Henry Hill (1913-1984)


Hill, Henry

Variant Names

Hill, Albert Henry

Personal Information

Birth/Death:    b. 1913 – d. 1984
Occupation:    American architect
Location (state):    CA

This record has not been verified for accuracy.

AIA Affiliation

Member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) 1953-1965

Biographical Sources

American Architects Directories:
Biographical listing in 1956 American Architects Directory
Biographical listing in 1962 American Architects Directory
Biographical Directories:
Biographical entry in A Guide to Historic Architecture in Fresno, California
Biographical Information:
Contributed by the Environmental Design Archives, University of California, Berkeley:
Born in 1913, Henry Hill studied architecture at the University of California, Berkeley graduating in 1936 and at Harvard's Graduate School of Design, where he worked under the renowned Walter Gropius. After earning his master's degree in Architecture in 1938, he returned to the Bay Area, joining the office of John Ekin Dinwiddie in San Francisco and making partner in 1939. During World War II Hill served as a captain in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. When the war ended, he rejoined Dinwiddie and a new partner, Erich Mendelsohn, a well-known German architect who had fled the Third Reich.
In 1947, however, Hill formed his own practice designing residences throughout the Bay Area as well as Carmel, Southern California, Illinois, Connecticut, and Kentucky. Hill's individual style combined International modernism with regional, vernacular influences, placing him among the second phase of Bay Area regional architecture. His commissions were not limited to private residences, however. During the 1950s, he served as a consultant to U.S. Steel, designing a prototype steel house, and he designed U.S. Embassy staff housing in Vienna for the State Department. In 1955, he won an invitation-only competition to design the hiring hall of the International Longshoreman's and Warehouseman's Union near Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco. He also designed the AIA award-winning chapel at the public hospital in Moline, Ill., as well as shops, and surrounding commercial and professional buildings. Additionally, he served as a lecturer in Architecture at Stanford University from 1948-1965.
In 1965, Hill took on long-time associate John Kruse, as a partner in his architecture practice. Kruse was born in Davenport, Iowa in 1918 and attended Cornell University and MIT. After serving in World War II as a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy, he settled in San Francisco and began working with Hill in 1948. With Hill as the designer and Kruse as the structural expert, the prolific partnership would result in more than 500 residences and commercial buildings in California, Hawaii, Connecticut, Illinois, Kentucky, Quebec, and El Salvador. Hill and Kruse would win numerous awards for design throughout their careers, collectively and individually. Kruse was a member of the American Institute of Architects, the Construction Specifications Institute, and the Woodside Town Council. Hill would pass away in 1985 and Kruse in 2000.
Sources: "Albert Henry Hill Obituary." Henry Hill and John Kruse Collection, Environmental Design Archives, University of California, Berkeley; "Henry Hill and Worley Wong, Celebrated Bay Area Architects." Architecture, April 1985; "Kruse, John, 'Jack' W." San Francisco Chronicle, November 11, 2000. SFGate Website: http://www.sfgate.com; Weinstein, Dave. "Flamboyant Modernism: Henry Hill's Stellar Taste and Love for the Arts is Reflected in the Homes he Designed." San Francisco Chronicle, June 11, 2005. SFGate Website: http://sfgate.com

Related Records

Partner of John Walter Kruse

Archival Holdings

The American Institute of Architects Archives
      Membership file may contain membership application, related correspondence. Contact the AIA Archives at archives@aia.org for further information.
Environmental Design Archives, University of California, Berkeley
Collection Number: 2002-2. Extent: 1 box, 1 tall box, 5 cartons, 1 flat file drawer, and 1 tube. The Hill & Kruse Collection is comprised of two boxes, five cartons, and two flat file drawers of material primarily consisting of project files and drawings of their many projects, most of which are private residences in the Bay Area. Also included in the collection are materials that highlight Hill's early ideas and influences on his architecture, including the use of wood, the natural surrounding landscape, and Japanese architecture. In addition, there are folders of material publicizing Hill and Kruse's work.
The small series of personal papers includes mostly biographical information, in the form of applications and resumes from Hill and Kruse, as well as Kruse's student drawings and Hill's small collection of quotations. The professional papers contain a collection of writings by and about Hill and his projects, lectures given by Hill, and clippings collected by Hill as references. It is here that one sees Hill's emerging influences, in such articles as Wood in Living Architecture, Architecture in the Landscape, and The Individual in Architecture. Office records contain a diverse range of materials: client lists and ledgers, internal and external correspondence, published articles and promotional materials highlighting the architects' work, Kruse's master detail drawings, and information regarding Tenex, a product used by Hill in his homes. The project files include records, photographs, and drawings from the buildings and private residences that make up Hill's and Kruse's legacy. Many of their homes are located around the Bay Area, but there are also projects from across the country. Altogether the files contain records for 253 projects.. Major public buildings include the hiring hall of the International Longshoreman's and Warehouseman's Union in San Francisco and a chapel at the public hospital in Moline, IL.
Custodial History: The collection was received as unorganized records from John Kruse's family
Link to online finding aid at: http://www.oac.cdlib.org/findaid/ark:/13030/kt7b69r6cf