Becket, Welton D.

Welton David Becket (August 8, 1902 – January 16, 1969) was an American modern architect who designed many buildings in Los Angeles, California. He was born in Seattle, Washington and graduated from the University of Washington program in Architecture in 1927 with a Bachelor of Architecture degree.  He moved to Los Angeles in 1933 and formed a partnership with his University of Washington classmate Walter Wurdeman and Charles F. Plummer. Their first major commission was the Pan-Pacific Auditorium in 1935, which won them residential jobs from James Cagney, Robert Montgomery, and other film celebrities. Plummer died in 1939. The successor firm Wurdeman and Becket developed the concept of “total design,” whereby their firm would be responsible for master planning, engineering, interiors, furniture, fixtures, landscaping, signage, and even (in the case of restaurants) menus, silverware, matchbooks, and napkins. After Wurdeman’s death in 1949, Becket formed Welton Becket and Associates and continued to grow the firm to the extent that it was one of the largest architectural offices in the world by the time of his death in 1969. In 1987, his firm was acquired by Ellerbe Associates, and the merged firm continued as Ellerbe Becket until the end of 2009, when it was acquired by AECOM. It is now known as Ellerbe Becket, an AECOM Company.

Becket’s buildings used unusual facade materials such as ceramic tile and stainless steel grillwork, repetitive geometric patterns, and a heavy emphasis on walls clad in natural stone, particularly travertine and flagstone.

Welton Becket was elected a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects in 1952.