William Sutherland Beckett (William Sutherland Beckett)

William Sutherland Beckett

American Architect. Beckett, who graduated from Yale University and graduated in 1943 with a B.A. in architecture, moved to California and worked for Douglas Aircraft for a short time during World War II. He went to work for the architectural firm of Spaulding and Rex from 1944 to 1949, eventually achieving the title Chief Designer. In late 1949, Beckett went out on his own and the following year, completed his own offices on Melrose Avenue in West Hollywood. The building garnered him an American Institute of America National Honor First Award in 1952, one of only three given nationwide that year. This prestigious award established his reputation as he became sought after by stars, setting him off on a career designing many celebrity homes, including homes for Charlton Heston and lyricist Ray Evans. In 1961, he created 17 post-and-beam structured platform homes over Coldwater Canyon in Beverly Hills. To avoid severe grading of hillside sites, the homes were cantilevered on enhanced steel supports which allowed spectacular views across Beverly Hills to the Ocean. When the opportunity to build on a flat pads within a new hillside development called Trousdale Estates arose, celebrities and socialites commissioned the country’s best architects who designed in the modernist style, among them Beckett, Lloyd Wright, Richard Neutra, A. Quincy Jones, Wallace Neff, Harold Levitt, Richard Dorman, John Elgin Woolf, Paul Williams, James Dolena and Cliff May. Beckett died at the age of 56 from the results of chronic alcoholism. (bio by: Louis M.)


  • June, 14, 1921
  • USA


  • September, 09, 1977
  • USA


  • Westwood Memorial Park
  • California
  • USA

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