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Male, Austria/US, born 1889-02-07, died 1977-05-02

Associated with the firms network

Davidson, J.R., Architect; Farquhar, Robert D., Architect

Professional History

Architectural Apprentice, Moritz Hirschler, Architect, Berlin, Germany, c. 1908-1909; Draftsman, Frank Stuart Murray, Architect, London, UK, 1910-1912; architectural work, Paris, France, c. 1913; German military service, 1914-1918; Principal, J.R. Davidson, Architect, Berlin, Germany, 1919-1923; Designer, Robert D. Farquhar, Architect, Los Angeles, CA, 1923-1924; Assistant to the Art Director, Cedric Gibbons, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA, 1924-1925; Principal, J.R. Davidson, Architect, Los Angeles, CA, c. 1926-1932; 1936-1972; Principal, J.R. Davidson, Architect, Chicago, IL, 1932-1935;

Archival documents on J.R. Davidson housed at the Architecture and Design Collection of the University Museum, University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB).


According to architectural historian Thomas S. Hines, "Davidson had a traditional German secondary education, but no formal architectural training, learning his trade as a delineator in a firm committed to the British and continental Arts and Crafts movement of Ruskin and Morris. He then served a draftsman apprenticeship in London in an office that specialized in the cabinetry of ship interiors...." (See "Architecture of the Sun: Los Angeles Modernism 1900-1970," [New York: Rizzoli, 2010], p. 517.)


Born in Berlin, Germany, Davidson grew up in the north of the country. He apprenticed in architectural offices in Berlin and London, England, and Paris, France, before Davidson opened his own practice in Berlin just after his World War I service in the German military. Davidson left the turmoil of Weimar Era Germany and migrated to Los Angeles, CA, in 1924, where he lived until 1932, when he temporarily relocated to Chicago, IL. He came back to Los Angeles c. 1936, and remained in Southern CA for the rest of his life. His last residence was in the 93023 zip code of Ojai, CA.

Davidson married the German fashion designer, Greta Wollstein.

SSN: 545-30-4136.

Associated Locations

  • Berlin, Berlin-Brandenburg Germany (Architect's Birth)
    Berlin, Berlin-Brandenburg Germany

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  • Ojai, CA (Architect's Death)
    Ojai, CA

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PCAD id: 253