Biographies of Architects, Designers, and Builders

W. D. Coates (1880-1953)

W. D. Coates was born William D. Coates, Jr. in Oakland on December 19, 1880. Raised in Fresno, Coates apprenticed with McDougall Brothers before going east to study under Paul Cret at the University of Pennsylvania in 1904. In 1906 Coates returned to California to work for Frederick H. Meyer in San Francisco. From 1909 to 1911 he served as State Architect. Coates then entered private practice in San Francisco with his former college classmate H. B. Traver. Coates and Traver formed a partnership in San Francisco in 1911. They gained statewide attention in 1912 when their competition proposal for the San Francisco City Hall took second prize.

Fresno High SchoolIn 1914 Coates and Traver moved to Fresno, where they continued practicing together until 1925. Among their most important projects were the A. G. Wishon home (1915), the Liberty Theatre (1917), Fresno High School(1920, on right), Hanford High School (1920), and Porterville High School (1921). After Coates and Traver dissolved their partnership, Coates practiced alone until 1948, except for a brief period during the 1930s when he associated with Allied Architects. In 1948 Coates formed a partnership with Maurice Metz that lasted until 1953. W. D. Coates died on April 26, 1953.

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