[Palace of Domitian]
Restored Facade of Palace of Domitian, Rome
(sketch by William Charles Hays, 1899)
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Architect and architectural educator, William C. Hays enjoyed a short but distinguished career in Philadelphia before moving to California in 1904. He was born in Philadelphia and received his B.S. in Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania in 1893. After some time spent in apprenticeship in the offices of Frank Miles Day and Cope & Stewardson, Hays was awarded the John Stewardson Traveling Scholarship in 1898 for his design for "A Farmhouse and Farmsteading." This enabled him to travel to Paris, where he studied at the Ecole des Beaux Arts, frequenting the ateliers of Godefroy-Freynet and Laloux. During this European sojourn he also became a Fellow of the American Academy in Rome. (Ever the student of architecture, Hays would travel to Egypt and southern Europe in 1922-23.)
By 1901 Hays had returned to Philadelphia and established an independent office at 1012 Walnut street. Meanwhile he also was engaged as a critic in the architectural design section of the University of Pennsylvania, and in 1904 he entered a brief liaison with Adin B. Lacey (Lacey & Hays), chiefly for the purpose of entering architectural competitions which would display the rendering and design abilities of the partners.
Late in 1904 Hays moved to California, where he worked as the junior partner of John Galen Howard (1864-1931) and later with the firm of Howard & Galloway. Then, in 1906 Hays joined the architectural faculty of the University of California; and in that capacity until his retirement in 1943, he directly affected the planning of the University's campuses in both San Francisco and Berkeley. He also undertook several independent commissions in the area, including the First Presbyterian Church in San Francisco and the First Presbyterian Church in Oakland, a work on which he associated with Cram, Goodhue & Ferguson. (His designs for these churches were illustrated in Cram's American Churches, v. 1, 1915).
While in Philadelphia, Hays had been an active member of the T-Square Club, winning its year's record for drawings in 1894. He was also a member of the AlA, the Society of Beaux Arts Architects, The Beaux Arts Institute of Design, and the Society of Architectural Historians.
Sandra L. Tatman.
Clubs and Membership Organizations
- American Institute of Architects (AIA)
- Beaux Arts Institute of Design
- T-Square Club
- Society of Architectural Historians
- Society of Beaux Arts Architects
- University of Pennsylvania
- Ecole des Beaux-Arts
- American Academy in Rome
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