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Male, US, born 1888-11-22, died 1962-03-04

Associated with the firms network

Ambrose, William Clement, AIA, and Spencer, Eldridge T., FAIA, Associated Architects; Ambrose, William Clement, Architect; Polk, Willis, and Company; Reid, John W., Jr., Architect; Spencer and Ambrose, Architects

Professional History

Private/Sargeant/2nd Lieutenant, US Army Expeditionary Forces, World War I. Draftsman, Willis Polk and Company, San Francisco, CA, 1911-1913; Chief Draftsman, John Reid, Jr., San Francisco, CA, 1915-1927; Principal, William Clement Ambrose, Architect, San Francisco, CA, 1927-1943; Partner, [Eldridge "Ted"] Spencer and Ambrose, Architects, 1943-c. 1962. In 1955, Wesley A. Talley and Alton B. Lee were Architects Associated with Spencer and Ambrose. Alton Lee would become one partner in the later firm, Spencer, Lee and Busse.

Instructor, University of California Extension, 1944-1951; The 1955 American Architects' Directory (p. 10) stated: "Lecturer, Carnegie, Summer 1946;" presumably this meant that Ambrose was a Lecturer at Carnegie Institute of Technology (CIT), (known as "Carnegie Mellon University" after 1967), Pittsburgh, PA, Summer 1946.

Ambrose published articles in the Architectural Record 1943 and Architect and Engineer in 1943-1944. Author, US Navy Report on Cost-Plus-Fixed Fee Navy Contracts, 1945. Member, California State Board of Architectural Examiners, 1944-1952. When surveyed in 1955, Ambrose indicated that he was a Registered Architect in the State of CA; Chairman, Building Industry Conference Board, San Francisco, CA, 1953;


B.S., University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, 1910; Ambrose made a "grand tour" to England, France, Switzerland, Italy, Germany, Morocco, and Canada, 1913-1914 just after graduation.


Ambrose's family lived in Tulare, CA, when he was born. From at least 1910-1914, his family resided at 2539 Hillegas Avenue, Berkeley, CA. Ambrose and his wife lived at 2409 College Avenue, Berkeley, in 1924 and at 9 Brookside Avenue, Berkeley, in 1942. He died in Alameda County, CA.

His father was a naturalized American citizen. His mother's maiden name was Wright.

William C. Ambrose married Eleanor Nelson Ambrose, in 1924. She, like her husband, was a registered Republican in 1930.

He and Eleanor had two children, one of whom was his daughter, Sally Ambrose Brunn, a patron of the San Francisco Public Library.

According to his 11/12/1913 US Passport Application, Ambrose at age 24 was 5-feet 8-inches tall, with light brown hair, gray eyes and a fair complexion. (On 04/25/1942, his World War II Draft Registration Card indicated that he stood 5-feet, 8-inches tall and weighed 176 pounds. The card described him as having gray eyes, gray hair and a "sallow" complexion.) He indicated at this time that he would return to the US within 1 year, in 1914. He returned to New York, NY, from Naples, Italy, starting his journey on 02/06/1914 aboard the S.S. Franconia. Ambrose traveled from Liverpool, England to New York, NY, between 10/31/1914-11/07/1914 aboard the S.S. Saint Paul. On this trip, he was accompanied by his sisters, Winifred Grubman (born 06/22/1887 in Oakland, CA) and Frances Emily (born 06/10/1886 in Tulare, CA), perhaps to visit relatives or to attend a family function. At age 21, Ambrose was a registered Republican voter, and continued to be in 1930. President, Claremont Improvement Club, Berkeley, CA, 1931-1932. Member, Commonwealth Club of CA, San Francisco, CA. SSN: 550507045.

Associated Locations

  • Tulare, CA (Architect's Birth)
    Tulare, CA

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    William Clement Ambrose

  • San Francisco, CA (Architect's Office)
    251 Kearny Street
    San Francisco, CA 94108-4509

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PCAD id: 360