William Leonard Pereira (April 25, 1909 – November 13, 1985) was an American architect.
He who was noted for his futuristic designs of landmark buildings such as the Transamerica Pyramid in San Francisco. Remarkably prolific, he worked out of Los Angeles, and was known for his love of science fiction and expensive cars, but mostly for his unmistakable style of architecture, which helped define the look of mid-20th century America.
By the time of his death, Pereira had over 400 projects to his name. Among the structures he designed throughout Southern California were CBS Television City, the Los Angeles County Art Museum, and the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim. He is also responsible for creating the monumental Spanish-inspired facades that defined Robinson’s department stores for nearly 20 years, and he was the architect of Pepperdine University at Malibu, named by the “Princeton Review” as the most beautiful college campus in America. Out of his immense body of work, three have really stood out in the public mind: the master-planned cities of Irvine and Newport Beach, and the Transamerica Pyramid in San Francisco.
His most praised and criticized work was probably the Transamerica building, which was completed in 1972. It was first panned as an intrusion on the city’s skyline, but has been accepted as having more character than the buildings around it and as being an oddly creative city symbol.