Settings for Dance.” Update Dance/USA 4 Sept. 1986: pgs. 12, 13.

Willis, Beverly. “Council Adopts Activist Stance.” Construction Management Daily Pacific Builder 15 Nov. 1979: pgs. 1, 3.

Willis, Beverly. “Impressions of Habitat.” Building and Reality Record 22 Nov. 1976: pgs. 1,5.

Willis, Beverly. “How A California Firm “Grew UP” With the Computer.” AIA Journal 65 Jan. 1976: pgs. 48, 64.

Willis, Beverly. “Pre-Planning: Socio-Economic Problems Facing Industry.” Coal Mining and Processing June 1976.

Willis, Beverly. “Development of a Methodology for Environmental Data Evaluation.” Western Building Design 12 Dec. 1975: 9, 10.

Willis, Beverly. “Site Selection and Planning – Today”s Planning Dilemma.” Condominium World Winter 1975.

Willis, Beverly. “The Revitalization of Union Street.” Urban Land 33 May 1974: pgs. 10-13.

Willis, Beverly. “Site Selection and Planning – Current Technology Can Ease Complexities, Speed Effective Decision.” Condominium World Autumn 1974.

Willis, Beverly. “The Architect and the Shelter Industry.” For the American Institute of Architects 1974.

Willis, Beverly. “Union Street.” Urban Land May 1974.

Willis, Beverly. “What Price Sound Control?” Buildings 59 April 1965: pgs. 110-112.

Willis, Beverly. “The Seeds of A Revolution.” Western Advertising LXXX Apr. 1963: pg. 30.

Willis, Beverly. “Stores for 1968.” Nargus Bulletin XLX Feb. 1963: pgs. 30, 31, 96, 97.

Willis, Beverly. “Exercise Care in Choosing Shopping Center Architect.” Chain Store Age 42 Aug. 1966 pg. pgs. 32-34.

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