Tony Anthony; Architect for Many Civic Landmarks


Tony Anthony, award-winning architect whose designs dot Southern California from Los Angeles Fire Station No. 29 to Commerce City Hall to the McCallum Theatre for the Performing Arts in Palm Desert, has died. He was 75.

Anthony, who in 1950 co-founded Anthony and Langford Architects based in Huntington Beach, died Nov. 27 at his home in Oakland, his son Tom announced this week.

With partners V. Wallace Langford and E. Roger Wilner, Anthony created city halls, libraries, community centers, schools and fire stations for the cities of Los Angeles, Whittier, Huntington Beach, Seal Beach, Norwalk, El Monte, Santa Fe Springs, Garden Grove, Compton, Lakewood, Glendora, Westminster, City of Commerce and City of Industry.


He also designed office complexes for such corporate clients as Purex, Hughes Aircraft, Rockwell International and Western Gear.

Anthony, whose firm was based in Whittier for 20 years before moving to Huntington Beach in 1969, designed such theaters as the McCallum, which won an honor award from the American Institute of Architects in 1985; the La Mirada Civic Theatre, and the Norris Community Theatre in Rolling Hills Estates.

He won Los Angeles Beautiful Awards in 1958 for St. Francis of Rome Archdiocese in Azusa and the Commerce City Hall, and a Huntington Beach Beautiful Award for the Golden View Elementary School in 1971. Other AIA awards were for the Purex Building in Lakewood in 1961 and White Oak School in Las Virgenes School District in 1969.

Known for his patience, Anthony dealt with the political aspects of architecture with aplomb.

After community activists criticized his repeatable design for Fire Station No. 29 on Wilshire Boulevard in 1988, Anthony remained unruffled during a heated public discussion about the color for the window trim.

“I’ve never had so much help!” he quipped, and satisfied the naysayers.

“Creating something measurable to make people’s personal and business lives better is gratifying,” he often told his colleagues. “The most valuable service I perform for a client is to make his dreams become reality.”

Born Tolbert Virgil Anthony II, he earned his architectural degree from USC after studying at the University of Kansas.

In addition to his son Tom of Oakland, Anthony is survived by four other sons, Tony of Sedona, Ariz.; Terry, of Maui, Hawaii; Tim, of Oahu, Hawaii, and Tracy of Lafayette, Calif.; a sister, Evelyn Vanway of Thousand Palms, Calif., and eight grandchildren.

The family has asked that any memorial donations be made to the Museum of Architecture, in care of the American Institute of Architects Orange County, 3200 Park Center Ave. Suite 100, Costa Mesa CA 92626.