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Richard Dorman (November 27, 1922 – April 3, 2010) was a mid-century modern architect known for his residential and commercial work in Southern California.

Early life and educationEdit

Dorman was born and raised in Los Angeles. He served as a pilot in the US Air Force in World War II, graduated from the University of Illinois in 1946, and then studied architecture at the University of Southern California on the GI Bill.[1][2][3]


From 1951 to 1956, Dorman was assistant chief designer at Welton Becket and Associates; he then started his own firm in Beverly Hills, working primarily in Southern California. Initially he designed a number of industrial buildings; he became better known for his residential and commercial buildings[1][3] and particularly for his use of post-and-beam construction. Instead of the normal three- or four-foot module, he often used a seven-foot module.[4] He designed many houses for wealthy clients, including Beverly Garland's 1959 house in the Hollywood Hills[5] and several in Trousdale Estates in Beverly Hills.[1] His work embraces "total design", unifying landscape, exterior, and interior designs.[3]

In 1968, Dorman's firm became Dorman-Munselle Associates. In the 1960s, he frequently lectured at California Polytechnic University.[3] In 1975, he moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico,[1] where he partnered with Larry Breen to form Dorman and Breen Architects.[2]


Dorman won AIA Awards of Merit for his Lakenan residence (1958) and Ivory Tower restaurant (1960) and AIA Honor Awards for his Beber restaurant (1963), Malibu United Methodist Church (1966) and Siedenbaum restaurant (1966).[3] He is listed by the city of Beverly Hills as one of its "Master Architects".[6] He won the competition to design a trade fair pavilion for the United States Department of Commerce in Thessaloniki, Greece.[2]

He was one of 100 young Americans profiled in The Take-Over Generation, a 1962 special issue of Life; he was one of those depicted on the cover.[1]

Personal lifeEdit

Dorman's first marriage was to Jean W. Cates; they had two sons and a daughter. After she died, he remarried to Barbara Kenyon in 2008.[2]

Dorman also wrote thirteen books on narrow-gauge railroads.[1][2] He had a 750-square-foot (70 m2) model railroad layout in his home in Santa Fe.[2]

Selected worksEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Richard Dorman, FAIA (1922-2010)". Los Angeles Conservancy. Retrieved May 15, 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Haywood, Phaedra (April 8, 2010). "Richard Dorman, 1922-2010: Santa Fe architect built lasting legacy". Santa Fe New Mexican.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r PCR Services (August 3, 2009). "Preliminary Historic Assessment: 1681 26th Street" (PDF). City of Santa Monica. pp. 8–10.
  4. ^ a b "Stone Canyon Residence". LA Conservancy. Retrieved May 16, 2016.
  5. ^ Beale, Lauren; Leitereg, Neal J. (October 24, 2015). "Hot Property: Actor Jonah Hill lists Hollywood Hills home with a celebrity pedigree". Los Angeles Times.
  6. ^ "List of Local Master Architects" (PDF). City of Beverly Hills - Cultural Heritage Commission. p. 1. Archived from the original (PDF) on April 3, 2013.
  7. ^ Glick Kudler, Adrian (April 9, 2010). "RIP Richard Dorman, Trousdale Architect and Train Enthusiast". LA Curbed. Retrieved May 16, 2016.
  8. ^ "Sepulveda Rose". LA Conservancy. Retrieved May 16, 2016.
  9. ^ "Glazier House". LA Conservancy. Retrieved May 16, 2016.
  10. ^ "Los Angeles International Design Center". LA Conservancy. Retrieved May 16, 2016.
  11. ^ "8899 Beverly Boulevard, West Hollywood, California Historic Resource Report". City of West Hollywood, GPA Consulting. Retrieved 21 February 2015.