In 1950, Albert M. Dreyfuss opened a small design office in Sacramento. Three years later he hired Leonard D. Blackford and the firm of Dreyfuss & Blackford Architects was born. Together, they established a reputation as a formidable team, landing notable clients and delivering exceptional building designs.
From the beginning, the firm’s design approach has been rooted in Modernism. A clear and intuitive understanding of steel, concrete and masonry construction has resulted in striking and innovative projects—buildings that have timeless, lasting character. In the early years, the firm designed many public schools, private office buildings and, in 1959, the SMUD headquarters building—a landmark project that stirred international interest and earned multiple design awards.
In the 60s and 70s we expanded our expertise with new building types. We began master planning for San Francisco International Airport (in association with John Carl Warneke) and subsequently developed a master plan and design for a new airport in Sacramento (now known as Sacramento International Airport). We developed headquarters buildings for IBM and the Sacramento Union newspaper and we also produced landmark buildings for the Nut Tree, a famous highway commercial center.
In the 80s and 90s we expanded our work in healthcare, justice and municipal work. John Webre joined the firm and orchestrated successful collaborations with Frank Gehry, Cambridge Seven and James Polshek Partners—collaborations that resulted in award-winning projects. We also produced Lincoln Plaza, the landmark CalPERS Headquarters building that has been characterized as one of the finest public office buildings in the western states.
By 1991, John Webre was managing day-to-day operations for the firm. Over the next few years Al, Len and John carefully picked a group of young partners to join them in carrying on the tradition of exceptional modernist design.
Now in our sixth decade, we continue our role as one of the preeminent architectural firms in the region. We remain deeply committed to delivering a full range of top-quality design services and timeless, exceptional projects to a broad spectrum of public and private sector clients.