Male, US, born 1904-08-26, died 1985-06-25

Associated with the firms network

Ayres and Fiege, Architects; Scherer and Ayres

Professional History


Draftsman (during summers), L. Harry Warriner, Architect, Gary, IN, 1926-1927. (His name was misspelled "Warrimer" in the American Architects Directory, 1956, p. 19.) Warriner developed a reputation as a church architect, and this formative experience may have helped Ayres when designing numerous buildings for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles later in his career.

Designer, Graham, Anderson, Probst and White, Architects, Chicago, IL, 1928, 1930.

Coordinator of Housing, State of Iowa, Natural Resources Planning Board, 1934. He worked in the Art Department at Metro Goldwyn Mayer Studios, Hollywood, CA, 1937-1945.

Designer, Marston and Maybury, Architects, Pasadena, CA, 1938.

Partner, [Lester] Scherer and Ayres, Architects, Los Angeles, CA, 1945-1946.

Partner, Ayres and [Herbert F.] Fiege, Architects, North Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA, 1946-c. 1970.


Assistant Instructor, Department of Architecture, University of IL, Champaign-Urbana, IL, 1929-1930.

Instructor, Iowa State University, Ames, IA, 1932-37; Ayres taught Architecture, Design and Allied Subjects.

In 1955, he reported having given art appreciation courses for unnamed organizations.

Professional Activities

Member, American Institute of Architects (AIA), Southern California Chapter, 1947- .

President, Architects of San Fernando Valley, 1948;

When surveyed by the AIA in 1955, 1962 and 1970, Ayres indicated he was a Registered Architect in the States of CA and IL.

The Ayres and Fiege Architectural Drawings Collection, 1939-1970, is housed at the University of California, Los Angeles Library, Westwood, Los Angeles, CA. According to the UCLA collection guide: "The firm designed many buildings for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, in addition to a large number of public and private schools, commercial buildings, and residential developments in the San Fernando Valley and Los Angeles metropolitan area. Their residential work included apartment complexes, private homes, additions and renovations to existing structures, and model and tract home designs for developers and private clients." (See "Finding Aid for the Ayres & Fiege architectural drawings, 1939-1970,"Accessed 01/21/2014.)



B.S. in Architecture, University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, IL, 1929.

Ayres was awarded a certificate from the Beaux-Arts Institute of Design (BAID), New York, NY, in 1929.

M.S. in Architecture, University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, IL, 1931.

Coursework, École des Beaux-Arts, Paris, France, in the Atelier Gromort, 1931.

Coursework, Harvard University, Summer School, Cambridge, MA, on a Carnegie Grant, 1935-1936.

College Awards

Elected to Tau Sigma Delta, University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, IL.

Recipient, American Bridge Competition, Third Place, University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, IL, 1929;

Recipient, seventeenth winner of Plymouth Fellowship, University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, IL, to the École des Beaux-Arts, Paris, France, 1930.

Recipient, four medals from the École des Beaux-Arts in design, 1930; he also received a medal from the French government for high marks in academic design at the École.



Born in Wilton Junction, Cedar County, IA, Donald Ayres attended the University of Illinois, in Champaign-Urbana, c. 1926-1931.

He continued his education at the École des Beaux-Arts, Paris, France, in 1931, after which he worked as an architecture instructor at the Iowa State College, Ames, IA, for approximately five years, 1932-1937.

He relocated to Los Angeles, CA, in 1937, when he took a job in the Art Department of the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studio, Hollywood, Los Angeles. At this time, a number of talented but out-of-work architects found employment in the thriving movie studio art departments. He remained with MGM until 1945. He formed an architectural partnership with Lester Scherer during 1945-1946, dissolved it, and joined Herbert Fiege as a partner, working from an office in North Hollywood.

In 1955, Donald Ayres lived at 17951 Rancho Drive, Encino, Los Angeles, CA.

He died in Los Angeles County, CA, at the age of 80.


His mother's maiden name was Port.


Ayres married in 1939.


When surveyed in 1955, Ayres indicated that he had had four children.

Biographical Notes

In 1955, Ayres reported having traveled abroad in the British Isles, France, Spain, Morocco, Italy, Germany, Gibraltar, Denmark, Holland, Canada, Mexico, Ireland, and Hawaii. (See "Ayres, Donald P[ort]," American Architects Directory, 1956, [New York: R.R. Bowker Company, 1955] p. 19.)

President, Lions Club, Studio City, Los Angeles, CA, 1951.

Member, Encino Toastmasters, Encino, Los Angeles, CA, 1951.

SSN: 578-03-2838

Associated Locations

  • Wilton Junction, IA (Architect's Birth)
    Wilton Junction, IA

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    Donald P. Ayres birthplace

PCAD id: 285