NEWS: Career histories of two more LAICCC
alumni can now be viewed on the Performing
Arts Legacy Project website - More Info

EVENTS: Hattie Winston, Emily Yancy star in
"Having Our Say" play reading Sat., April 13 at
The Kirk Douglas Theatre -​ More Info


(1920 – 1995)

Recipient: Kashiki / Dotson Award


Robert Kennard was an African-American architect who first met psychiatrist J. Alfred Cannon in the early 1960s.  Through his friendship with Dr. Cannon, he became involved with the newly created Inner City Cultural Center.  At the time, few people of color were seen in plays, on television or in movies.  Kennard was impressed by the idea of providing an outlet for LA’s different cultures through the performing arts, and he found that he shared C. Bernard Jackson’s vision of creating a multicultural space for emerging talent, ideas and collaboration. 

As an architect, he helped Inner City by designing alterations to the theater on Washington Boulevard, the space on New Hampshire and finally the Ivar Theatre in Hollywood.  But in addition to his work as an architect, Kennard also served on the Inner City board of directors, as both a board member and as president of the board.  In the 1960s, he worked with actors Gregory Peck and Marlo Thomas and director Robert Wise in helping raise funds for Inner City.  He was also a strong advocate for providing training in arts administration.  He knew and worked with both Josie Dotson and Elaine Kashiki.

In his professional life, Kennard was in the second generation of African American architects who were inspired by pioneering black architect Paul R. Williams.  Like Williams, Kennard was born in Los Angeles and founded his firm here in 1957.  He began with residential design and completed some 40 residences through the early 1960s.  One of his first homes, the Zeiger Residence, has been designated a City of Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument.  But in the mid- 1960s he shifted his practice to public work. 

Notable projects include the City of Carson City Hall and Community Center that he designed with architects Robert Alexander and Frank Sata, Van Nuys State Office Building with architect Harold Williams, and Parking Structures 1, 3 and 4 at the Los Angeles International Airport, and the Metro Purple Line Wilshire/Normandie Station, as well as other Metro projects.  Two of his last projects completed in the mid-1990s were the City of Los Angeles 77th Street Police Headquarters in which the community room is named in his honor, and a new entrance to the Hollywood Bowl.