view all images ( of 5 shown)

Male, born 1907-06-11, died 1988-02-11

Associated with the firms network

Hobart, Lewis P., Architect; Ryan and Lee, Architects; Ryan, Paul A., Architect


Professional History

Résumé

Paul Anthony Ryan was a devout Catholic who dedicated much of his professional life to designing facilities for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of San Francisco and other faiths in San Francisco. His wife estimated that "...more than half his work through the years was on churches...." Ryan's obituary noted of his career: "He was chief architect for the new St. Mary's Cathedral on Cathedral Hill, dedicated in 1971, and as a young architect in the 1930s helped Lewis P. Hobart design Grace Cathedral on Nob Hill." (See "Obituaries: Paul A. Ryan," San Francisco Examiner, 02/18/1988, p. B-7 [23].)

Draftsman / Designer, Lewis Hobart, Architect, San Francisco, CA, 1934-1936.

Principal, Paul A. Ryan, Architect, San Francisco, CA, 1936-1946, 1960- .

Military service, US Army Air Forces (USAAF), 1943-1945. Ryan served in the USAAF between 03/29/1943 and 10/03/1945. His obituary in the San Francisco Examiner noted: “He used his architect’s skills for the U.S. Army Air Force in World War II making models of buildings to be bombed in Japan, so pilots could spot them from the air.”(See "Obituaries: Paul A. Ryan," San Francisco Examiner, 02/18/1988, p. B-7 [23].)

Partner, Ryan and Lee, Architects, San Francisco, CA, 1946-1960. One of the most important commissions that Ryan and Lee had in its early years was for the design of Riordan High School in San Francisco. (See "Obituaries: Paul A. Ryan," San Francisco Examiner, 02/18/1988, p. B-7 [23].)

Professional Activities

When surveyed in 1955, Ryan reported being a Registered Architect in the State of CA. (See :Ryan Paul A(nthony)," American Architects Directory, 1956, George S. Koyl, ed., [New York: R.R. Bowker Company, 1955]. p. 479.)

Member, American Institute of Architects (AIA), Northern California Chapter, San Francisco, CA.

Member, San Francisco Art Commission, San Francisco, CA, 1938-1942, 1946-1949. His obituary stated that he served for a total of 12 years before and after World War II. (See "Obituaries: Paul A. Ryan," San Francisco Examiner, 02/18/1988, p. B-7 [23].)

Secretary, San Francisco Grand Jury, 1958.

Ryan joined the American Institute of Architects (AIA), San Francisco Chapter, in 1937.

Education

College

B.A., Sacred Heart College, San Francisco, CA, 1926. His obituary said of his education: "Mr. Ryan was graduated from Sacred Heart College in 1926. That same year, at 21, he won competitive exams to study at the Ecole des Beaux Arts Paris and returned with his degree in architecture in 1933." (See "Obituaries: Paul A. Ryan," San Francisco Examiner, 02/18/1988, p. B-7 [23].) (In 1909, there were four "Sacred Heart Colleges" in the US, in San Francisco, CA, Augusta, GA, Woonsocket, RI and Watertown, WI. (See Patterson's College and School Directory of the United States and Canada, 1909, Homer L. Patterson, ed., [Chicago: American Educational Company, 1909], p. 311. Ryan most likely attended the San Francisco school.)

Diplômepar le Gouvernement, École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts, Paris, France, 1933.

Personal

Relocation

Paul Anthony Ryan was born in Alameda, CA, the youngest of three sons of Thomas and Eugenia Ryan. Paul Ryan lived his whole life in CA, save for time spent in France while studying at the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts, c. 1925.

In 1910, the US Census located the Ryans at 1911 Green Street in San Francisco. The family was economically comfortable, as they maintained two domestic servants, May L. Grover (born c. 1879 in IL) and Cecelia Breganta (born c, 1895 in CA). He remained at 1911 Green Street with his parents in 1920. At this time, a maternal aunt Carlota Ordelana (born c. 1850 in Mexico) and a maid, Hermine Lambert (born c. 1882 in France) lived in the household. (See Ancestry.com, Source Citation Year: 1920; Census Place: San Francisco Assembly District 31, San Francisco, California; Roll: T625_136; Page: 4A; Enumeration District: 149, accessed 09/07/2022.)

He attended the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris before returning to practice in the US.

On 10/16/1940, Ryan resided at 1915 Green Street in San Francisco. This was a residence that he shared with his parents Thomas and Eugenia and a servant, Osuna Ragud (born c. 1892 in Mexico). (See Ancestry.com, Source Citation National Archives at St. Louis; St. Louis, Missouri; WWII Draft Registration Cards for California, 10/16/1940-03/31/1947; Record Group: Records of the Selective Service System, 147; Box: 1574, accessed 09/07/2022 and Ancestry.com, Source Citation Year: 1940; Census Place: San Francisco, San Francisco, California; Roll: m-t0627-00318; Page: 61A; Enumeration District: 38-497, accessed 09/07/2022.)

As per the 1950 US Census, the Ryans lived at 11 Hillcrest Street in San Rafael, CA. The household included Paul and his wife Clare, their children Clare and Paul, and a nurse, Margaret Vierra, (born c. 1919 in CA). (See Ancestry.com, Source Citation United States of America, Bureau of the Census; Washington, D.C.; Seventeenth Census of the United States, 1950; Record Group: Records of the Bureau of the Census, 1790-2007; Record Group Number: 29; Residence Date: 1950; Home in 1950: San Rafael, Marin, California; Roll: 550; Sheet Number: 77; Enumeration District: 21-36, accessed 09/08/2022.)

Ryan had a residence at 2420 Scott Street in San Francisco in 1955. (See :Ryan Paul A(nthony)," American Architects Directory, 1956, George S. Koyl, ed., [New York: R.R. Bowker Company, 1955]. p. 479.)

Later in his life he resided with his wife on Red Hill Circle in Tiburon, CA. Clare Ryan also seems to have had a San Francisco residence at 222 7th Street in the early 1990s. (See Ancestry.com, Source Information Ancestry.com. U.S., Public Records Index, 1950-1993, Volume 1 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010, accessed 09/08/2022.)

The architect died after a bout with cancer in San Francisco, CA, at the age of 80 and.was buried at the Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery in Colma, CA.

Parents

His mother was Eugenia Cabrera. (born 10/24/1867 in the Culiacán Municipality, Sinaloa, Mexico-d. 02/16/1956 in San Francisco, CA). His father was an accountant Thomas Francis Ryan (born 05/17/1872 in CA-d. 04/17/1949 in San Francisco, CA), who worked in the insurance business his whole life. In 1940, Thomas worked as an executive for the Firemen's Fund Insurance Company. (See Ancestry.com, Source Citation Year: 1940; Census Place: San Francisco, San Francisco, California; Roll: m-t0627-00318; Page: 61A; Enumeration District: 38-497, accessed 09/07/2022 and "Obituaries: Paul A. Ryan," San Francisco Examiner, 02./18/1988, p. B-7 [23].)

According to the 1940 US Census, both of Paul Ryan's parents had completed five years of college.

His parents had three sons: Thomas Cabrera Ryan (born 04/12/1902 in San Francisco, CA-d. 03/06/1980 in San Francisco, CA), Daniel Victor Ryan (born 08/07/1903 in San Francisco, CA-d. 04/02/1985 in San Francisco, CA) and Paul.

Spouse

He wed Clare Ihmsen Hellmuth(born 04/21/1914 in Saint Louis, MO-d. 05/03/2005) on 11/08/1948 at the Convent of the Sacred Heart, San Francisco. Her parents were Harry Ihmsen Hellmuch (born 04/17/1884 in Saint James MO-d. 10/1963 in Saint Louis, MO) and Christine Van Sweringen (born 1883-d. 02/1973 in Saint Louis, MO). Clare attended the all-girls Visitation Academy in Saint Louis, MO, graduating c. 1931. (See The Visitation Academy Crescent Yearbook, 1929, n.p.)

She was buried at the Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery in Colma, CA, with her husband.

Children

He and Clare had two children: Clare Patricia Ryan Bohm (born 01/16/1950 in San Francisco, CA), who lived in Terra Linda, CA, in 1988, and Paul Cabrera Ryan (born 01/16/1950 in San Francisco, CA), who resided in San Francisco.

Biographical Notes

According to his World War II draft registration card, Ryan was Caucasian, with a light brown complexion, blue eyes and brown hair. He stood 5-feet, 10-and-1/2-inches tall and weighed 155 pounds at age 33. (See Ancestry.com, Source Citation National Archives at St. Louis; St. Louis, Missouri; WWII Draft Registration Cards for California, 10/16/1940-03/31/1947; Record Group: Records of the Selective Service System, 147; Box: 1574, accessed 09/07/2022.)

When surveyed in 1955, Ryan reported having traveled in Europe, Asia and Africa. (See "Ryan, Paul A(nthony)," American Architects Directory, 1956, George S. Koyl, ed., [New York: R.R. Bowker Company, 1955], p. 479.)

Member, Catholic Art Forum, Board of Directors, San Francisco, CA, 1955.

Member, Infant Shelter, Board of Directors, San Francisco, CA, 1950-1955.

Member, California Society of Pioneers, San Francisco, CA.

Member, Bohemian Club, San Francisco, CA.

SSN: 559507090



Associated Locations

PCAD id: 3001