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Monrovia Historical Museum presents "Robert Kennard - Architect and Mentor"

In honor of Martin Luther King Day, the Monrovia Historical Museum will be hosting a program on Monrovia’s own Robert Kennard, founder of the oldest African-American architecture firm in Los Angeles.

Event Speakers 

The “Robert Kennard—Architect and Mentor” event will feature presentations by three individuals: 

  • Jerome Robinson, a USC graduate student, who wrote his masters thesis on Kennard;
  • Gail Kennard, Kennard’s daughter, and President of the Kennard Design Group; and
  • Ralph Walker, KGEM newscaster.

Who is Robert Kennard?

The speakers will talk about Kennard’s childhood in Monrovia and his struggle to find his first architecture job. A World War II and Korean War veteran, Kennard attended USC’s School of Architecture on the GI Bill. In 1957 he founded the Kennard Design Group, which provided architecture and planning services, and overcame struggles to become one of the largest and oldest African-American architectural firms west of the Mississippi River.

Kennard’s firm has designed more than 700 projects in Southern California, including parking structures No. 3 and 4 at Los Angeles International Airport, Carson City Hall and Civic Center, a new trauma center for Los Angeles County's Martin Luther King Jr./Drew Medical Center, the 77th Street regional police facility for the city of Los Angeles, and the Zeiger House that was designated as a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument.

Kennard is also recognized by his peers as a role model for young people of minority groups aspiring to become architects and urban planners and as a pioneer among minority-owned architectural firms. He encouraged other minority and women architects to enter the profession and was an early member of the National Organization of Minority Architects. He was active in the both the Los Angeles and California chapters of the American Institute of Architects and in numerous community organizations. He was recognized as a fellow of the AIA, with only three percent of the AIA’s membership having received this distinction. In 1991, Kennard also received the Distinguished Alumnus of the USC School of Architecture, and the Whitney M. Young Jr. Citation from the AIA for his contributions to the profession.


Sunday, January 20, 2019, from 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.


Monrovia Historical Museum, 742 E. Lemon Avenue, Monrovia, CA 91016


Admission is free.


If you have any questions, please call the Historical Museum at (626) 357-9537.

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