Biographies of Architects, Designers, and Builders

Maurice Metz (1920-1975)

Maurice Jean Metz was born on May 20, 1920, in Los Angeles, California. By the age of 10, Metz resided with his parents in rural Fresno County. Metz began a traditional apprenticeship as a junior draftsman in the Fresno office of Edward W. Peterson. He then took a position with David H. Horn. After a formative period in Horn's office, Metz secured his first job in San Francisco as a draftsman with the influential structural engineering firm of William Peyton Day & Associates. This was followed by a position in 1942 with the renowned consulting civilian military engineer, Clyde E. Bentley. In 1943, Metz joined architect Frank Wynkoop. During this period, Metz also affiliated with the San Francisco Architectural Club, and completed nearly eighteen months training under the auspices of its historically prestigious program. In 1944, Metz accrued additional office experience working with Stone & Mulloy, and then John H. Devitt. In 1945 he was admitted to a special (non-degree) program at the University of California, where he took courses in design and theory. Metz subsequently worked in the East Bay as a draftsman for the Oakland firm of Reynolds & Chamberlain, before taking a position with designer Mario J. Ciampi in San Francisco. His first position working as a designer himself came in the office of Ellison & King, Engineers.

In 1948, Metz returned to Fresno to join architect William D. Coates, formerly the State Architect of California. Metz received his certificate to practice architecture in California on April 14, 1948, ultimately becoming a partner in the firm of Coates & Metz. After Coates' death in 1953, Metz practiced in Fresno until the early 1970s, when he took a position as a production architect in Burlingame, California, for the Bank Building Corporation, a nation-wide firm that specialized in planning, designing, and construction management of financial and health care facilities.

Notable architectural commissions from Metz's career include the Fresno County Hall of Records Annex (1955); Fresno Colony School (1955); Nordic School, Scandinavian School District (1956); Tranquility Union High School (1956-1958); Bryant Elementary School Additions, Dos Palos (1958); Madison Elementary School (1958); Scandinavian School (1958); Sierra Hospital (1958); Viking School Additions (1958); Vinland School Additions (1958); Leif Ericson School (1960); Physicians Osteopathic Hospital, Bakersfield (1960); Andrew Jackson School, Selma (1961); Temperance-Kutner School (1965); and Fresno County Juvenile Hall Dormitory Additions (1970).

Maurice Jean Metz died in Mountain View, California, on October 16, 1975, at the age of 55, after a long struggle with kidney disease.

Written by John Edward Powell and William B. Secrest Jr.
©2008 John Edward Powell & William B. Secrest Jr. All rights reserved.