Born in Bournemouth, England in 1879, he came to Riverside with his family in 1895 at age 16.
G. Stanley Wilson began his career as a carpenter in 1901 Riverside. His first major project was Greystones, working for Donald J. McLeod, at 6190 Hawarden Drive. He worked with McLeod on some of Riverside’s finest homes and also began to work on his own, building a number of small houses near Mission Inn Avenue and Park Avenue. Later, he built the Frank Densmore house located at 4567 Mission Inn Avenue.
His first important commission was a house for C.O. Evans, in 1908, at 4622 Indian Hill Road. The huge 10-room, two-story house was constructed of redwood, brick, and concrete, with a double-gabled roof and half-timbered walls. Wilson used a photograph of the house in his advertising and many commissions followed.
In 1909, he opened his own office and began to work on projects for Frank Miller at the Mission Inn. He worked under architect Myron Hunt on the Spanish wing including the dining room and Spanish Art Gallery.
In 1915, he built his own home, a five-room bungalow on the southwest corner of Market and Fourth streets. He lived there with his wife, Mildred, and growing family. In 1926, they added a second story and in 1927, the Casa De Anza Hotel with several apartments was added next door. After World War II, the original home was removed to make room for a swimming pool and additional single story rooms. The hotel is now called the Santa Cruz Inn.
Wilson obtained his architect’s license in 1923 from the International Correspondence School. He employed the best draftsmen and also employed Riverside architects Peter Weber, Albert Haight, and Randall D. Weaver.
Wilson became Frank Miller’s architect at the Mission Inn and designed and built the Rotunda and the St. Francis Chapel. In 1927, Wilson designed a major Mission Revival renovation of Rouses Inc., one of Riverside’s signature department stores.
Numerous other Wilson homes and bungalows in Riverside are still standing including those built for Judge Densmore, Allan Pinkerton, Thomas Flaherty, and Lorenzo Scranton.
Wilson also built many other notable buildings in Riverside that can still be seen. These include the Park Avenue Baptist Church built of adobe in 1925 (3878 Fourteenth), Simmons Mortuary in 1925 (3610 Eleventh Street), the Aurea Vista Hotel in 1927 (3480 University Avenue), Palm Elementary School in 1927 (6735 Magnolia Avenue), the J.R. Willis Building in 1927 (4336 Market Street), the Riverside City College Quadrangle from 1923 to 1950 (Terracina Avenue), the Soldier’s Memorial Auditorium in 1929 (3485 Mission Inn Avenue, started by Arthur Benton competed by Wilson), Grant Elementary School in 1935 (4011 Fourteenth Street), St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church Convent and School in 1938 (3360 Twelfth Street), and All Saints Episcopal Church in 1948 (3847 Terracina Avenue).