Donald Patterson Reay


Reay, Donald Patterson

Personal Information

Occupation:    American architect
Location (state):    CA

This record has not been verified for accuracy.

AIA Affiliation

Member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) 1965-1977; ?-
Fellow of the American Institute of Architects (FAIA) 1980

Biographical Sources

American Architects Directories:
Address listed in 1970 American Architects Directory
Biographical information:
Contributed by the Environmental Design Archives, University of California, Berkeley:
Donald Reay was born on July 17, 1914, near Liverpool, England. As early as six years of age he showed an interest and talent in drawing. As a teenager he was an exchange student in Germany, and was able to visit cathedrals in France and Italy. His appreciation of beautiful buildings led him to study architecture. After graduating from the University of Liverpool in architecture, he was admitted to the Royal Institute of British Architects as an Associate member (soon later to become elected a Fellow). He was then awarded a distinguished Commonwealth Fellowship and chose to study at Columbia University in New York from 1937 to 1939, where he was one of the first people to receive a Master's Degree in City and Regional Planning. While studying in New York he met Sylvia Shimberg, a fellow Columbia student, and in June 1942 they married.
During World War II Reay was unable to return to the UK, and joined the Royal Canadian Air Force in Ottawa. He was first head of the Commonwealth Air Training Program and later became Chief Architect for the RCAF, responsible for building flight training schools and installing camouflage for vital services on the East Coast. He designed and supervised construction of Goose Bay Aerodrome, which was at the time the largest base on the North American Continent, used primarily as a refueling stop for transatlantic flights. After the war he and his family moved from Halifax, Nova Scotia, to the UK, where he joined the Ministry of Town and Country Planning as Regional Planning Officer, involved in preparation of Manuals and legislation setting national planning standards. He was also the technical officer primarily responsible for the initiation, planning, design and construction of New Towns in England and Wales. He later became Chief Architect of the new towns East Kilbride, in Scotland, and Stevenage, England.
In 1955, Jack Kent offered Don Reay a teaching position as a visiting lecturer at UC Berkeley. He accepted and quickly became a professor in the College of Environmental Design. He combined a private practice with the firm of DeMars & Reay with his university work. DeMars & Reay collaborated with other firms to create winning designs for UC Berkeley Student Union and Zellerbach Hall, and the Golden Gateway Project in San Francisco. In 1966 the DeMars & Reay partnership ended and Don established the separate firm Reay Associates. In 1969, the firm became Reay-Tsuruta Associates with principal Kinya Tsuruta. In 1976 Reay Associates was reestablished where Donald and Sylvia Reay worked in partnership. They were directly involved in numerous projects throughout the United States, Australia, and Mexico. Don Reay also continued to consult with San Francisco-based firms Planning Associates and Del Campo & Maru.
The American Institute of Architects elected Don Reay an AIA Fellow in 1985.
Sources: Biographical clip files, Environmental Design Archives

Related Records

Husband and partner of Sylvia Reay
Partner of Vernon De Mars

Archival Holdings

The American Institute of Architects Archives
      Membership file may contain membership application, Fellowship nomination, related correspondence. Membership files of living persons are not available. Contact the AIA Archives at archives@aia.org for further information.

Environmental Design Archives, University of California, Berkeley

Collection Number: 2005-20. Extent: 8 cartons, 6 manuscript boxes, 2 flat file drawers, 104 tubes. The Donald and Sylvia Reay Collection spans the years 1938 to 1999, and includes the Reays' personal papers, records from private practice and professional careers, and materials generated by the firms DeMars & Reay, Reay Associates, and Reay-Tsuruta Associates. The collection is organized in six series: Personal Papers, Professional Papers, Faculty Papers, Office Records, Project Records, and Sylvia Reay's papers.
The collection is extensive and contains a wide range of materials documenting primarily Don Reay's long career as a designer and planner. The Personal Papers series contains his biographical material, personal correspondence, and photographs. The Professional Papers series includes correspondence with other architects, writings and presentation notes, awards, and records related to professional organizations. Research and reference files are extensively represented. The Faculty Papers contain material related to Don Reay's professorship at the College of Environmental Design. Primarily, this series contains official correspondence with other members of the UC Berkeley Architecture faculty, committee work documentation, and course materials such as syllabi and lecture notes from classes he taught.
The Office Records series documents administrative operations, public relations efforts, financial transactions, and correspondence. The majority of the Projects Records series documents DeMars & Reay, and Reay-Tsuruta Associates, and Reay Associates projects spanning the years 1955-1998, and document the firms' work through drawings, photographs, and administrative files. Projects undertaken by Sylvia Reay solely are noted in the Project Index. The Sylvia Reay series includes biographical records and some of Sylvia Reay's student work.
Link to online finding aid: http://www.oac.cdlib.org/findaid/ark:/13030/kt7n39r9rj