William Riddle Ward, Jr., Architect [1890-1984]
Of the architects practicing in the early to mid twentieth century, William Riddle "Willie" Ward, Jr. [†] ranks as one of the most popular and productive. Three houses designed by Ward have been previously listed in the National Register of Historic Places: The Hugh Aiken House in Greenville; the R. Perry Turner House, in Greer; and the Robert G. Turner House, in Greer. A native of Alabama, Ward studied architecture at Auburn University and at the renowned Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris. He worked in New York where he met Haskell H. Martin. Martin persuaded Ward to join him in Greenville, where they were associated from 1915 to 1925.
From 1925 until his retirement in 1957, Ward maintained an independent practice in Greenville. Specializing in residential design, Ward designed more than a hundred houses throughout South Carolina, as well as a number of significant public buildings. Ward was known for his formal Colonial Revival and Georgian designs but worked in a number of styles. He was recognized as a meticulous craftsman with strict attention to detail. One of his first commissions was 205 East Park Avenue, an English Revival design encompassing Tudor and Arts and Crafts influences. Designed in 1916 for William Ellsworth Phelps, owner of Piedmont Shoe Company in downtown Greenville, the integrity of the home has been carefully preserved. Ward designed at least three documented homes in the East Park neighborhood between 1916 and 1940.
† Shams, Judy and Reeves, Dale, East Park Historic Association, East Park Historic District, Greenville County, South Carolina, nomination document, 2005, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.