Inspired by trailblazing black architect Paul R. Williams, Robert Kennard began his own firm in the 1950s.
Robert Kennard was born in Los Angeles and graduated from USC where he earned an architectural degree. He was a role model for young people of color aspiring to become architects and active in numerous community organizations, including both the Los Angeles and California chapters of the American Institute of Architects (AIA). In 1957, he established Kennard Design Group (KDG) Architecture and Planning, noted as the oldest Black-owned and operated architecture firm in Los Angeles.
In the early 1960s, Kennard designed 40 residences including his first home known as the Zeiger Residence which today is designated as a cultural-historic monument in Los Angeles. During the mid-1960s he began focusing his practice on public work. Some of his most notable projects are the City of Carson City Hall and Community Center, the Van Nuys State Building that he designed with architect Harold Williams, the City of Los Angeles 77th Street Police Headquarters in which the community room is named in his honor, and parking structures Nos. 1, 3 and 4 at the Los Angeles International Airport.
Kennard has earned many recognitions and awards throughout his career. In 1991, he was recognized as the USC School of Architecture alumnus of the year. That same year, he received the Whitney M. Young Jr. Citation from the AIA for his dedication and contributions to the architectural profession.
Kennard died in 1995. Today, the Los Angeles chapter of the AIA awards the Robert Kennard, FAIA Award for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusivity in his honor.
To become a licensed California architect, or to find out more about the profession and its services, visit www.cab.ca.gov. If you are interested in hiring an architect, check out CAB’s “Consumer’s Guide to Hiring and Architect” and check the professional’s license at https://search.dca.ca.gov.