William Parr was born in Oklahoma City in 1911. He attended Central High School and graduated from OSU in 1934. After graduation, Bill went to work for his father, J.O., who was also an architect and founder of the firm, Hawk & Parr. One of Bill’s first projects after joining his dad’s firm was working on the construction of his dad’s most notable project, the Civic Center, which opened in 1937. Shortly after completion of that project, J.O. died of a heart attack in 1940 while recuperating after slipping and falling on ice near his home. With his father gone, Bill decided to form his own partnership with friend and fellow OSU graduate, George Aderhold. Parr & Aderhold specialized in designing prisons and traditional churches — some of their local church designs include Mayfair Church of Christ on NW 50th and May, Westminster Presbyterian Church, St. John’s Episcopal Church, Crown Heights Methodist, All Souls Episcopal Church at NW 63rd and Penn. During these years, Parr also designed the gloriously gothic First Presbyterian Church and NW 25th and Western. While he obviously loved traditional architecture, Bill also embraced modernism and designed several impressive buildings throughout the Metro in this style.
George Aderhold left the firm in 1961 to move to Washington D.C. to become senior architect for the Federal Bureau of Prisons. Bill tried another partnership for a few years then decided to work on his own for the remainder of his career. He died in 1994.
Hawk & Parr, 1934-1940
Parr & Aderhold, 1941-1960
Parr & Watkins, 1962-1966
Willam G. Parr, 1967-retirement
Oklahoma City Arts Center, OKC
Oklahoma Bar Association building, OKC
Safeway stores and distribution center, OKC
(photo from the OPUBCO collection at the Oklahoma History Center)