History

  •  Click for Full Screen
  •  Click for Full Screen
  •  Click for Full Screen
  •  Click for Full Screen
  •  Click for Full Screen
  •  Click for Full Screen
  •  Click for Full Screen
  •  Click for Full Screen
  •  Click for Full Screen
  •  Click for Full Screen
  •  Click for Full Screen
  • In 1950, Albert M. Dreyfuss opened a small design office at 2127 J Street in Sacramento. He designed several custom homes, Air Force Base buildings, office buildings, and primary schools in the area.

  • A few years after opening, Al asked his neighbor Leonard D. Blackford (in foreground) to come work with him. Al was the businessman and Len, the stronger designer. So each of them let the other do what they did best. The two of them worked out of this leased space for several years until designing and building their first office at 2729 I Street.

  • Dreyfuss + Blackford’s design approach is rooted in Modernism and it always has been. A clear and intuitive understanding of steel, concrete and masonry construction has resulted in striking and innovative projects — buildings that have timeless, lasting character.

  • Inspired by the heroes of 20th century Modernist architecture like Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Len had visions of great modernist design in Sacramento. In 1957, Al and Len landed the first of many landmark projects, the SMUD headquarters building. This project cemented their collaboration and Len became an equal partner in the firm. The SMUD Headquarters project stirred international interest, earned multiple design awards, and is now on the National Register of Historic Places.

  • In the 60s and 70s, Dreyfuss & Blackford continued to be a force to be reckoned with as the firm expanded its expertise to new project types.

  • This new work included master planning the San Francisco International Airport in association with John Carl Warneke. A master plan and design for a new airport in Sacramento (now Sacramento International Airport) followed.

  • Significant headquarters buildings for IBM and the Sacramento Union newspaper added to Dreyfuss & Blackford’s portfolio, as did a famous highway commercial center in Vacaville, known as the Nut Tree.

  • In the 80s and 90s, healthcare, justice and municipal work became part of the mix. John C. Webre joined the firm and orchestrated successful collaborations with Frank Gehry, The Cambridge Seven, and James Polshek Partners resulting in more award-winning projects.

  • Another landmark award-winning project, the Lincoln Plaza CalPERS Headquarters building, has been characterized as one of the finest and largest public office buildings in the western states. It is among the first green-roof buildings in the region with its rooftop terraces on each level.

  • By 1991, John Webre was managing day-to-day operations for the firm. Over the next few years Al, Len and John carefully chose a group of young partners to join them in continuing the tradition of exceptional modernist design.

  • Now in the midst of our sixth decade, Dreyfuss + Blackford remains deeply committed to delivering quality design services and timeless projects to public and private sector clients alike. The rest, as they say, is history. Our history. One we are proud of and live to this day.

65+ Years of Innovation

Founded in a Modernist tradition, our firm achieved international recognition early on with several notable landmark structures that were way ahead of their time. Today, we remain on the cutting edge of innovation. We are constantly testing new, fresh ideas; investigating new materials and systems; striving to integrate each client’s vision and needs with the most current technological innovations. As a result, we excel in creating functional and economical buildings that are aesthetically distinctive.

Our portfolio demonstrates this. We have received more than 100 awards for design excellence on projects ranging from headquarters and international airports, to operations centers and parking structures. Our reputation for designing innovative, award-winning projects is second to none. After 65 years of success, innovation is still the hallmark of our work.